The Organic Farmer Training Program at the MSU Student Organic Farm offers nine months of intensive instruction in year-round organic farming. The program focuses on diversified production of vegetables, livestock, flowers, fruits and herbs for local markets. Participants manage all aspects of a 15-acre certified organic farm, including passive solar greenhouses used for year-round production in cold climates. Participants also manage the Student Organic Farm's field and hoophouse production. Produce is grown for the farm’s primary markets, including a 48-week CSA, seven-month on-campus farm stand, and sales to campus dining services.
Participants develop competencies in farm skills and business planning through skills trainings, individual advising meetings and engagement in the daily operation of the farm. Hands-on training is combined with workshops, lectures, readings and assignments that build participants’ knowledge and understanding of organic farming principles and practices. The program is designed to give participants a strong background in production skills as well as the knowledge, management, and decision-making skills necessary to operate a diversified small farming business.
Merit and need-based scholarships are made possible by funds raised at our annual Hoophouse Gala, sponsored by MSU Residential and Hospitality Services. We are proud and excited to be able to offer these scholarships in order to decrease barriers to training for new and beginning farmers.
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