WALPOLE — The application period has opened for a scholarship geared toward children interested in farming, gardening or both.

The Jeffrey P. Smith Farm Scholarship endeavors to connect young people with agriculture and the natural world around them. Through this scholarship, the Monadnock Localvores hope to inspire the next generation of local farmers and local food supporters, by giving regional children an opportunity, through summer camp, after-school programs or membership to Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Hampshire, to experience sustainable farming practices first-hand and watch their efforts bear fruit.

The Cheshire County Conservation District is accepting applications for 2020 as well as donations to the scholarship fund. Applications are due by March 31 and donations are accepted throughout the year.

Jeff Smith, a former member of the Monadnock Localvore Steering Committee, was an enthusiastic supporter of sustainability and local agriculture. He believed in the connection of all living things, and stressed the importance of working in harmony with the systems of the universe.

The scholarship program in his name was initiated in August 2009, to send children to an area farm camp to discover the rewards that come from cultivating with one’s hands and heart.

For more information, to request application material, or to donate to the scholarship fund, contact the Cheshire County Conservation District at 756-2988, extension 4, or amanda@cheshireconservation.org.