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Ms. Jennie Furman at Grain School 2019 UCCS Event

Ms. Jennie Furman at Grain School 2019 UCCS Event

Ms. Jennie Furman, Nutrition and Cooking Arts teacher at MSCS, joined a prestigious and diverse group of leaders in the fields of sustainable food production and preparation at a unique 3-day event last weekend at the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs (UCCS).  The Grain School 2019 brought together educators, health professionals, scientists, farmers, bakers, millers, brewers, distillers, chefs, food citizens, students and community leaders for three lively and inspirational days of learning from each other. 

In an afternoon workshop, Ms. Furman helped lead the session, “Cooking and Baking: Grain Literacy in Schools,” that brought grains into the context of diverse teaching opportunities.  This workshop focused on literacy about traditional food and farming, wellness, and the meaning of cultural transmission. She joined Micah Roseberry from the Taos Farm House Cafe’, who has developed a very successful healthy and local foods lunch program in New Mexico.  

The trailer of a video documentary that features Mountain Song Community School’s Cooking Arts and Agricultural Arts programs was also shown at the conference.  Ms. Furman has been working with a team from UCCS who is making the documentary called “Grain to Institution.” In the trailer, Mountain Song was well represented, showing children cooking and gardening, and featuring comments from Ms. Furman and Ms. Elise Bowan, Agricultural Arts teacher.  The final documentary is expected to be completed in the next few months.

On the final day of the Grain School 2019 conference, Ms. Furman helped lead a session titled, “Looking into the Future: School Grains,” which was moderated by Dr. Nanna Meyer, Associate Professor in Health Sciences at UCCS.  

Well over 200 people attended the conference with speakers from all over the world, including Mexico, India, Ghana, and Japan, and from many prominent universities and research institutes.  The conference focused on exploring production systems and grain at the confluence of water, soil, climate, and people to create health, community and prosperity. It also highlighted indigenous grains, grain literacy in schools, economics and infrastructure needs, the roles of women and beginning farmers in grain production, and the artisanship of working with grain in food.

It is with pride that we see Mountain Song teachers, programs, and students so well recognized among this leading-edge group of professionals.  Well done, Ms. Furman!

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