May 13 – August 9, 2019

Instructors: Dr. Jeff Richardson, Gwyneth Harris 

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Lectures, hands-on learning experiences, and meaningful work combine to build skills and knowledge required to bring a systems-thinking approach to practical farming methods. The Sterling College Farm faculty along with leading practitioners in the field create a learning experience with both breadth and depth to challenge new farmers and growers to develop livestock, vegetable, and fruit and berry production systems that are ecologically resilient and profitable.

The Integrated Farming Practicum (IFP) is one of the cornerstones of Sterling College’s Sustainable Agriculture education. It is a 12-credit, 12-week intensive experience that runs from May 13 to August 9th with a one-week break in early July. Students will participate in 4 separate courses (Whole Farm Thinking, Pasture Systems Management, Holistic Livestock Husbandry, and Introduction to Crop Production) taught in an integrated, cohort-based model that maximizes time outside on the Sterling College farm and in field trips to other farms in the region. Students will also spend around seven hours of each week being paid to work directly on the Sterling College Farm as part of the work program. At the conclusion of the summer, students who successfully complete the IFP will have gained the foundational knowledge to work on a Sustainable Farm.

A look at this Summer’s coursework:

 

photo of students in the Sterling College Whole Farm Thinking course exploring and analyzing a Vermont farm.INT201 Whole Farm Thinking (3 credits)

Objective: Understand the nuanced interplay of subsistence, profit, and power within the context of food production in Northeastern Vermont

Objective: Develop critical thinking skills in the context of practical farm methodologies and agricultural theories

Objective: Develop skills and strategies when working as a team

 

Students in the Sterling College Introduction to Crop Production course standing in a plot of vegetablesINT202 Introduction to Crop Production (3 credits)

Objective: Develop the technical skills needed to grow and manage a sustainable vegetable farm in Vermont

Objective: Explore crop genetics and phylogeny, crop anatomy, crop physiology, and crop morphogenesis

Objective: Develop a critical understanding of the social, ecological and economic issues related to crop production

 

Cows grazing on the Sterling Farm; Sterling College Pasture Management SystemsINT203 Pasture Systems Management (3 credits)

Objective: Develop the technical skills needed to manage pasture plants and pasture-based infrastructure

Objective: Explore rotational grazing, the identification of pasture plants, and the engineering behind water, electrical, and feed systems

Objective: Develop a critical understanding of the social, ecological and economic issues related to pasture systems management

 

A ewe and a lamb stand in the barn on the Sterling College farm; Sterling College Holistic Livestock HusbandryINT204 Holistic Livestock Husbandry (3 credits)

Objective: Develop the technical skills to manage a sustainable livestock farm in Vermont

Objective: Explore livestock genetics and phylogeny, livestock anatomy, livestock physiology, and livestock behavior

Objective: Develop a critical understanding of the social, ecological and economic issues related to livestock husbandry

Want to take your farming skills to the next level?

Learn more about out our BA Programs for Sustainable Agriculture or Sustainable Food Systems!

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