Back to Nature
2023 October Back to Nature: DAIRY FARM Report
Date: October 14
Location: Hachioji, Tokyo
Participants: 3 campers, 1 care worker, 8 LITs, 5 Mirai no Mori staff, 7 sponsors
Sponsor: Akamai Technologies
On a cool and pleasant autumn day, we held a dairy farm program at Isonuma Farm in Tokyo.
LITs were also part of the team this time, and they were divided into three teams to introduce ourselves and come up with team names. The LITs, who always lead the Mirai-no-Mori programs, were in charge of explaining things within their teams. The theme of this program was “If I were to start a business, what kind of farm would it be?”
The team explored the innovations and features of Isonuma Farm and, referring to them, thought carefully about what kind of farm they would like to create, discussed it, and finally presented their ideas to Mr. Isonuma. They discussed how to raise funds, the purpose of management, and even social issues, with a variety of opinions flying around. The teams’ opinions were varied: “To make it a tourist farm, we want to build it in a place with good accessibility,” “We want to attract tourists by providing a Ferris wheel, restaurants, and a variety of animals,” and “We aim for local production for local consumption, not for profit, to help the town revitalize itself.”
For lunch, we had white curry which Mr. Isonuma had been wanting to make for years and freshly squeezed milk to drink! The mild white curry with milk from the cows on the farm was so delicious that many people had second helpings.
In the afternoon, we had a milk-squeezing experience, butter making, and interview time at the same time. The participants heard about Mr. Isonuma’s passion for the farm, which was special to hear, and each team milked the cow. We also made butter and everyone enjoyed the freshly made butter with crackers and yogurt.
Afterwards, LITs interviewed sponsors, and campers interviewed LITs and presented their interviews one by one. They each asked what kind of company or organization they are in, what is rewarding and what the actual position and activities are like. Everyone was able to present what they had learned in their own words, and their willingness to listen to each other was also excellent, making it a very meaningful time.
“Each LIT was so cool and passionate, it made me want to try joining the program too!” by camper
“It was my first time to participate in a Mirai no Mori program and I was nervous at first, but the people around me were so kind to me that I was able to enjoy today’s program! I want to come back again!” by camper
“When I joined a team with a camper, as a LIT, it was very difficult to switch between leading and watching over, and I used my brain a lot more than in my usual program. I realized how hard it is to lead a team.” by LIT
“This kind of program was very new to me. It was a little bit like studying at school, and there were some parts I struggled with, but it was good to be able to discuss things thoroughly with everyone. And the proactive attitude of the first-time campers was impressive!” by LIT
“I’m so glad I was able to bring our first-time camper to this very special program.” by care worker
“I was so impressed by the way all the LITs worked so hard to present what they had interviewed, one by one, that it almost brought tears to my eyes. It was so wonderful that I wanted to make a video of it and air it at my company!” by sponsor
“I was overwhelmed by the power of the young people! I could feel how big their potential is, and I was inspired by them too!” by sponsor
Thank you to everyone at Isonuma Farm, our sponsors, and everyone who supported us.