Blue Mountain Academy Announces Potential Partnership With Rodale

Blue Mountain Academy Announces Potential Partnership With Rodale

Today Blue Mountain Academy (BMA) leadership announced that they are in discussions with Rodale Institute, about developing a partnership with the school.

Story by V. Michelle Bernard

Rodale, a prominent nonprofit dedicated to organic farming research and outreach, is located in nearby Kutztown, Pa. Aaron Weber, director of operations and vocational education at the Hamburg, Pa., school, says that possible outcomes could include students volunteering at the Rodale Institute or Rodale sponsored events, Rodale providing consulting to the school as they work toward organic certification, onsite training by Rodale staff and summer internships for BMA students at Rodale.

A small store on the Blue Mountain Academy sells seasonal herbs and produce.

A small store on the Blue Mountain Academy sells seasonal herbs and produce.

Weber reports that BMA’s farm already has free range, non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) laying hens, two greenhouses, two orchards and two and a half acres of organic vegetable and herb gardens. They also grow berries and 20 acres of hay by organic methods. “We have steadily increased the amount of BMA-grown food we use in the cafeteria; the amount varies depending on the time of year,” he adds.

Stephen Reese, vice president of finance at BMA, says, “We’re very enthusiastic about the potential partnership with Rodale.  We believe that it would not only become a beneficial part of our vocational education program, but it also would increase our income based on utilizing our land for organic cultivation.”

Feature Photo: Stephen Reese; Aaron Weber; a Rodale representative;, Kojo Asanti, agriculture supervisor; Claudine Morana, BMA student; David Morgan, BMA principal; and a Rodale representative meet to discuss a potential partnership between Blue Mountain Academy and Rodale Institute. Photo courtesy Blue Mountain Academy

Aaron Weber moves bales of organic hay at Blue Mountain Academy.

Aaron Weber moves bales of organic hay at Blue Mountain Academy.