Quiet and observant, eighth grader Laura Mark lights up when she talks about Farm to School at Wilbanks Middle School.
Laura was selected in the spring of 2012 to participate on the first team of Farm to School Ambassadors. She has actively participated since then, representing and speaking for the Farm to School program to her peers, the community and the Habersham County Board of Education.
Laura and her fellow Ambassadors assist many Farm to School activities. However, one of the personal favorites for Laure is the Taste Test for parents and students by serving food samples to open house attendees, getting people to vote on their favorite foods and offering them “I Tried It!” stickers. This kind of work is just part of being a Farm to School Ambassador.
Laura said that she has also helped Farm to School sponsor Catrina Pollard with all sorts of projects, including working in the school garden, and visited several of the Farm to School producers such as Chatooga Belle Farm, Melon Head Farm and Sylvan Mill. During this past summer, Laure even came to the school to keep the garden going during the growing season. With Ms. Pollard, she weeded, maintained and watered the garden
Laura, who lives in Cornelia, said that participating in Farm to School has made a big difference in what she eats. She says, “I don’t eat vegetables!” but by doing taste tests, she has learned how tasty they can be. She can also see this in her classmates. A lot of them “don’t eat vegetables,” but by sampling them at taste tests, they learn to enjoy them.
Looking ahead to next year when she will be leaving Wilbanks, Laura was asked what the future will hold for her in terms of Farm to School. She said, “I love it!” She hopes that there will an opportunity for her to continue being a part of it. With other Habersham County schools expressing an interest in Farm to School, Laura’s wish may come true.