Hanover County girl scout and agricultural trailblazer wins national honor

8News Digital Exclusive

She created a curriculum for chickens and new breed of bird

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Tackling challenges facing the community is a goal of the Girl Scouts of the USA. For one local Girl Scout who embraces that mission, her initiative garnered her national attention.

Gracie Goodpasture of Hanover County won the National Gold Award — one of the highest honors a Girl Scout can receive.

“The Gold Award is like the highest award a Girl Scout can get,” Goodpasture said. “It’s like the Eagle Scout of the Boy Scouts.”

“We’re thrilled Grace received national recognition for her leadership in addressing a community challenge in such an innovative way.”

Molly T. Fuller, Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Goodpasture was one of only 10 winners across every U.S. state and territory, but how did she win?

“I created a curriculum for chickens,” Goodpasture explained.

Over 23 million people in the United States living in food deserts where healthy food options being highly limited. Gracie’s determination to change that was strong enough to help her create a program in her high school.

She was able to teach students the importance of farm table living and green technology, as well as implementing incubators to help teach children how to hatch, care for and raise chickens.

Students learning from Gracie’s program at The Steward School

“Once the chicks hatched they studied them for about two weeks, then I took them back here and raised them ’til they were old enough to go into a coop,” said Goodpasture.

The coop was built with the help of the Girl Scouts of the Commonwealth of Virginia, who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to change the world.

Goodpasture also created a new breed of chicken. These chicks, appropriately named ‘Goodpasture Chickens,’ were bred specifically by Gracie to be able to sustain winters, be a better source of protein for human consumption and have an overall tastier egg.

The impact her curriculum had on students reached far beyond her own school, as the program has now become the state standard for teaching agriculture in Virginia classrooms.

Her incredible efforts were even recognized by Gov. Ralph Northam and Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

Gracie Goodpasture and Gov. Ralph Northam (2019)

Goodpasture says she has every intention of remaining a life-long member of the Girl Scouts. She also has dreams of one day starting a non-profit of her own.

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