Skip to content

‘The Science and the Beauty': A Farm-to-Table Story

About This Video

This short film is part of a yearlong Chronicle visual series that highlights the challenges facing first-generation students and others. The series is part of the Different Voices of Student Success project, which is supported by the Ascendium Education Group.

The film was shot and edited by the filmmaker and photographer Horatio Baltz. Carmen Mendoza, a senior web producer at The Chronicle, assisted in the web production. Senior Photo and Media Editor Erica Lusk directed the project.

How much do Americans understand about the land on which we depend for food? How does education contribute to an appreciation of agriculture? The farm-to-table movement, which promotes direct sourcing of fresh, locally grown ingredients for communities, has helped foster greater interest in learning about and valuing where our food comes from. Colleges play a key role in developing, supporting, and appreciating that movement, and, through agricultural programs and cooperative extension services, farming in general. This short film explores how ancestral knowledge, education and awareness, research, innovation, community engagement, and entrepreneurship foster food production and distribution, through the stories of several Louisianans with ties to Southern University and A&M College, in Baton Rouge.

Nicholas Victorian, from 4Vics Farms LLC, in New Roads, La., began his career by attending free agriculture workshops at Southern U. “It’s all about the knowledge,” he observes about sustainable farming.

Lanie Vernon, a Southern U. alumnus, stresses the importance of educating younger generations about self-sustainability and growing food. A master gardener, he notes, “We live on this planet, so we try to be good stewards of the planet.”

L’Asia George, who hails from a farm family, recently graduated from Southern U. Her studies brought her closer to her agricultural roots and inspired her to help organize a campus farmers’ market. Today, she teaches her community about nutrition and health. “My world opened up through research with agriculture, and it brought me back here. And I was able just to see the science and the beauty,” she says.