With higher education’s increased focus on sustainable food and eating, there has been a corresponding rise in the number of college-run farms. Farms that are affiliated with college campuses provide important opportunities for students, ranging from hands-on sustainability learning to providing fresh, local food for dining halls and surrounding communities.
College-run farms are an invaluable part of their campus, community, and the drive for increased sustainability. Check out the top thirty college-run farms in the nation, as ranked by total farm size, organic certification, student involvement, academic content, and business relationships with dining halls or off-campus venues.
1. California State University, Chico University Farm
2. Berea College Farm
3. Case Western Reserve University Farm
4. Dickinson College Organic Farm
5. University of Massachusetts, Amherst Student Farm
CVO Staff | College Values Online | September, 2015
The college farm movement has seen steady growth in the last ten years along with the farm to table phenomenon, as our ranking of the Top 30 Sustainable College Run Farms will attest. College farms are no longer just research sites, but have evolved to become centers of student solidarity and community nutrition. To be considered for our top 30 ranking, our initial pool of 100 college farms had to demonstrate sustainability. This sustainability was measured in terms of significant student involvement, environmentally friendly methods, diversity of production, connection with college instruction, and farm sales targeting both the college and surrounding community.
Here are more specifics of our Ranking System:
Total farm size in acres: 1 point (10 acres or less); 2 points (11-50 acres); 3 points (over 50 acres)
Certified organic: 1 point
Animal component (milk, eggs, pork, beef, lamb, or honey): 1 point
Academic courses on farm: 1 point
Sells to campus dining hall: 1 point
Sells at other on campus / on farm venue: 1 point
Sells CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) basket shares: 1 point
Sells at off-campus venue (restaurant, market, etc.): 1 point
In the case of a tie in points, higher ranking was given to the farm with more overall acreage, with a further tie being broken by number of points of sale.