Student Organic Farm
The mission of the MSU Student Organic Farm 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 15-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:
- 20,500 square feet of passive solar greenhouses
- 7 acres of field and garden-scale production
- 48-week Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program
- 7 month On-Campus Farm Stand
- Sales to MSU Campus Dining
- Additional resources at the farm include an edible forest garden, cut flower garden, bee hives, and a small mushroom production area.
Major Program Areas
Training New Farmers: The Organic Farmer Training Program
The OFTP is an 8-month intensive training program in year-round organic farming focusing on diversified production of vegetables, flowers, fruits, and herbs for local markets. Workshops, lectures, readings, assignments and field trips help to build participants knowledge and understanding of organic farming principles and practices. The program is designed to give participants a strong background and working knowledge of farm production, management, marketing, and business operations 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.
Farmer Field School
The MSU Farmer Field School is comprised of intensive one and two day hands-on workshops. They are tailored to deliver in-depth, practical information built upon the foundational work of the MSU Organic Farmer Training Program and the wealth of knowledge in Michigan’s farming community. Experienced farmers and premier agriculture educators from our region are teaming up to co-lead and deliver workshops in the Farmer Field School. Each workshop also includes group-based learning processes where diverse approaches to farming challenges can be shared and discussed by participants and workshop presenters and demonstrated at host farm sites. For the current cycle, workshops will take place on select farms in southern Michigan with a goal of expanding the workshops to other regions of the state as the program develops.
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
- Sponsorship of Biosystems Agriculture Engineering and Mechanical Engineering student projects to develop tools and systems for small scale growers in the U.S. and West Africa
- Development of statewide beginning farmer training programs
- Undergraduate courses in organic production
- Collaboration with the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Specialization
- Integration of interdisciplinary experiential education opportunities for students
- Organic farmer training scholarships through Feast in the Field fundraising event
We are honored to be working alongside our MSU partners:
- MSU Department of Horticulture
- Center for Regional Food Systems
- Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment (RISE)
- Residential and Hospitality Services
- Faculty in the departments of Animal Science and Forestry
Location and Contact Information
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
However, the mailing address is:
Student Organic Farm
1066 Bogue St, Room A288
East Lansing, MI 48824
We can be reached by phone or email at:
For more information, visit www.msuorganicfarm.org.