Bekah Schrag, class of 2018, has a particular passion for food systems. Bekah has helped to develop the garden outside of Goshen College’s cafeteria. This semester, she is in charge of the campus composting program.
During the summer of 2016, Bekah took part in the Agroecology Summer Intensive (ASI) at the Merry Lea Sustainable Farm. There, she studied soils, cropping systems and marketing, among other things. The ASI is a key part of the new Sustainable Food Systems major. Here’s what Bekah says about the experience:
How has the Agroecology Summer Intensive (ASI) impacted your thinking?
The ASI is an unforgettable experience that creates space for one to question, ponder, and learn about the food system in the United States. It opened my eyes to the diverse bio-communities around me. I now find myself wondering about the bacteria and worms below my feet: what energy source did they find today?
Field trips provide real-life examples of alternative and conventional agriculture, while also creating networks of people for future advice and opportunities. Now, I ponder the policy reforms needed to help feed the world and wonder where I fit into all of it. The ASI has helped me realize how necessary it is to work for the people, not just for profit, and to create healthy accessible food for everyone.
My time at the Merry Lea Sustainable Farm brought about a new way of thinking about and seeing the world.
Would you recommend the ASI to others and if so, to whom?
I would recommend ASI to people interested in farming, livestock, or to anyone who wants to have a small garden someday. This unique program connects farming and faith in a welcoming, open environment and widens ones perspectives on many aspects of our food system.