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September 19,2017 - Babcock Ranch hosts 330 UF/IFAS extension agents for luncheon and training
Fort Myers Florida Weekly

September 13, 2017

Babcock Ranch, a new solar powered town being developed by Kitson & Partners in Charlotte County off Florida State Road 31, hosted 330 University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/ IFAS) Extension Agents for a luncheon and individualized in-service training. UF/ IFAS is a federal-state-county partnership dedicated to developing knowledge in agriculture, human and natural resources, and the life sciences, and enhancing and sustaining the quality of human life by making that information accessible. UF/ IFAS has developed an international reputation for its accomplishments in teaching, research and Extension and has facilities located throughout Florida.

Top: Chef David Rashty and his team prepared a luncheon featuring farm-to-table ingredients for 330 University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension Agents who visited Babcock Ranch for individualized in-service training. Above Left: Table & Tap Chef David Rashty is working with the Babcock Neighborhood School to provide farm-totable healthy foods for the school lunch program. Above Right: UF/IFAS Extension Agents from every county in the state attended the in-service training event and learned firsthand why Babcock Ranch is considered a living laboratory for how towns of the future can be designed.

Top: Chef David Rashty and his team prepared a luncheon featuring farm-to-table ingredients for 330 University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension Agents who visited Babcock Ranch for individualized in-service training.

 

Below: Table & Tap Chef David Rashty is working with the Babcock Neighborhood School to provide farm-to-table healthy foods for the school lunch program.

 

 

 

Above: UF/IFAS Extension Agents from every county in the state attended the in-service training event and learned firsthand why Babcock Ranch is considered a living laboratory for how towns of the future can be designed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Extension Agents from every county in the state attended the event and learned firsthand why Babcock Ranch is considered a living laboratory for environmental sustainability, the integration of local farm-to-table food sources, the use of advanced technologies such as solar power, autonomous cars, and ultrahigh speed internet, and fostering personalized connections with nature in daily living. After touring the new town and lunching at Table & Tap, Babcock’s lakefront restaurant that serves locally sourced farm-to-table cuisine, the agents attended breakout sessions focused on their individual disciplines, including land development, solar power generation, and food sourcing among others.

“The food sourcing session was of particular interest to the Agents,” said Babcock Ranch Food and Beverage Director Matt Seiler. “The food served at Table & Tap and the Babcock Neighborhood School is locally sourced. Much of the restaurant’s produce comes from a neighborhood garden that is literally five minutes away. The garden fits into Table & Tap’s farm-to-table motif perfectly. We’ll be making produce from the garden available to customers at the Slater’s Goods & Provisions market that is nearing completion downtown. As the Extension Agents learned, it’s a great model that can be emulated in other towns.”

Table & Tap Chef David Rashty is working with the Babcock Neighborhood School to provide farm-to-table healthy foods for the school lunch program. All proteins included in school lunches come from Circle C Farms in Felda, about 45 minutes away. Fish served at Table & Tap and at the school is sustainable, and he has partnered with Greener Fields Together for additional produce. Meals featured in the first few weeks of school include chicken and butternut squash coconut curry over rice, pulled pork sliders, cheese calzones using basil from the on-site garden, and a beef burrito bowl. Babcock honey is the healthy alternative in any recipes calling for sugar, and the school is participating in the “Meatless Mondays” national campaign that is focused on reducing environmental impacts and promoting sustainable food.

To learn more about the solar powered town being created by Kitson & Partners at Babcock Ranch, visit babcockranch.com.

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