Roots & Wisdom Grower Assistant

Worksite Location
CCE Schenectady County, Roots & Wisdom garden on Fehr Ave
Faculty Sponsor
Lori Brewer
Other Campus-Based Mentors/Supervisors
Liz Falk, CCE CGBL Professional Development Educator
Field Mentors/Supervisors
Jenny Hudman, Grower/Educator for Roots & Wisdom
Project Summary and Intended Outcomes

The Roots & Wisdom garden is a job training site for youth between the ages of 14-21. Intended outcomes are exposure to agriculture and food systems to youth participants, sale of produce to the community, donation of produce to a local food pantry and job skills for youth participants (work uniform, getting to work on time, appropriate work conversations, etc.)

Roles and Responsibilities

Under the direction of the Roots and Wisdom Grower; participate in planning and management of all Roots and Wisdom garden sites. Tasks may include, but are not limited to, site planning, soil preparation, seeding and transplanting, composting, greenhouse work, irrigation, produce marketing and distribution, and record keeping. As part of a team, lead youth participant and volunteer involvement in garden activities. Teach one workshop to youth participants on topic of environment, agriculture, food systems, etc. Make recommendations for strengthening and improving programs.
Main responsibility will include managing the on-site farm stand by leading youth participants in marketing, sales, and display. Student will give one presentation to the CCE Master Gardener Volunteers of Schenectady County in the beginning of summer to share with Master Gardener Volunteers (MGV) what Roots & Wisdom will be working on during the summer youth program. Part of the presentation will include areas we would like to recruit MGV to volunteer alongside the youth (examples: identifying native plants, planting more flowers, photography, etc). The second part of involvement will be a poster describing how the Roots & Wisdom youth and MGV have worked together during our summer program. Poster will be displayed at local events/fair in our CCE MGV booth and/or Roots & Wisdom booth.

Qualifications and Previous Coursework

Must be a full time CALS freshman, sophomore or junior. Graduating seniors are not eligible. Must meet NYS Department of Motor Vehicle requirement, if applicable.
Ability to lead a diverse group of youth participants between the ages of 14-21. Relevant educational pursuit in agriculture marketing, agronomy, and/or youth education.

Benefits and Skills

The student will have teaching skills to a diverse audience (at-risk youth, high school youth, elementary age youth, and adult volunteers). The student will have hands on experience in urban agriculture (management, planning, composting, produce harvesting, seeding, soil preparation, etc). They will also have gained experience with produce marketing, distribution and record keeping. The crew at Roots & Wisdom becomes a family by the end of the growing season and the student will become a part of our story, with the hope that they will make a strong connection with the youth they work with. Becoming a role model to the youth they work with will be invaluable.