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2014 Agripreneur Training Graduation

On Friday, December 5th,  Main Street Project celebrated the completion of the 2014 Agripreneur Training Program for 16 individuals. The group included present and future free-range poultry producers and the YPACquaponics group, the Northfield-based Young People’s Action Coalition, in the training in the aquaponics system. These groups have encouraged us to continue our work and move forward with building a sustainable food and agriculture system.

traininggraduationReginaldo Haslett-Marroquin, Chief Operating Officer of Main Street Project, observed the diversity that filled the room that evening. “It was great to see the different range of people. People of all different ages, genders, ethnicity, languages, traditions, cultural knowledge, and system enterprises.” It truly was a wonderful mix of people coming together to celebrate their accomplishments and hope for a better future in our agricultural system. There was a balance of people, which can ultimately symbolize the balance we need in the food and agricultural system. The system changes need to balance the social, economic, and ecological aspects to result in a positive balance for all – workers, consumers, and community members. “The success of one part of the system depends on another,” Reginaldo summarizes.

Joe Charlton, Farm Manager, elaborated more on the celebration. “The main highlight was that we were all collaborating and joining together to discuss their learned experiences. The diversity of the group and the conversations about how each of the agriprenuers were happy about the experience in the training program. And what else can you say, besides the food?”

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And he correct! Food was surrounding the entire celebration – not only the food we were consuming, but all the conversations and dedication each of the agriprenuers have put into developing, growing, and raising food. The sense of gratitude and community filled each of our minds and conversations as our plates were filled with delicious food. We are a part of a bigger community and we must work together to achieve the balance. Many thank you’s and gratitude spread around the room.

Bob Kell, Training Director, summarizes the work each of the agriprenuers – both chicken and aquaponics producers. “They resonate strongly with the values of sustainable production, healthy food, and self-determination. We look forward to seeing where they take their dreams!”