Feedback from students indicates the program helps develop leadership and problem solving skills and increases their knowledge base for potential careers in agriculture, food science, health and wellness, social services, environmental studies and other areas. Here’s what two participants from the 2011 program say about what they learned:
Although she’s lived in Iowa all her life, sixteen-year-old Lexi Brennan of West Des Moines didn’t know much about agriculture until last summer. "Even though Des Moines isn't exactly a huge city, I still wasn't very familiar with the strong agricultural community of Iowa's past and present,” she observes. “When I had the opportunity to spend the week at a camp in a more rural area of Iowa, I was excited to learn more about agriculture and how much it affects the world around me. The Real Soil, Real Food program allowed me to explore the impacts of agriculture and food production on the environment and society."
Ben Mullin of Creston noted, “We covered issues everywhere from food insecurity to obesity to producing local food and everything in between. We learned a lot about the importance of leadership as well as the importance of physical fitness and food safety. Food safety was one of the more important topics for me, because I run a small business at the Creston Farmers Market baking and selling food.”