Patti Armbrister, Agrarian Food Web Consultant came to Plevna School and shared the Soil to Skillet Program with the students. Patti is a local food consultant specializing in agriculture education. She is motivated to teach people how they can contribute to a healthier Montana. Patti believes that “Everyday people, farmers, ranchers, and kids can become superheroes and change some basic practices to improve our soils for our children and our future.”
The Hinsdale School Agriculture Educator, Patti Armbrister discovered that most people living in Montana are not really eating Montana grown foods. Ms. Armbrister’s mission is to teach children the life skills to grow food and to be able to cook using locally grown products. She teamed with the Whole Kids Foundation from Austin, Texas when she wrote a grant called “Grow it, Cook it, Eat it!” One of her goals was working with FFA members to help them grow the food as well as to be youth leaders while mentoring the elementary students in growing and cooking the foods. The project is meeting many of Armbrister’s goals of stopping food waste, reducing food miles, gaining awareness to what we can grow in Montana, and providing the next generation with life skills of growing food, cooking, and eating local food products.
The project will continue this fall with the Plevna and Hinsdale Schools Ag-Ed FFA members and their advisers, Travis Isaacs and Patti Armbrister. They will be growing all of the food for the cooking and eating lesson. Both schools have school gardens to teach students K-12 how to grow food in their programs and then donate the food to their schools. The program is a model for others to follow, as Armbrister believes every school should be empowering their youth by teaching these life skills and by growing food in their school, a program Armbrister calls “Farm in School”. Just think if Montanans were eating Montana grown products; the Montana economy would increase and our health would improve. Montana is the number one lintel and seed potato producer in the state; not to mention all of the wheat, pasta, sugar and beef products we produce. It would be great if every store in Montana had Montana food products offered on their shelves. “Grow it, Cook it, Eat it!” in your own community.