Broccoli and carrots and tomatoes, oh my!: The Youth Grow Summit

by Emily Belle, Selene Chew and Amanda Wagner

Farming is cool
We learned that in school!

Tons of youth love it
So we’re having a summit!

We demand local
We will be vocal!

We don’t mind getting dirty
We’re all under thirty!

Don’t panic
It’s organic!


Economically just
It’s a must!

Food for all
All for food!

Broccoli and carrots and tomatoes, oh my!
The Youth Grow Summit

This summer, high school students from across New York State will come together in our quest for food justice and environmental stability. The Youth Grow Summit, a new initiative sponsored by the Cornell Garden-Based Learning Program, will be held from June 28-30, and will provide a forum for youth to discuss issues related to agricultural and food systems. Workshops will cover a breadth of topics, from leadership training and community organizing to the fundamentals of sustainable agriculture. Summit participants will have the opportunity to get into the fields in various farms and gardens around Ithaca, where they can experience the reality of local, community-oriented food systems and learn some new hands-on farming techniques.

As students at the Lehman Alternative Community School, we have had the chance to integrate the ideas of the local food movement into our lives, both inside and outside of the classroom. This spring, a group from our Ecology class joined a regional delegation and thousands of other youth at the Power Shift conference in Washington, DC. There, we took to the streets and lobbied our representatives on Capitol Hill, demonstrating our commitment to providing a sustainable future for people of all backgrounds and experiences. Now, we are excited to apply the energy and inspiration that came out of Power Shift to one of the most important factors in our vision for a better, healthier world: reshaping the food systems that support us and represent our most basic interaction with the earth. Over the last year, we have been able to work within our school and in collaboration with initiatives around Ithaca that share our goals. We look forward to expanding our network and learning from other knowledgeable, dedicated individuals at the Youth Grow Summit.

Come join us! Learn more and register to participate at

Peace out, be happy, eat kale

~Emily, Selene, and Amanda