Organic Farmer Training Program

The Organic Farmer Training Program is a 9-month intensive training program in year-round organic farming focusing on diversified production of vegetables, flowers, fruits and herbs for local markets. The program emphasizes student learning in hands-on farm management and decision-making as well as development of necessary farming and business skills and knowledge.

Project Overview
This training program prepares graduates for careers in organic farming, urban agriculture / community gardening, and other sustainable agriculture related careers.  Students engage in managing the 10 acre certified organic farm, including its 20,000 sqft of passive solar greenhouse space.  The also participate in the SOF production for its primary markets: a 48 week CSA, 7 months on campus at the farm stand and direct sales to campus dinning services.  Students also develop competencies in farm skills through trainings and by engaging in the day-to-day work and 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 farm.  Program components include learning rotations in CSA, Farm Stand and Propagation, as well as management and oversight of a production field and hoophouse and individual advising sessions with instructors.  Program participants who satisfactorily complete the program will earn a Certificate from MSU Student Organic Farm and MSU Department of Horticulture.