Students arrive at Empire Farm daily for activities and visit local family farms and food businesses who support local agriculture. Students develop 21st century skills sets through adventure-based training, while experiencing the basics of farming and develop business acumen from hands-on learning with staff on daily field trips. Students will be assigned to a team and a “coach” with students from our in-residence Ag-Academy.
During these field trips, students take note of challenges and opportunities business owners like farmers face daily. Awareness compels kids to think of profitable solutions for farming that culminates at week’s end with a team pitch to a “Shark Tank”, building confidence through trial, and a connection to where your food is from, how it’s made and focus on business. Our Victory Garden is their field “as classroom” with hands-on learning and nature-based experiences.
Student’s breakout into teams based on their first activities to determine interests and talent. The teams then meet daily throughout the week to create a concept to pitch to a group of sharks for potential investment and consultation. During the week, student teams work to develop a concept with a profitable solution for farming, and formulate a pitch to prove it can generate additional revenue for a local farm or an agricultural business.
The program pinnacle showcases each team of students pitching their idea to a panel of “sharks” (venture capitalists) who chose to “invest” in any viable business presented to them by each team on the final day.
This experience for youth foster the entrepreneurial spirit and gets them comfortable with ideation, constructive criticism, team work and public speaking in the process and development of the pitch and touch point with business principles and making a living.