It’s becoming increasingly popular for colleges, particularly those with agriculture or sustainability programs, to develop and operate sustainable farms and allow students to play a big role. College farms were once just a place where students could research and learn, but now most of them are fully-functioning providers of food to the community and jobs for students. Whether you’re hands-on studying agriculture or getting your online biology degree, you might be interested in lending a hand at your local college farm, so let’s put 5 of our country’s most impressive college farms in the spotlight.
California State University’s Chico University Farm
It’s no surprise that one (or many) of the best college farms in the US is located in sunny California. CSU’s Chico Farm has been in operation since 1960, so it has lots of experience and growth under its belt. This 800 acre farm offers organic vegetables and dairy as well as orchards and meats like beef and swine. It employs more than 35 students part-time at any given time, and these students play a big role in even the highest levels of operation. They sell their meat to local restaurants and consumers, and the fruits and vegetables make their way to the tables of the university’s dining hall.
Warren Wilson College Farm
Anyone who has attended Warren Wilson, located in Asheville, NC, knows that the school focuses heavily on the connected Work, Service, and Academics structure. Their farm plays a big role in delivering on this. The 275-acre farm is home to livestock and a mix of crops so students can learn about what it takes to provide grass-based beef and pork, as well as a number of different vegetables, all of which are sold in the farm’s store and served at the dining hall.
University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus Cornercopia Student Organic Farm
The University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus uses its Cornercopia Student Organic Farm as a place to teach students to work together, grow sustainable crops, and feed the community nutritiously. This 3-acre farm is certified organic and puts out more than a hundred different kinds of produce. Born in 2004, this farm was started by students and continues to be run by students.
Middlebury College Farm
At Middlebury College in Vermont, students can learn about the importance of best food production practices by interning or volunteering on the farm. Student interns and volunteers manage operations, maintain production, and work in sales on this two-acre plot. The Middlebury community can purchase a CSA share, but the farm also provides food to the school’s dining services.
Washington State University Eggert Family Organic Farm
In Pullman, Washington lives this 30-acre farm which employs both students of the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences and members of the community. The farm also offers an Organic Gardening Intensive which anyone can attend to better their home gardening skills. The harvested organic fruit and vegetables, which are the main focus of Eggert Farm, are offered to CSA members and the school.