(Brooklyn, NY, June 4, 2019) Seminary Hill Farm in Delaware, Ohio received Certified Naturally Grown designation during an educational conference for faith and agricultural leaders hosted at Methodist Theological School in Ohio, “On Food and Faith: Ministry in the Time of Climate Change." Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) is a nonprofit grassroots certification for local farmers who grow food naturally without synthetic chemicals or GMOs. Alice Varon, Executive Director CNG, was among those selected for the 2019 training cohort, and presented the certification during a pre-conference dinner held for the speakers at the conference.
Former Vice President Al Gore, founder and chairman of The Climate Reality Project, was the keynote presenter during this three-day training.
Seminary Hill Farm (SHF), on the campus of Methodist Theological School in Ohio (MTSO), is the first farm in Delaware County to obtain CNG certification. The farm brings MTSO’s ethos to practice by supporting local food access and providing a model for sustainability. SHF also provides 20% of the ingredients for MTSO’s dining hall, with the rest sourced entirely from local farmers.
A theological school with an on-campus farm and deep commitment to social justice was a natural choice of location for the faith-based, solution-oriented training on the intersections between food systems and the current climate crisis. The conference was also hosted by the Center for Earth Ethics, The Climate Reality Project, and the Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation at Ohio State University.
Farmer Tadd Petersen earned certification for Seminary Hill Farm after demonstrating practices that promote ecological balance and replenish the soil. “We are committed to growing food in a way that supports the earth and fights climate change,” Tadd said of his growing practices at SHF. “Certified Naturally Grown has verified our high standards, and helps build the movement by taking a peer-review approach to inspections. This model promotes knowledge exchange and community, which is an integral part of the work our graduates will go on to do.” Seminary Hill Farm is proud to join this international movement of nearly 800 family farmers across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.
“Seminary Hill Farm’s credo, ‘good food for all’ is in deep alignment with our values,” said Alice Varon, Executive Director of Certified Naturally Grown. “We lift up farmers who grow without synthetic chemicals or GMOs so they can thrive and provide high quality food for their communities. Being part of this year’s On Food and Faith training is an honor and an asset. We intend CNG’s programs to help strengthen farmers’ resilience and ability to counter climate change.” CNG’s mission is to advance sustainable agriculture through peer-review certification, grassroots networking, and advocacy.
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