MNPS Employee To Represent US In Global Summit To End Hunger

Posted at 6:30 PM, Jun 11, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-09 02:18:30-04

LEBANON, Tenn. - One in six Americans goes hungry every single day. Of those who have access to food in Middle Tennessee, 91 percent said they buy inexpensive, unhealthy food just to get by according to the Second Harvest Food Bank. A local farmer is on a quest to change those numbers.

“I didn't know where my food came from,” Beverley Flatt remembered. “I knew I could go to the grocery store and pick up a tomato and grab a six pack of chicken breasts. But beyond that it didn't concern me how it got to there.”

Now on any given day you can find the 25-year-old on her 100-plus acre farm in Lebanon.

“The average age of a farmer today is 55-years-old and that has to change if we want to continue to provide our own food and fuel and fiber here in America,” Flatt said.

That's why Flatt joined her husband and in-laws in establishing Flatt Rock Farms.

“We try to raise as much food that will eventually be in the grocery stores and on the tables of Americans and people around the world.”

They have cattle, goats, chicken and produce but it’s not enough to pay the bills.

“I do have a day job,” Flatt said. “So I work full time for Metro Nashville Public Schools as the Academies of Nashville Program Manager.”

She works with the zoned high schools and does marketing, communications and whatever else is necessary to help students graduate on time. It makes for long days, but in Metro Schools nearly 75 percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunch.

“Working in Metro Nashville Public Schools has reinforced our dream and desire to be a part of feeding the world.”

Her work has earned Flatt a spot as only one of four delegates to represent the United States at the 2015 Global Youth Ag-Summit in Canberra, Australia. One hundred young adults, representing 33 countries will gather at the end of August to discuss the theme of “Feeding a Hungry Planet.”

It’s a topic Flatt is already trying to address right here at home.

“I've discovered this is my mission in life. I'm meant to feed people.”

At Flatt Rock Farms they're trying to do their part, one seed at a time.