Jones County Extension has a mission to grow opportunities for the citizens of Jones County. We belief through hands on research based programming we can plant the seeds for success. Through our Farm to Fair project we wish to plant seeds for the future with youth across Jones County, Iowa. Our project will provide hands on activities, resources, and inspiration for the youth in Jones County to start raised bed gardens in each community that will assist in providing produce to our local food pantries. Our goal is to introduce an understanding of horticulture, farming, and community service to the youth in Jones County.
Farm to Fair will provide hands on programming for youth from November 2018 through August 2019. We will begin with a 2 day Program: Fed by Farms - research based curriculum from Iowa State University to introduce youth across the county to gardening production and animal production. A Junior Master Gardeners club will then be established to meet monthly with trained Master Gardeners. Each 4H club in Jones County (13 total clubs) will be provided garden boxes and supplies to plant a club garden box on the Jones County Fairgrounds. Clubs will have the opportunity to then decide how to share the food harvested with local organizations. 4 workshops are planned to provide further hands on education, access to speakers from the industry. There will be a bus trip to Iowa State University for youth in the county - this trip will provide access to University experts, hands on learning, and inspiration for future careers and opportunities. The project will close during the 2019 County and State Fairs. At the Jones County fair gardens will be showcased to the public and a Farm to Fair picnic will be held for the public. During the picnic youth will showcase demonstrations, presentations, and displays about the areas covered through the year. In addition each club will participate in the Club Vegetable Platter challenge where they will showcase and be judged on their garden produce. The project will finish out with a trip to the Iowa State Fair where clubs and individuals will enter their vegetables for State Fair judging and participate in Horticulture related programming.