The Virgin Islands Sustainable Farm Institutehas been chosen as a finalist for the Geotourism Challenge 2009: the Power of Place.

The mission of the Virgin Islands Sustainable Farm Institute is to provide a working educational farm enterprise that integrates sustainability in education, environment, and community through quality instruction in Agroecology and related fields.

VISFI combines experiential learning, outdoor lecture, field laboratories, personal and group research projects, leadership development, and local environmental awareness into a comprehensive educational experience.

VISFI promotes the development of agroecology: an innovative field of agriculture that enjoins productivity with resource conservation, using ecological and indiginous management models to create sustainable life systems. They believe local, organic agriculture and a practical educational experience are the first steps toward building vital communities and achieving long term sustainability within a healthy environment. These beliefs led to the establishment of their Four Pillars: Education, Sustainability, Community, and Environment. They use these focal points to guide decisions that will promote their farm’s vision.

In the future, VISFI hopes to create a global network of small farm and educational farm campuses to facilitate the sharing of information, ideas, and sustainable agriculture and resource management technologies.

VISFI has been selected by a panel of distinguished international judges as a top 10 finalist in the global National Geographic Geotourism Challenge, a competition to find the world’s best geotourism innovators. VISFI entered the Virgin Islands Youth Heritage Exchange Farm Excursions, which was was created to spark a heritage renaissance among the youth leaders of Virgin Islands with nature-based skills of survival, organic food production, and cultural mentoring.

The organization asks all supporters to vote. “Now that the contest voting is open for us remaining finalists, your vote is absolutely critical for the VI Youth Heritage Exchange Program (locally known as Natural Mentors) to win the challenge amid a field that started with over 600 entries from 81 countries world-wide. Please take 5-10 minutes and visit the competition website to view our entry and vote! Your support will enhance our ability to further our purpose of “seeding beneficial relationships to inspire abundance, creativity and joy” through new programs, events, workshops, and classes.

HOW TO VOTE:

1) Go to the Competition Website link below, create an account and confirm your email.

2) Click the “VOTE” tab in the menu bar on the competition website and pick your top three favorites.

We send heartfelt thanks to our partners including Crucian Heritage and Nature Tourism (CHANT), Anne Marie Gibbs and other heroic schoolteachers, the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands, Lana Vento Charitable Trust, and the VI Department of Tourism’s “My Community” program. Most of all, we thank our young natural mentors who keep us inspired!”

Competition Website (go here to vote):

http://geotourism.changemakers.com/en-us/node/24143

This is a great organization here in St Croix and they need our support!