2014 Capstone Presentations

Description & Materials


A Young Farmer’s Guide to Sustainable Farm Management
Emily Lawrence will explain how to start and manage a farm that’s healthy for the environment, your finances, and for you. The guide will include advice from local farmers.

A Young Farmers Guide

Building Ecosystems: Pest Management through Intentional Garden Design
Nick Faircloth’s research focuses on garden design that promotes populations of beneficial insects in an ecosystem that controls for pests. The presentation will include suggestions for growers of all scales and include an example of such a design at the AMS farm.


Finding Food and Empowerment in our Food System
Emily Sullivan shares her experience in starting critical conversations through food and gardening with the youth of Highland County.

Skills and Skillets: Wellness through Nutrition and Culinary Education
Kelly Lecko explores the possibilities, strategies, and existing programs which empower youth to think critically, engage in a positive relationship with their bodies, and build lifelong skills. 

AMS Capstone Cookbook

Flour Power: Bike Based Alternative Energy for Farm Use
Aaron Burkholder and Thea Klein-Mayer will present their investigation of alternative energies on the farm, including a scalable demonstration of alternative energy in the form of a bike powered grain mill.

Strength in Microbes: A Guide to Improving Soil Health
Samantha Taggart offers advice on how to improve and maintain the health of soils used for agricultural production. Analyzing several common soil problems, she has created a book that provides methods for how to cultivate microbiological diversity in the soil and build ecological resistance.

Strength In Microbes

Save the Rain: Water Catchment and Management
Shannon Mathews will present her research on water harvesting and the rising importance of the way humans manage, design, and think about water systems. The presentation will reflect a small-scale water project that captures rainwater from the chicken coop to automatically water the farm’s chickens.





Find out about the events, workshops, farming and life as an AMS Fellow.

Allegheny Mountain School (AMS) is a project of The Highland Center, located in Monterey, Virginia. It’s mission is to serve all citizens of Highland County by being a catalyst for cultural and economic development, and to preserve a historic landmark as a symbol of unity and community pride. [Read More]

Story.Dawn1 Read about this season’s workshops and instructors.


Allegheny Mountain School PartnersPhase II of the AMS Fellowship is spent working for a non-profit for one year.

In 2014, AMS Senior Fellows will be working for these organizations in our region focused on local food, conservation and strengthening communities.

City Schoolyard Garden
Project Grows
New Community Project
Valley Conservation Council
Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind

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