Birmingham approves $805K to expand Jones Valley Teaching Farm programs

(Jones Valley Teaching Farm)

By a unanimous vote, the Birmingham City Council approved $805,000 in ARPA (American Rescue Plan) allocations to Jones Valley Teaching Farm (JVTF).

Support and Expand Good School Food Model

Over the next two years, the funding will support and expand JVTF’s Good School Food education and apprenticeship model which will accomplish the following objectives:

  • Expand access to JVTF’s Good School Food education and apprenticeship model to K-12 students across Birmingham via field trips and spring and summer camps at the Center for Food Education
  • Increase employment opportunities and on-the-job-training for Birmingham City Schools students and graduates 
  • Provide a healthier and more food resilient community through access to free produce and seedlings at the Center’s Farm Stand  

“Jones Valley Teaching Farm (JVTF) is incredibly grateful for the City of Birmingham and City Council’s investment in our work and shared belief in the power of food as a transformational tool for education, economic mobility, and building a healthier community. This critical funding is a direct investment in Birmingham youth and will allow us to expand our K-12 education, High School Internship, and Apprenticeship to all Birmingham City School students and graduates. We envision communities inspired by food and transformed by youth and we are honored to partner with the City.”

– Amanda Storey, Executive Director, Jones Valley Teaching Farm

Partnership with Birmingham City Schools

JVTF High School Interns (Jones Valley Teaching Farm)

What makes JVTF programs successful are its close partnership with Birmingham City Schools (BCS). Since 2012, the group has operated seven vibrant, student-centered Teaching Farms and a Good School Food education and apprenticeship model. The new funding will expand the model to every high school in the Birmingham system.

City Councilor Darrell O’Quinn is excited to see the program coming to schools such as Parker High School. 

“I’m particularly excited that Parker High School students will have an opportunity to take advantage of the Good School Food program through paid internships. Anyone familiar with Birmingham will know that Smithfield was an important focal point in the Civil Rights Movement. 60 years onward, access to healthy food now features large in any conversation on racial equity. Thus, it’s appropriate that we equip those growing up in the shadow of this history with the opportunity to address that challenge head on, either through an internship or apprenticeship after they graduate.”

Upcoming Farm Stand

Want to see JVTF in action?  Their Farm Stand located at the Center for Food Education (corner of 25th Street North and 7th Avenue North) opens April 11 and provides free produce and seedlings to the Birmingham community. 

The Farm Stand is open Monday – Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm and on Saturdays from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. 

Food Camps and Field Trips

JVTF is also currently registering students for Good School Food Camp Grow and field trips. The program provides experiential learning opportunities for students at the Center for Food Education. 

To learn more about Camp Grow opportunities this summer and field trips visit Camp Grow and Field Trips are free to all Birmingham City Schools students and scholarships for Camp Grow are available to all students that demonstrate financial need. 

For more information about Jones Valley Teaching Farm and the Center for Food Education, please visit

Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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