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Summer Food, Farm, and Sustainability Institute

Submitted by on February 16, 2012 – 9:33 amNo Comment

six-week academic program focused on food production and sustainable agriculture is slated for summer 2012 at Hampshire College.

From June 4 to July 13, the Food, Farm, and Sustainability Institute will combine classroom instruction and hands-on experience based mainly at the Hampshire College Farm Center. Through both group and independent projects, participants will follow food from its origins in the soil through plant cultivation and animal management and eventually to the kitchen.

Each week of the program will have a thematic focus, ranging from soil health to global agricultural issues. Hampshire recommends eight academic credits for completion of the six week program. Students are encouraged to check with their home institutions for credit equivalent.

Students will learn about organic vegetable production and sustainable animal husbandry, microbiology and fermentation through making cheese and sauerkraut, and cultural practices by growing heritage plant varieties and working with varied animal breeds. Roundtable dinner discussions with local farmers, a weekly film series, and field trips to local farms will give insight into the way different people approach agricultural pursuits.

Food, Farm, and Sustainability Institute faculty include Hampshire College physiology professor Cynthia Gill, entomology and ecology professor Brian Schultz, microbiology professor Jason Tor, Hampshire CSA program manager Nancy Hanson, Farm Center manager Leslie Cox, and Five Colleges, sustainability programs coordinator Beth Hooker.

cow on farmThere will also be visiting faculty and guest speakers as well as weekly visits from Hampshire alums with links to local, regional, or global agriculture. Those expected to take part include Stonyfield Farms founder Gary Hirshberg and Australis Aquaculture founder and CEO Josh Goldman.

Tuition for the six week program is $3,400, including communal lunch costs (students are responsible for breakfast and dinners as well as all weekend meals). Lodging is an additional $800 for students who wish to reside on campus.

For more information on the Food, Farm, and Sustainability Institute, visit