Agriculture is the earliest and most honorable of arts. - Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Our approach to agriculture is grounded in the principles associated with ecological stewardship of the land. With the assistance of the faculty, students construct their learning experience while engaging in a combination of structured academics, realistic food production challenges on the Sterling College farm and at least one off campus internship. The degree places a strong emphasis on soil health and regenerative agricultural processes. A broad foundation in Biology, Forestry, Plant, Soil and Animal Science prepare students for the techniques presented in plant and livestock production systems. Supporting the major are courses that prepare future farmers and growers with small business management practices, engagement in state and federal agricultural policy and various research opportunities aligned with a student’s emphasis of study. Integrating courses across majors, students are well positioned to enter employment in fields such as agriculture education, agroecology and food systems. Draft horses combined with a small tractor allow students to investigate a true mixed power model for field tillage and forestry management. From their first day on campus, on-farm work opportunities immerse students in the realities of farming in northern Vermont including season extension strategies for vegetable production, raising pastured meats, and the application of the bio-extensive garden model with its heavy reliance on cover crop.