Local food systems by the numbers

For those of you who are interested in local food systems, FINE (Farm to Institution New England) has written an interesting six-part blog series on food metrics, called “Measuring Up”. The entire series can be accessed here. Some highlights include: The struggle around defining “local”: While some institutions create their own definitions of local, others use third-party tools or federal/stat
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In Memoriam: Ray Coppinger, founding faculty member of Hampshire College and the Farm

The Hampshire College Farm is saddened by the passing of Ray Coppinger, internationally-renowned animal behaviorist and founding faculty member of both Hampshire College and the Hampshire College Farm. As many of you may know, the Hampshire College Farm originated in the late 70s as a research facility centered around a variety of aspects of raising sheep. One prominent part of the research involved animal behavior &
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Sow in straw hat by waterer

Researching and Raising Gloucester Old Spots

As promised in the previous post, we wanted to provide you with more details on the Gloucester Old Spot breeding program, a student-run project by April Nugent, 15F, funded by the Coppinger Research Grant. This study involves breeding heritage pigs in two separate environments (pasture and woodlot) and then comparing the pigs raised on pasture with the pigs raised on woodlot, with the goal of providing baseline data
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The wildflower field is abuzz with activity

Passers-by the wildflower field at Hampshire’s main entrance may have noticed some “Bee” signs, along with some green flagging tape, in the middle of our beautifully-flowering field. These indicators surround a new, short-term home for a hive of honey bees who are being used to conduct research on a gut pathogen in bumblebees. Lynn Adler, a biologist at UMass Amherst, was on campus recently and noti
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Pigs, ginger, and tractors, oh my! Summer interns on life at the farm

Another exciting season is underway here at the Hampshire College Farm! This summer we have a terrific group of interns helping with everything from growing turmeric to breeding pigs to changing the oil in a tractor. One rainy morning over a hot cup of coffee and some doughnuts we asked them about their experiences so far and their future plans.  April Nugent, Ben Matcho, Lee Graves, Owen Aptekar-Cassels, Fiona Helen
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Clean Energy Technology & Sustainable Agriculture course offered this summer

Clean energy is becoming a priority as our global community faces the challenge of climate change. At the same time agriculture is changing to meet the needs of a more environmentally aware consuming public. For the second summer, an intercollegiate and collaborative course brings together students at Holyoke Community College, Hampshire College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst to learn a variety of emergi
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Div III Agroecology Student Gains Valuable Insights at Vermont Grazing and Livestock Conference

A guest post by Div III student Joshua Minot, who is studying Acroecology with a focus on pasture-based animal agriculture. January 15th marked the start of the 20th annual Vermont Grazing and Livestock Conference hosted in Fairlee, Vermont—an event that brings together a wide variety of stakeholders from across New England. The conference was hosted by the University of Vermont Extension and offered an opportunity t
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Report: Accounting Systems for the 100% Local Food Challenge By Joshua Minot and Shelby Gaiss

In March of 2015, student interns Joshua Minot F12 and Shelby Gaiss F13 were tasked to track and record Bon Appetit’s local purchasing practices in the context of Hampshire’s 100% Local Food Challenge and to conduct preliminary research and analysis around the Real Food Challenge in comparison to Hampshire’s Sustainable Food Purchasing Guidelines. Over the past several months, the interns have worked to identify all
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Fall 2015 Farmer Speaker Series

Introducing a speaker series at the Hampshire College Farm that will bring local farmers and food producers to campus to share their experience and expertise with students. This series is organized by Robin Roblee-Strauss F’14 in collaboration with Hampshire Farm staff, and is sponsored by the Lydia B. Stokes Foundation and The Growing Farmers Collective.  
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Farm Field Trip Series: Wingate Farm

Join Hampshire College Farmer Jason Dragon and Program Coordinator Jess Wissemann on field trips to local farms! Participants will learn about various sustainable farming practices from the farmers themselves and may have opportunities to get their hands dirty with some volunteer work. We will be visiting several farms including two alumni farms right here in the Pioneer Valley. Learn about our regional food system f
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Part II: National Science Foundation Course Envisions Renewable Energy Systems on Hampshire’s Farm

Guest Post by Joshua Minot F12 Continued from Part I Professor Fred Wirth and Farmer Pete Solis extol the design features of the farm’s wind turbine. In their second week at Hampshire College, students enrolled in the National Science Foundation Course Clean Energy Technology and Sustainable Agriculture moved on to investigate wind power and solar thermal technologies. Fred Wirth, associate professor of physics
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Part I: National Science Foundation Course Envisions Renewable Energy Systems on Hampshire’s Farm

Guest Post by Joshua Minot F12 From June 8th through 18th, Hampshire College was home to a National Science Foundation supported course that explores topics of sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, and manners in which the two can compliment each other. As part of a broader six-week course in partnership with Holyoke Community College and The University of Massachusetts Amherst, the time spent at Hampshire serve
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Highlighted Course: Mark Feinstein’s Agriculture, Culture, and Ecology of West Ireland

Spaces are still available for Mark Feinstein’s incredible interdisciplinary course in West Ireland this summer! Learn about the intersections of agriculture, culture, and ecology in one of the most beautiful places in the world: THE WEST OF IRELAND: agriculture, culture and ecology CS-242S Instructor: Mark Feinstein Course dates: May 28 – June 11, 2015. Fee: $2100 plus airfare. There is still room available in
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in the fields

2015 Internships, Apprenticeships, and Employment – Pioneer Valley Farms

This list is frequently updated. Please check back often! Employment Opportunities: Queen’s Greens, a small, diversified vegetable operation in North Amherst is currently hiring for the 2015 growing season. Seeking candidate that has 1+ years experience in field work. Greenhouse, washroom and other experience a plus. Contact Danya: kingcreek.queensgreens@gmail.com Warner Farm, a 10th generation family farm in Sunderl
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Poster: Vang - Map of My Kingdom

Performances about Contemporary Farming at UMass in March

Mary Swander, Iowa’s Poet Laureate and founder of the national organization Agarts will present two plays at Bowker Auditorium this spring as part of her artist’s residency centered around agriculture and the arts at University of Massachusetts in Amherst. The plays, Vang and Map of My Kingdom, both tackle urgent social, political, and economic issues facing America’s farmers today. Mary will accompany th
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Hampshire Hosts Screening of Local Farming Documentary

On Wednesday night, over 130 people gathered at Hampshire’s Red Barn to view the live broadcast of WGBY’s new documentary “A Long Row in Fertile Ground.” The event was spurred by Hampshire’s Food, Farm, and Sustainability Institute, an 8 credit academic program with students hailing from as far East as China and as far south as Georgia. The FFS students have visited several area farms th
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A Living Laboratory at the Hampshire College Farm

The academic buildings tend to be quiet at Hampshire College during the summer. But down at the Hampshire College Farm, our 15 acres of vegetable fields and 65 acres of pasture serve as a living classroom and laboratory for the students of our 6 week Food, Farm, and Sustainability Institute. Brian Schultz, Professor of Entomology and Ecology, is currently leading students in a hands-on experiment at the farm. With th
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Local Food, Global Interest

Arriving on the Hampshire College campus to take part in the summer 2013 Food, Farm and Sustainability Institute, Enli Li and Mengxiao Wang found themselves immersed in a new culture.
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Transforming Lawns into Meadows

If picturing a New England college campus in their minds, many people would see wide expanses of close-cropped lawn. Here at Hampshire College, sustainability-minded students had a different image.
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