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21 Acres Welcomes International Students and Entrepreneurs

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

21 Acres recently welcomed several international guests interested in learning about our local food system to its campus. The non-profit organization in Woodinville, Washington is working to develop a program to bring in students and entrepreneurs who want to learn about sustainable agriculture. Different than interns or volunteers engaged in ‘farm work,’ these students are learning about sustainable practices relating to food policy, food security, and accessibility, with an emphasis on a collective approach.

Fernando.Fellows2017Fernando Salerno, from Venezuela, front row left, with his YLAI Fellows. Fernando Salerno, a young entrepreneur from Venezuela, is working on a business plan to help sustainable Venezuelan farmers bring value-added product to market. He is in the states through a program called Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) – run by the World Affairs Council.

Salerno is the founder and CEO of Nispero, a pre-startup venture dedicated to strengthening and empowering farmers by creating easier access to technical experts, more efficient equipment, and valuable financing and market information, with the ultimate goals of enhancing food security and advancing sustainable agriculture. Following his work with 21 Acres, he will complete his fellowship with Agros International, a non-profit organization in Seattle dedicated to changing the poverty equation in (currently) Nicaragua, Honduras, and Guatemala.

Yukino Odawara, Sakura Suzuki, and Narumi Yajima are students at Toyo University, outside of Tokyo. Their student exchange program was in coordination with the Global Education Network (GEN) in Bellevue. While studying in the Sammamish Valley, Odawara, Suzuki, and Yajima learned about our community and local culture by taking a close look at the foods we eat. Their education focused on the benefits of locally grown and seasonal food and how the way that food is raised, processed, transported, and eaten effects public health and the environment.

During their tenure at 21 Acres, our international guests gained an understanding of how the local food system model works, how it is implemented, and how to engage with the community.

21 Acres inspires action to solve climate challenges by learning as a community to grow, eat and live sustainably. The campus, open Tuesdays through Saturdays, is located at 13701 NE 171st Street in Woodinville. Visit 21 acres.org or follow 21 Acres on social media – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – for updates on events and activities.

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