Local nonprofit Victory Garden Initiative will launch the second year of its Food Leader Certificate Program in March with thirty emerging community Food Leaders. The program trains new activists to grow their own food and lead community food projects.


The Food Leader Program draws participants from diverse backgrounds across the Greater Milwaukee area who are passionate about making change in their communities. VGI’s Executive Director explained what attracts participants to the program:


There is a pinnacle moment in many people’s lives when it becomes unacceptable to participate in a food system that is destroying our health, our sanity, our humanity and our beautiful planet earth. If you feel you are reaching this moment and can no longer choose complacency, the Food Leader Certification Program is for you.
Beginning with a kickoff retreat in March at Michael Fields Agricultural Institute in East Troy, participants will come together as a community of organizers to learn about food system issues and community organizing techniques. Over the course of the year, participants also learn how to grow their own food through ten gardening class sessions


Each Food Leader will complete a community food project over the course of the year under the mentorship of program co-leaders Jessy Servi and Gretchen Mead. Past projects range from managing a community garden to starting a workplace composting program. Participants may also choose to gain hands-on experience by working on one of Victory Garden Initiative’s existing projects.


The $500 program fee includes two overnight organizing retreats, VGI’s ten-part Edible Gardening for Sustainability Series, and several other community-building events over the course of the season. Some scholarships are also available. Prospective participants can register by visiting the Food Leader page on Victory Garden Initiative’s website, victorygardeninitiative.org or by calling (414) 312-8622.


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About Victory Garden Initiative


Victory Garden Initiative (VGI) is a Milwaukee-based organization working to positively impact social, environmental, and public health by empowering communities to grow their own food.


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