Contemporary Issues Forum ~ Planting Hope Beyond Your Back Yard ~ Florence Reed
September 24th – September 26th
as part of the Contemporary Issues Forum.
Planting Hope Beyond Your Back Yard: How sustainable farming can end poverty and deforestation
This presentation begins with a look at the global and local impacts of slash-and burn agriculture in the tropics. It then focuses on Sustainable Harvest International’s unique and successful model for reversing this harmful trend.
The talk goes on to show how this simple approach helps to alleviate poverty, reverse deforestation, mitigate global climate change, decrease illegal immigration, reduce pollution and much more.
The talk ends with a brief synopsis of how audience members can get involved.
Florence Reed believes that when people work together, things change for the better. This belief led her to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer in Panama in the early nineties. In 1997, Reed founded Sustainable Harvest International (SHI), a nonprofit organization dedicated to working with rural Central American communities to implement sustainable farming practices. As President of the organization, Reed divides her time between helping shape the future of programs in Central America and gathering resources in the United States, bringing together farmers and donors to create a better future. In recent years she has received an honorary doctorate for her work, along with many awards such as the Yves Rocher Women of the Earth award, Traditional Home Classic Woman award, Garden Club of America Distinguished Service award and etown E-Chievement award. In 2009, Florence was painted by artist Robert Shetterly as part of his renowned Americans Who Tell The Truth portrait series. In November 2011, Florence was named a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow by The Council of Independent Colleges and in June 2012, Florence was presented with the National Peace Corps Association’s prestigious Sargent Shriver Award for Distinguished Humanitarian Service.
Sustainable Harvest International’s mission is to provide farming families in Central America with the training and tools to preserve our planet's tropical forests while overcoming poverty. SHI has worked with families in rural farming communities in Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama since 1997. Using organic vegetable gardens, wood-conserving stoves, biogas digesters and a host of other projects, SHI's local field trainers work together with families, individuals and communities to restore the environment while dramatically improving their quality of life.