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Farm Food and Health Fig Meeting III November 24th, 2020

Attendees:  Shannon Caravello, Gail Levine, Tanzina Ahmed, Mary Lou Fierle, Simone Rodriquez

Shannon and Simone gave an overview of the recent KCC Farm future visioning committee meeting. A priority is insuring that the Farm is welcoming and accessible for students, faculty, staff, and volunteers while also adhering to  risk management, insurance, and job description considerations.

On November 18th Tanzina shared some preliminary data from her study regarding student food insecurity issues via email to the members of the FIG. It is clear that students continue to face many challenges in accessing food. The study will continue through the Fall 2020 and into the Spring 2021 semesters so students can continue to be offered the opportunity to participate in the study for extra credit.

Shannon suggested that during the Winter Semester that members of the Farm Food and Health Fig may consider developing a statement regarding campus food resources which could be included in course syllabi for the Spring 2021 especially given the implications of the ongoing pandemic.

Suggestions for Spring Semester initiatives include a Food/Health film screening along with the proposed “Grow your Spirit” event which may focus on the healing and stress management potential of nature based activities. Partnering with the student Recreation Club for a Facebook or Instagram “Live” session is under consideration.




Farm Food and Health FIG Fall Semester Meeting II October 27, 2020

Attendees:  Shannon Caravello, Jennifer Mitchel, Tanzina Ahmed, Kathy Giaimo, Mary Lou Fierle, Gail Levine, Maya Stansberry

Maya Stansberry who has recently taken over the position of administrator of the KCC Farm gave an update on the farm. She discussed that the method of farm produce distribution during the Pandemic which was been done in partnership with Brooklyn Packers who distributed organized the distribution from a restaurant in central Brooklyn.  At this time produce distribution has concluded as the farm is now in the process of being prepared for the winter.  Maya shared that she has assumed the title of farm administrator in the wake of  both Glenda Ullauri, farm educator and Cris Izaguirre, farm manager resigning from their positions.  She shared that as always staffing and funding continue to be issues not only in maintaining the farm and growing produce for student consumption but also in terms of effectively integrating farm activities into course curricula and supporting faculty research. Kathy Giaimo reminded everyone that KCC farm or food related research would be excellent for PSC/CUNY Grant funding.

FIG participants will recommend students for future student aide positions at the KCC farm and Shannon suggested that when feasible FIG participants offer to volunteer on the farm.

A discussion ensued regarding the proposal of an Urban Agriculture concentration/major.  Gail Levine suggested Dr. Marion Nestle of NYU’s Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health major as a possible resource in developing a curriculum.  Amanda Kalin of Academic Affairs and Micah Griffin director of Allied Health Programs were both recommended as on campus resources to further this discussion.

Dr. Levine described and Tree Pit beautification program through East NY Farm and suggested that this activity may be a possible student activity in the future, probably post pandemic. It was also suggested that this may be coordinated in some way via NY Parks Green Thumb Education division.

Shannon reminded participants that one function of the FIG is to promote farm and food related issues into curricula and pedagogy.

A Spring Semester 2021 event sponsored by the Farm Food and Health FIG  was discussed with an emphasis on the renewal and stress relieving qualities of nature.  Dr. Levine suggested the name “Grow Your Spirit” which may highlight faculty/staff and perhaps student initiatives with seed starting, garden planning and other nature related Spring activities.

The next Farm Food and Health FIG meeting will be on November 24, 2020.




Farm Food and Health FIG Fall Semester 2020 Meeting 1 October 14, 2020

Attendees:  Jennifer Mitchell, Shannon Caravello, Mary Lou Fierle, Tanzina Ahmend, Naxielly Dominquez

The first meeting of the Farm Food and Health Fig Fall Semester 2020 focused on research being conducted or proposed related in some way to food production, food awareness, food insecurity as well as cultural implications related to agriculture/food production and food consumption.

Tanzina Ahmed gave an update on a research study that began in 2019 and is continuing this semester related to  how students experience food insecurity. Since it has been difficult to recruit students this semester to participate due to distance learning tt was suggested that students in a variety of courses could be offered the opportunity to complete the survey with potential extra credit as a motivator.  Shannon offered to forward the survey link widely to those faculty and staff who have participated in the Farm Food and Health FIG in recent years. (This was done on October 20th.)

Shannon Caravello shared her proposed research in the area of student knowledge related to plant based diet awareness and Jennifer Mitchell discussed her proposed research examining Black farmers who establish local farms as a means of healing and reclaiming agriculture heritage.

Various research related considerations were discussed including recent changes in the IRB, the need to collect a significant amount of data which then may be utilized for future papers for publication as well has utilizing a dissertation coach for support. Tanzina suggested the book Write it Up:  Practical Strategies for Writing and Publishing Journal Articles by Paul Silva.

The next Farm Food and Health meeting will be on October 27th and will include a KCC Farm update by Maya Stansberry, KCC Farm Administrator.