Escoffier School partners with the American Farm Bureau’s nearly 6m member families
The Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts (Escoffier), claimed to be the largest culinary school brand in the United States, has joined up with the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) to support the connection between farmers, ranchers and the culinary industry with education-focused programmes, interactive events, and training sessions.
The new national collaboration is a joint effort whereby AFBF will offer Escoffier students unprecedented opportunities to interact with farmers across the country to better understand and experience sustainable farming practices and innovations in agriculture, including virtual learning sessions.
In addition, the ‘culinary-farmer’ collaboration includes Escoffier’s participation in AFBF’s convention; ‘Target Training’ conference; its ‘Amplify Agriculture’ online series, as well as networking events. Escoffier also becomes the preferred culinary school of AFBF for the duration of the relationship.
Sharing advances and innovations
“This new alliance opens the door for us to cultivate meaningful relationships with aspiring chefs and culinary thought leaders and share advances and innovations in farming,” said AFBF president Zippy Duvall. “Farmers and ranchers produce the food that chefs choose and prepare every day. We look forward to sharing our stories and perspectives with those writing the menus that shape consumer dining trends.”
With nearly six million member families and 2,800 county farm bureaux, AFBF is America’s largest general farm organisation. AFBF’s national promotion and education committee will lead the collaborative effort for the federation. The committee works to equip grass roots farmers and ranchers with the tools to increase consumer awareness and understanding of agriculture.
AFBF has influence in government circles but the work of the federation stems beyond policy issues and it has been engaged in driving sustainability practices. Duvall said: “We take great care to make sure our farms are in better shape for the next generation than when we received them. We’ve always done so, but now we’re talking about it a lot more, and implementing new solutions to protect the land and water we rely on for our lives and our livelihoods.”
Escoffier currently has more than 7,300 students and is the largest culinary school brand in the US, with campuses in Austin, Texas and Boulder, Colorado, as well as degree and diploma programmes offered online.
The collaboration offers farmers and ranchers a new platform to promote their sustainability and CSR efforts, which kicked off on 10 August with a free (and open to the public) AFBF ‘Amplify Agriculture’ online episode called Sowing Seeds of Knowledge: Exploring the Essential Collaboration between Farmers and Culinary Education. Escoffier provost and Boulder Campus president Kirk T. Bachmann and director of education Stephanie Michalak White were interviewed and available for a live question and answer session.
Bachmann said: “It is essential to understand where our food comes from, how it’s grown and produced, and who better than farmers and ranchers to bring lessons on agriculture and best practices to life. Escoffier’s commitment to farm-to-table and teaching sustainable practices is a natural fit with the goals of Farm Bureau members who are passionate about conveying the significance of agriculture. We are grateful for this opportunity to work together.”
Escoffier is the only US-accredited institution to offer 100% online culinary degrees that include culinary classes and hands-on industry externships. It was ranked among the top 10 culinary schools in the United States by USA Today in 2019 and number one in the world by Chef’s Pencil in 2020.
The school’s professional programmes offer a combination of a classic and contemporary approach to industry skills training as well as a sustainability-centred and business-focused curriculum. Escoffier’s Diploma programs cover pastry arts, food entrepreneurship and plant-based culinary arts, Associate of Applied Science degrees in culinary arts, pastry arts, and Associate of Occupational Studies degrees in culinary arts, baking and pastry, plant-based culinary arts, hospitality and restaurant operations management, holistic nutrition, and wellness and food entrepreneurship.