AMI (as AMS) was founded in 2011 as an intensive, hands-on, cooperative, experiential learning and training program designed to teach members of our communities to grow and prepare their own food and to understand the nutritional benefits of eating seasonally.
AMI Farm Fellows study sustainable food production, whole foods preparation and preservation, mindfulness, wellness and nutrition, land stewardship and community development, as they train to become ambassadors for a healthier food culture. Upon successful completion of the program, AMI Farm Fellows will receive a Permaculture Design Certificate, as well as gain full season experience working and learning on an education-based, diversified vegetable farm.
After graduation, AMI Fellows have gone on to work in school gardens and helped students and their teachers grow their own food. They've become community local food advocates and organizers. They go to graduate school and they've published articles about the food movement and pressing health and environmental issues. They teach garden based learning in public schools. They've managed community and urban farms and helped launch value-added artisanal food businesses. They become young farmers!
Mandy Henkler was raised in a suburb north west of Philadelphia and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Community Entrepreneurship and Food Systems from the University of Vermont. It was in Vermont that she found her passion for local food and organic farming. She spent her childhood playing outside or in the kitchen and is happy to say that is still where she spends most of her time. Mandy came to be the Outreach Coordinator at the Allegheny Mountain Institute after finishing up her Allegheny Mountain School Senior Fellowship at the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. While at the Food Bank Mandy realized the extreme need in our community for access to healthy whole food. She will be working on projects aimed at feeding underserved populations and educating them on gardening, nutrition and cooking skills.
Allegheny Mountain School is now Allegheny Mountain Institute! We have a new name and we are growing as an organization.
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