CULTIVATING TOMORROW’S LEADERS: VILLAGE FARMS FRESH GREENHOUSE TOURS HELP INSPIRE YOUNG MINDS

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At Village Farms Fresh, we are committed to fostering connections among our community, education, and sustainable agriculture. Over the past six months, we’ve had the privilege of partnering with local school districts in the Big Bend region of Texas to provide captivating greenhouse tours for students.

With visionary support from the Big Bend Conservation Alliance (BBCA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the cultural and natural heritage of our region, Village Farms Fresh has offered enriching educational experiences to young learners. This collaboration has extended our reach across five schools: Presidio Elementary, Marfa Middle School, Fort Davis Elementary, Terlingua Elementary, and Alpine Elementary.

The greenhouse tours provided by the Village Farms Fresh team have seamlessly integrated into the classroom curriculum focused on sustainable agriculture. Students have been engaged with the hydroponic growing system, Flex Farms to cultivate lettuce, sparking their natural curiosity about greenhouse farming practices.

Since the first visit with 4th and 5th grade students from Fort Davis Elementary in December 2023, Village Farms has welcomed a total of 125 students from grades 3 to 8 across Fort Davis, Marfa, Alpine, and Presidio school communities over the past 6 months. These tours have become pivotal in connecting classroom learning with real-world applications, particularly in understanding the critical role of sustainable practices in agriculture.

Derin Gemmel, Vice President of Human Resources for the company mentioned, “Village Farms Fresh has a long history in its dedication to interacting and working with our local community whenever the opportunity presents itself.  We were very excited to work with our local youth and school districts when the BBCA reached out to us with this valuable initiative.”

The mission for the BBCA program is rooted in enhancing food accessibility and educating students about sustainable farming methods. Hydroponic technologies, such as those demonstrated in the Village Farms Fresh greenhouses exemplify how controlled environment greenhouse agriculture has the potential to grow more food, on less land, using less precious natural resources, such as water, compared to conventional farming methods. By exposing students to these innovations, they are empowered to become stewards of our environment and advocates for sustainable living.

Elvira Hermosillo, Program Manager for BBCA told us, “The Flex Farm teaches students innovative technologies while inspiring them to grow their own food. Visiting the Village Farms Fresh Greenhouse has helped students connect what they’re doing in the classroom to the world around them. The people at Village Farms Fresh were extremely welcoming. We’re thankful for this opportunity to mold and expand the minds of our youth.”

During their visits, students have marveled at the greenhouse’s scale, especially the logistical marvel of the long train-like carts transporting tomato boxes out of the greenhouse. Their fascination with observing bees actively pollinating plants underscores their newfound appreciation for the interconnectedness of ecosystems and agriculture. Their delight in seeing vibrant tomatoes hanging on vines reflects their growing awareness of food origins and the journey from farm to table.

“Seeing the children’s faces light up when they saw the size and productivity of our greenhouses, our bumblebee pollination, and our staff doing the hard work of tending the crop was a joy. BBCA and Village Farms are forming lifelong connections for these students as they see the principles they’re learning in the classroom reflected on an industrial scale in the business world. We’re proud to be a part of this unique program”, Abigail Lange, Facility Manager Marfa, Village Farms Fresh told us.

Educating young minds about sustainable agriculture is pivotal in shaping a brighter future. By instilling a passion for environmental stewardship early on, we empower the next generation to make informed choices that positively impact our planet. The greenhouse tours at Village Farms Fresh are not just educational experiences; they are opportunities to inspire curiosity, foster responsibility, and cultivate a deep-seated respect for our natural resources.

Through our collaborative efforts with the BBCA and the enthusiasm of local educators and students alike, Village Farms Fresh is proud to sow the seeds of knowledge and inspiration. Together, we are cultivating a generation of leaders who are not only passionate about healthy eating but also committed to preserving our environment for generations to come. To learn more about Village Farms Fresh visit us a villagefarmsfresh.com

About Village Farms Fresh

Village Farms Fresh, a wholly owned subsidiary of Village Farms International, Inc. (Nasdaq: VFF), is one of the largest growers, marketers, and distributors of premium-quality, greenhouse-grown fruits, and vegetables in North America. The food the company’s farmers grow is all harvested by hand from environmentally friendly, soil-less, glass greenhouses daily while utilizing the highest level of food safety standards available. The Village Farms Greenhouse Grown® brand of fruits and vegetables are marketed and distributed primarily to local retail grocers and dedicated fresh food distributors throughout the United States and Canada. Since its inception, Village Farms Fresh has been guided by sustainability principles that enable the company to grow food 365 days a year that not only feeds the growing population but is healthier for people and the planet. Village Farms Fresh is Good for the Earth® and good for you. Good for the Earth® and Garden Fresh Flavor® are not only taglines for the company but the value proposition Village Farms Fresh lives by.  And this is why it Takes a Village® to deliver on this promise.

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