Michigan State University - Student Organic Farm

(517) 230-7987
msufarm@msu.edu
www.msuorganicfarm.org

Our mission is to cultivate knowledge and human capacity in organic and sustainable agriculture for students, farmers and educators.

The foundation of all of our programming is a 10-acre certified organic teaching and research farm that is also a working production farm. The farm serves as a living, learning laboratory where students and visitors can see and experience organic and year-round production techniques.

The farm and its markets include:

  • 16,000 square feet of passive solar greenhouses
  • 5 acres of field and garden-scale production
  • 48-week Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program
  • 6 month On-Campus Farm Stand
  • Sales to MSU Residential & Hospitality Services
  • Additional resources at the farm include an edible forest garden, laying hens, bee hives, and a small mushroom production area.

Our major program areas include the following:

Training New Farmers: The Organic Farmer Training Program

The OFTP 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. 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 participants include new and beginning farmers, urban and community farmers, educators, and community organizers working with food systems and food production.

Outreach and Extension Programming

We work with small and mid-size urban and rural growers including private and public/community farms, and organizations. We focus our efforts on limited resource, minority, and traditionally under-served growers. We provide training in the following areas:

  • Hoophouses for Year-Round Production
  • Crop Scheduling
  • Harvest and Post-Harvest Handling
  • Soil and Fertility Management
  • Pricing and Marketing

Educational and Research Partnerships

We partner with a number of groups and individuals to create educational and research opportunities in organic and year round production at MSU. Activities through our partnerships include:

  • Research in: on-farm hoophouse production; organic small fruit production under 3-season greenhouses; integrating pork production with organic crop production and forest management
  • Development of statewide beginning farmer training programs
  • Greenhouse production for campus dining halls
  • Student-led survey of undergraduate food preferences
  • Education of dining hall consumers about impact of local and organic foods
  • Undergraduate courses in organic production
  • Collaboration with the new Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Specialization
  • Integration of interdisciplinary experiential education opportunities for students
  • Organic farmer training scholarships through Hoophouse Gala fundraising event

We are honored to be working alongside our MSU partners:

  • MSU Department of Horticulture
  • CS Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems
  • Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment (RISE)
  • Residential and Hospitality Services
  • Faculty in Departments of Animal Science and Forestry

The Student Organic Farm is located at the Horticulture Teaching and Research Center on College Road near the south end of campus:
3291 College Road
Holt, MI 48842

Mailing Address:

Student Organic Farm
MSU Department of Horticulture
A288 Plant and Soil Science Building
E. Lansing, MI 48824

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