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Sage School Students Prepare Feast as Part of Farm Study
Thursday, May 5, 2022


Sage School sophomores and juniors gained a new appreciation for the beef on their plate this fall as they traveled around southern Idaho learning about Idaho’s role in the nation’s food system. They studied nutrition and plant biology, produced podcasts about Idaho agriculture and completed food citizen action projects tackling gaps in local food systems.

“A standout moment for many of us was during our fall site visits to local farms when we got to visit a beef processing plant,” said student Cline Dolson. “Everyone found this super fascinating, and it was nice to see the whole spectrum of a cow's life from a small dairy to a large feedlot and everything in between.”

 Now, the students are taking what they learned by preparing a four-course farm-to-table dinner with locally sourced foods to raise money for The Hunger Coalition. A silent auction that will accompany the dinner will raise funds for The Sage School, a sixth-through 12th grade school that will move into its new campus in Quigley Canyon next fall.

The “Local Luxuries” dinner, which will show off the cooking skills the students learned at CK’s and  Dang’s, will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, May 13, at Mountain Humane.

The main fare is a brisket cooked in a red wine glaze on top of mashed potatoes. A vegetarian option is available, as well, along with salads, bread and appetizers. Tickets are available at

“The feast is a way to take everything we learned in one big project that’s community involved,” said student Asia Angel. “All the food is locally sourced. We cook everything, and we market the event. The silent auction includes gift cards from local businesses, a whitewater raft trip and a cutting board made by an alum.”

Over the course of the school year, the students asked such questions as: How is the American food system connected to the political, socio-economic, bio-chemical, environmental and cultural systems? They asked what role agriculture has played in the past and what role it will play in the future. And they asked how the food choices we make as an individual and/or society impact the world we live in.

They raised lettuce, spinach and kale in their greenhouse. And they made a proposal for a food truck that would pick up unused produce from local farmer’s markets to sell in Bellevue at under-market prices to help combat food insecurity.

Dolson said she especially enjoyed learning about regenerative agriculture and ranching, which focuses on regenerating topsoil by increasing biodiversity, integrating the water cycle and climate resilience into farming practices and incorporating livestock into the regenerative process.

The practice encompasses crop rotation, using cover crops to protect the soil, refraining from overgrazing and picking crops based on what nutrients the soil needs, said Dolson.

“It’s not one specific set of practices but is instead a system that focuses on healthy sustainable soil,” she added.

It’s important to protect the environmental health of the soil so that the soil can sequester more carbon, added Angel.


Angel said the study has taught her the value of treating meat as a luxury—not something that’s eaten all the time but a reliable source of protein that can be eating on occasion.

“This study made me more aware of my individual food choices and it made me appreciate my food more,” concurred Dolson.

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