The UMass Student Farming Enterprise is a student-led initiative that manages 14 acres of land and grows 35 different crops using ecologically sound practices. They supply UMass Dining with over 46 tons of ultra local, fresh, and organic vegetables every year- grown for students, by students. Working with the Student Farm helps UMass Dining meet many sustainability goals, such as decreasing food miles, reducing food waste, and increasing local and sustainable menu items. UMass Dining tries to purchase "imperfect" produce from the Student Farm to prevent their carefully grown veggies from going to waste. Produce from the Student Farm is featured in all four Dining Commons, at the weekly Student Farmers’ Market on Goodell Lawn, and at the new Student Farm Stand in Harvest Market.
The Student Farming Enterprise empowers students to take initiative, develop their leadership skills, work collaboratively to make business decisions, and learn from their mistakes. For Jacqueline Montminy, a Student Farmer and a Junior at UMass, “the best thing about it is that it’s a whole new group of people and even though it has been running for over a decade we start fresh every year. Our decisions are what run the program.” The Student Farmers work hard to make their learning environment collaborative fun and create a close-knit community to support each other.
A huge thanks to all of the Student Farmers for their valuable partnership with UMass Dining and for everything they do to make our campus community a better place!
Interested in becoming a Student Farmer?
The application for the 2018 UMass Student Farm Program is now open until November 1st! To apply, or for more information, click here.
Photo Credits: Keith Toffling.
Entries are submitted by project staff and UMass students.