Renewing, sustaining

The happy marriage of big vision and practical skills at the splendid Growing Kentucky II conference in mid-March inspired me. Listening, watching, tasting sustainably grown foods, I could see Kentucky renewed, reborn, re-rooted in a new level of attention to our land, water, air, and food. The conference gave me new eyes for looking at two publications that arrived this week. First, the Kentucky School Boards Association's publication, Kentucky School Advocate, described increased interest in agriculture courses in Kentucky's public schools.

Second, the Lexington Herald-Leader published a special "Newspapers in Education" section devoted to agriculture that I cannot locate online. Kentucky Proud co-sponsored the section, so locally grown foods and farmers markets got a little bit of ink.

Sustainable growing, and the business and education involved in caring for our soil and food for future generations, did not show up in these publications in any prominent way. My father taught vocational agriculture and horticulture, and I value that teaching as a powerful influence on the people who will care for our land going forward. I hope the University of Kentucky will continue to lead toward sustainability, and will find ways to encourage public schools' agriculture and horticulture teachers and students to work toward sustainability as well.