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Editorial: Thumbs up for Innovation Challenge, mulching Manchester Valley, more

Thumbs up: Two Boots Farm in Hampstead is part of the Future Harvest in Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture beginner-farmer training program.

The program teaches participants how to farm sustainably for the environment and for their communities. The organization provides a 10 week classroom series and hands-on training at one of 13 training farms.

The program teaches participants how to farm sustainably for the environment and for their communities, through a 10-week classroom series and hands-on training at one of 13 training farms, like Two Boots. The idea is to help grow the next generation of farmers with the average age of those in agriculture increasing. Participants are required to work at their training farm for an average of 200 hours during the growing season. Two Boots owner Elisa Lane is a graduate of the program and now working as a mentor.

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Thumbs up: Nicole Rutherford took first place at the inaugural McDaniel College Innovation Challenge Finals, bringing her $10,000 closer to her dream of opening her own wellness center. The event brought five teams of McDaniel students head-to-head Monday evening as they pitched their proposals in a battle for a trio of cash prizes.

Nicole Rutherford, a McDaniel senior from Westminster, has dreamed of opening her own wellness center since she was 16. That dream just got $10,000 closer to reality as she took home the first place prize at the inaugural McDaniel College Innovation Challenge Finals Monday evening.

Rutherford described her plans for Flourished, a beauty and wellness center that would feature a team of specialists working with clients on their health and beauty goals. Her experience, five years in the beauty industry, is what most impressed some of the judges making her the winner.

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Thumbs up: Carroll County Farm Museum will have its first School of the Soldier on April 30 to help educate young people about Civil War history through re-enactments.

Looking for a way to educate youngsters about Civil War history, re-enactor Bill McElwee approached the Carroll County Farm Museum to help organize a School of the Soldier. The inaugural event, for children ages 10 to 13, will be held Saturday, April 30, at the museum in Westminster.

Bill McElwee, a re-enactor from Baltimore County, approached Farm Museum leaders about organizing the event, which fits in with the museum's educational mission, director Joanne Weant said. The event, aimed at middle-school-aged kids, is unique because children typically can't participate in re-enactments until they are 14 or take the field with a weapon until 16. This event will allow them to partake in a simulated battle scrimmage. Children ages 10-13 can register by April 22 by calling 800-654-4645.

Thumbs up: Students from North Carroll Middle School took part in a project Thursday to spread mulch, and a bit of goodwill, at Manchester Valley High School. The project was part of a broader effort by the Carroll County Outdoor School to put information about stormwater runoff, erosion and animal habitats into action. The sixth-graders, who spend their week at the school, do a good deed, get their hands dirty and give themselves a lasting lesson in environmental awareness.

All Carroll County sixth-graders spend five days at the Outdoor School learning how to prevent runoff and erosion, filter water and create habitat for animals. Each group completes an action project, like mulching.
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