This is the VOA Special English Agriculture Report.
colleges and universities in the United States provide education in agriculture. But only a few schools offer experience in traditional
hands-on field work in addition to classes.
Sustainable agriculture is a major goal at
these colleges. They teach the need for
farming to improve the environment and make good use of natural resources. Students grow organic food and use as little
fossil fuels and chemicals as possible.
Sterling College in Craftsbury Common, Vermont, is one
of the colleges that supports sustainable agriculture. Students produce some of their own food. They prepare the soil for planting with their
hands or simple tools. They do not use
much big machinery that uses gasoline.
month, students are making their own sugar and maple syrup. After liquid sap is taken from sugar maple
trees, it goes to a sugarhouse where the sap is boiled. Students built the sugarhouse.
The college farm has solar-powered barns, gardens, fruit trees, greenhouses and
Sterling College President Will Wootton
says the school's Sustainable Agriculture Program includes pay for farm jobs. The
money reduces the cost of the students' education. The students care for steers, oxen, chickens,
a turkey, goats and sheep. A pig and a
guard llama also live on the farm.
Goshen College in Wolf Lake, Indiana, is another college
teaching sustainable agriculture. In
June, students at the Agroecology Summer Intensive Program begin taking courses
like Introduction to Soils. Agroecology examines
the connection between agricultural crops and the environment.
the same time, Goshen students start nine weeks of work on the college's farm. They will plant crops like collard greens,
kale, tomatoes, lettuce and eggplant. They
will mix leaves, animal waste and food waste from the college's kitchens to
make compost. The students use the
mixture to fertilize the soil instead of buying chemical fertilizers that could
harm the environment.
Dale Hess directs Goshen College's Environmental Education Collegiate Program. Professor Hess says a major value of sustainable
agriculture is making good use of what you have. He says knowing how to do this may be
especially valuable if fossil fuel should become unavailable. Professor Hess says food security is national
that's the VOA Special English Agriculture Report, written by Jerilyn
Watson. I'm Bob Doughty.
Correction: A comment below points out two mistakes in this story. Wolf Lake, Indiana, is the location of Goshen College's Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center, not the college itself, which is in Goshen, Indiana. Also, Dale Hess directs the collegiate program at the environmental learning center.