The 2008-2009 academic year
- In October 2008, a twelve-member Yale delegation attended Terra Madre, Slow Food International’s biannual conference, attended by 7,000 people from over 150 countries.
- Yale Sustainable Food Project staff and students presented on how to build a college farm at two regional conferences: the Young Farmers’ Conference at Stone Barns, Tarrytown, New York (December 4–5, 2008) and the Northeast Organic Farming Association Conference, Amherst, Massachusetts. (August 7–9, 2009)
- The Project, in collaboration with Alice Waters’s Edible Schoolyard, was one of sixteen groups chosen to participate in the exhibition Into the Open: Positioning Practice, presented at the official U.S. pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia, the 11th International Architecture Exhibition. The Project designed a garden installation for the pavilion featuring seasonal produce from the region. Into the Open traveled to Parsons The New School for Design, New York, in January 2009. (September 14– November 23, 2008)
- Executive Director Melina Shannon-DiPietro was invited by Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack to attend a forum for the People’s Garden Initiative in Washington, DC. The initiative seeks to expand the presence of gardens in local communities as a way of promoting healthful, nutritious food and natural resource conservation. Melina’s knowledge of gardens—and gift of spinach from the Yale Farm—was readily welcomed by the Secretary. (March 26, 2009)
The 2007-2008 academic year
- Eight students and organizers from the Real Food Summit at Yale, including Laura Hess, the first Lazarus Fellow, teamed up with fifteen students from the University of Gastronomic Science to serve as the United States youth delegation to the Slow Food International Congress in Puebla, Mexico.
- On November 3, 2007, over 150 students gathered at Yale for the Real Food Summit, a conference that brought together students from across the northeast to mobilize a national movement around sustainable food on college campuses. Organized in collaboration with the Food Project in Boston and the Brown Sustainable Food Initiative, the Real Food Summit marked the regional launch of the Real Food Challenge, a national initiative to unite students working on changing the way their universities think about food. Through the Real Food Challenge, students working on projects from school gardens to sustainable dining hall purchasing to fair trade activism will be able to share ideas and strategies to implement institutional change.
The 2006-2007 academic year
- Josh Viertel presented Yale’s sustainable food program to attendees of the New Crowned Hope Festival in Vienna, Austria during November 2006.
- Project staff attended Terra Madre, Slow Food International’s bi-annual conference, in Torino, Italy during October 2006, and presented the details of Yale’s sustainable food offerings. Philip Gant, TC ’09, and Emily Hallet, JE ’09, received fellowships to attend Slow Food International’s bi-annual conference, Terra Madre, in Torino, Italy.
- Adrian Cerezo, FES ’TK and Ariane Lotti, FES ’TK, spent the summer of 2006 researching small-scale traditional agriculture and sustainability in Spain’s Basque Country. They documented the efforts of the Basque chapter of Slow Food International to protect autochthonous plant varieties, livestock breeds, and the ancient cultural practices that accompany them. Their preliminary findings suggest that small-scale agriculture is a key element of the global food system.
- Gordon Jenkins, JE ’07, spent the summer of 2006 in Italy studying the Slow Food movement's work to preserve Italy's regional food traditions. He reports “I learned more about why humans value food: for its pleasure and sustenance as well as its ability to tie communities to a specific region and shared identity. Italians want their food to be more than just fast."
The 2005-2006 academic year
- The Project's directors gave a presentation at Senator Hillary Clinton’s day-long conference on New York State’s food and agriculture policy in April 2006.
- Mizuho Hirokawa, a Japanese citizen receiving her Masters of Food Communication in Colorno, Italy, spent eight weeks interning with the Project. Her internship focused on replicating the Yale Farm educational model and developing consistent food standards in Yale’s dining halls.
- The Smithsonian turned to Project staff to design and install a model schoolyard garden on the National Mall for its annual Folklife Festival in Washington. The farm’s Yale College interns traveled to D.C., built a garden, and represented Yale’s work to visitors from around the globe. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Senator Tom Harkin, and former Senator Bob Kerrey, now President of the New School in New York City, were among participants in discussions about the National School Lunch Initiative, a proposed federal school garden and lunch program.
- Representatives from twelve colleges visited the Project in 2005, and the Connecticut Council of Independent Colleges convened a forum at Yale to help chief financial officers and dining service directors at other institutions establish local foodbuying programs. The Project has fielded scores of inquiries from schools, universities, and government agencies. Since the Yale program was established, Brown and Harvard have hired staff for similar programs, while Columbia, Duke, Princeton, Stanford, and Wesleyan have all allocated resources for college farms or dining hall programs. Emory, Columbia, and the University of Nebraska have asked for permission to use the Project’s printed educational materials in developing their own programs.
Colleges, universities, and programs with whom we've collaborated
Castleton State College
Culinary Institute of America
CUNY, Brooklyn College
Eugene Lang College
Green Mountain College
Hudson River Health Care
Johnson and Wales University
Mount Holyoke College
New York University
Paul Quinn College
Rhode Island School of Design
Sarah Lawrence College
St. Lawrence University
Stony Brook University
The American Academy at Rome
The Food Project
The New School
The United Nations Development Programme
Union Theological Seminary
University at Buffalo
University of Florida
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of New Hampshire
University of Pennsylvania
University of St Andrews