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Student-Centered Farm and Sustainable Food Systems Minor


Leslie Pillen,

About the Project

The Student-Centered Farm and Sustainable Food Systems Minor was funded by Penn State's Sustainability Institute's Reinvention Fund at the University Park campus.

The integrative design initiative for the Student-Centered Farm and Sustainable Food Systems Minor will engage the Penn State University community to create a shared vision and design for this new farm and minor. Program development and site design will evolve through an iterative process, with the goal of starting the first season of farm production in spring, 2016. Members of the Penn State and surrounding community are invited to participate in this visioning and planning process.
Why a Student Farm and Sustainable Food Systems Minor?
Penn State students, staff and faculty have expressed a strong interest in having access to a student farm for enhanced experiential education opportunities in the practices and principles of sustainability. Projected job growth in “local and regional food systems, capitalizing on climate change opportunities, developing renewable energy, and restoring and sustaining natural resources” (USDA 2010) further indicate the importance of increased educational opportunities in farm and food systems that incorporate sustainable, local/regional, small-scale, urban and alternative practices and pedagogy. 

Mission: The Sustainable Food Systems minor and Student-Centered Farm at Penn State will strategically link classroom education with experiential education and research to provide transformative learning opportunities in sustainable agriculture and food systems that foster leadership, teamwork, critical thinking and positive change among the Penn State and surrounding communities. It will be an educational, research and outreach facility open to interested students, faculty and staff from all programs. 

From the student farm committee: Please complete this short survey to support and steer efforts to create a sustainable student-centered farm. Your participation and forwarding to fellow students is greatly appreciated!

Latest News

  • A survey is being conducted in order ot gguage the type and degree of student interest in participating and contributing to a student-centered farm. The survey is open until Friday, Nov. 21.
  • Featured in The Daily Collegian: "Students, faculty developing local sustainable farm"
  • There are many opportunities for students, staff and faculty to get involved in planning and design during fall 2014 and spring 2015. Contact us if you are interested in contributing to the initiative through a class or student club project.
  • The first series of visioning meetings for Penn State faculty, staff and students were very successful. Two meetings in June hosted almost 50 faculty and staff from a diverse range of colleges and departments. A meeting in May hosted 15 undergraduate and graduate students. Announcements about future meetings will be coming soon!

Visit the Student Farm website

Reinvention Fund Home