New spring off-campus MSU organic farming class deadline nears

Michigan State University Institute of Agricultural Technology will conduct Organic Farming Principles and Practices at northwest and southwest Michigan community college locations this spring semester.

The Institute of Agricultural Technology at Michigan State University (MSU IAT) has been conducting practical plant, animal and technology certificate courses on its East Lansing, Mich. campus for more than 100 years. A new course, HRT 251 Organic Farming Principles and Practices, will be offered at Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor, Mich., Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City, Mich. and North Central Michigan College in Petoskey, Mich. 

Michigan State University Institute of Agricultural Technology off-campus coordinators guide prospective students through the application process, development of courses of study, and student internship. In addition to local access to MSU academic programs serving agriculture, the community college collaboration enables students to obtain an Associate’s Degree through supplemental coursework.

HRT 251 includes a history and principles of organic farming; farms as ecological systems; organic matter management, the soil food web, and nutrient availability; biodiversity, crop rotations, plant competition, ground cover, and plant health. Integrating crops and animals, and organic animal husbandry will be addressed, in addition to the organic certification process. This three-credit class meets 6-9 p.m., Wednesdays Feb. 1- May 9, 2012, and includes a required day-long field trip, to be scheduled. The enrollment deadline is Jan. 20, 2012.

All MSU IAT courses are taught by Michigan State University approved faculty and staff and credits earned are fully transferable to on-campus bachelor’s degree programs. 

Students who do not wish to obtain university credits for the HRT 251 have the option of enrolling with Michigan State University’s Lifelong Education.

To obtain information about off-campus MSU IAT Applied Plant Science certificate programs and admission requirements, go online to the MSU IAT website or call 517-355-0190. Lake Michigan College-based coordinator, Stacey Rocklin, may be reached at 269-927-8100 X 5712 or and Northern Michigan College-based coordinator, Andy Norman at 231-995-1719 or

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