Campti summer class aims to grow future farmers

CAMPTI, La. (KALB) - Farming is essential to the well being of a community, however many young people are shying away from careers in agriculture.

Nonprofit 'Campti Field of Dreams' hopes to change that mindset by teaching 12 future farmers how to tap into their green thumb this summer.

The two-week camp is a new program the nonprofit provides with help from the USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service.

Students between the ages of 12 to 15 learn how to combine sustainable agriculture and business. Each day they take up different farming positions, focusing on growing their own summer garden. They also come up with a business idea to help them earn money for something they aspire to do.

They meet at a sustainable agriculture demonstration farm for half of the day and then head to Campti Historic Museum where they hear from guest speakers.

"Our goal is to make this farm a teaching tool for the community both young and old, to get them back to the ways of old," said Campti Field of Dreams Executive Director Donna Isaacs. "Which was, we grew our own food, we fed our families and we fed those in the community."

However, Isaacs said the goal isn't just about growing farmers.

"But to teach an entrepreneurial mindset," Isaacs said. "So that students leave here empowered to start their own business, to solve community problems, to go out there and try something new."

The youth class is new this year and due to transportation availability spots fill quickly. But, Isaccs said she hopes to expand the program by next summer.

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