Apply to Join the 2020 ASAN Youth Council
Deadline: Tuesday, March 10, 2020, 11:59PM Central Time
About the Youth Council
The Youth Council (YC) is comprised of 6-10 youth (ages 14-21) from around the state who help to plan and develop the Youth Food & Farm Forum. YC members have the opportunity to build skills in event planning, communication, outreach, and leadership, and to build collaborative relationships with other youth around the state, all while working towards the successful execution of a statewide event.
The 2019 Youth Food & Farm Forum attendees
About the Food & Farm Forum and ASAN
The Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network (ASAN) is a grassroots network whose mission is to deepen relationships among the people of Alabama, the food we eat, and the place we live. ASAN was formed by bringing together farmers and other members of the local food system – to share knowledge, resources, challenges, and solutions, but also to create space for shared community and social support. ASAN reaches over 3000 farms, ranches, farmers markets, businesses, nonprofits, government agencies, and households.

For many years, the (adult) Food & Farm Forum has been the primary annual gathering of ASAN’s statewide network of farmers, gardeners, community leaders, and good food advocates. Approximately 200 diverse participants from across the state convene for a weekend of community-building and fellowship combined with peer-to-peer, hands-on learning in the form of workshops, panel discussions, and breakout conversations.
About the Youth Food & Farm Forum
In 2018, alongside the (adult) Food & Farm Forum, for the first time ever we held a Youth Food & Farm Forum geared towards youth ages 14-21. The Youth Forum was planned, promoted, and executed by our Youth Forum Coordinator in collaboration with a six-member Youth Council from around the state. The second Youth Forum was held in December 2019, planned by our 2019 YC.

Each Youth Forum had about 25 youth attendees. YC members (and other youth) led sessions on topics ranging from food forests to soap making to backyard chickenkeeping. Other YC members contributed by coordinating guest presenters or facilitating the youth-only opening/closing sessions.

One of ASAN’s core beliefs is that a resilient agricultural system must be intergenerational. Our main objectives in implementing the Youth Food & Farm Forum are:
1. to empower and inspire young attendees from throughout our state to cultivate interest in agriculture and food systems and
2. to intentionally create space within our organizing in which youth are heard, valued, meaningfully involved, and encouraged to take up leadership.
What's New in 2020
In year three of the Youth Council and Youth Forum, we’ll start off the YC’s year with an in-person overnight training/orientation, to build connectivity and a solid shared foundation. (Remaining meetings will be held via Zoom videoconference.) The target attendance for the Youth Forum is also larger, between 40-50.
Youth Council Responsibilities
Youth Council members are required to attend the in-person overnight training/orientation in April (exact dates and location TBD), and the Youth Forum Dec 10-12, 2020 (location TBD). All registration and lodging costs will be waived as part of their service to the Council. (They may also receive a travel stipend, if funds allow.)

The YC will meet, along with the Youth Forum Coordinator, for regular (roughly monthly) video-meetings via Zoom. At these meetings the YC and the Coordinator will make decisions regarding the topics/presenters to be featured at the Youth Forum, create and roll out a strategy for effective outreach and promotion, and oversee logistics relating to registration, lodging, and more.

All YC members are required to complete a “leadership project” related to the Youth Forum – leading a session/workshop, coordinating social activities, facilitating outreach/promotion, or some other project of their choosing, developed in conjunction with the other YC members and the Youth Forum Coordinator. YC members participate fully in the Forum while also serving as go-to point people for the Youth Forum Coordinator, should the need for any last-minute event-related decision-making arise.

Youth Council members receive a stipend equivalent to $80/month, in recognition of their time and work.
Qualifications
• Young person (age 14-21) with a passion for sustainable agriculture, local food, land stewardship, food justice, and community organizing as ways to build community and improve our ecosystem, economy, and society. Extensive past experience with these topics is welcome but not required – just an interest and a desire to learn more!

• Community engagement skills, and interest in engaging your peers/community members around sustainable agriculture, local food systems, food justice, and grassroots organizing

• Ability to work respectfully with a wide range of groups and individuals, including LGBTQ+ (lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender/queer/questioning+) people, people of different races and political backgrounds, and people with disabilities

• Time, willingness, and ability to spend 5-15 hours per month on Youth Council work, including:
◦ Attending an overnight orientation in April (exact dates and location TBD)
◦ Preparing for and participating fully in monthly (virtual) meetings
◦ Completing independent work between meetings, with support from the Youth Forum Coordinator
◦ Attending the entirety of the Youth Food & Farm Forum December 10-12, 2020 (location TBD).
Deadline to apply: Tuesday March 10, 2020, 11:59pm
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