My name is Nina Merrill and I am a senior at Colgate University. I am currently interning with Laura Batcha, the Director of Marketing and Public Relations at the Organic Trade Association in Greenfield, MA. This summer, I have been given the opportunity to create a blog that I hope will encourage the development of organic food programs on college campuses nationwide. It is my theory that by facilitating a round-table discussion where students can share the successes and pitfalls of their organic campus initiatives, others will be empowered to take proactive steps in improving the quality of their campus dining.
The blog, titled Organic on the Green, gives students the opportunity to network with other students from around the country who have similar goals and concerns. You can access the blog by going to www.organiconthegreen.wordpress.com. It features essays from students on the front lines of making college dining more sustainable and includes postings that address such diverse topics as local vs. organic, recycling on college campuses, student run gardens and CSAs, and college farmers markets. A new entry is posted by a different student each Monday and Thursday. In only its second month, Organic on the Green is picking up speed and attracting more and more regular viewers and contributors! This blog was created with the hopes of becoming a forum, so all are welcome to read and respond with their own personal anecdotes and opinions.
I am also working on a "how to" dining guide for students who hope to bring more organic food to their university or college. It will call upon the topics discussed on the blog as well as highlight the initiatives of some of the most influential students on the sustainable campus circuit. This guide will include a comprehensive explanation of organic, how to begin an organic campus initiative (i.e. developing an organizational framework, raising awareness about organic and your organization etc.), strategies for interacting with dining services, media outreach, other ways to bring organic to campus, and methods to achieve organic certification in your cafeteria. It will be available on OTAs website, www.ota.com and on the blog organiconthegreen in the next few months.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the guide or if you are interested in posting an entry on the blog! I hope you will all become regular contributors!
All the best,
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