This 12-week team-taught integrated practicum provides an introduction to essential livestock and vegetable production theories and skills used to produce food at Sterling College.
May 14 – August 10, 2018
Faculty: Jean-Martin Fortier, Tradd Cotter, Michael Phillips, David Asher and more…
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) immerses students in the daily rhythms and realities of farming within a supportive educational environment. Students gain practical skills, understand the daily demands of a farming lifestyle, and learn from some of the best practitioners in sustainable farming methods. At the same time, they will enjoy an upbeat, integrated, expansive, and encouraging environment, as they gain practical experience and technical knowledge by working on Sterling’s Farm with a diverse mix of livestock and crops. Participation in a weekly farm planning seminar supports synthesis and reflection throughout the program and acts as a planning lab where students implement key design features of interest for their own farm plan. IFP students will also receive training in the Sterling Farm power systems—draft horses, working steers, oxen, tractor, and other implements. Students complete farm chores on a rotating schedule, in order to learn the daily workings of our inter-related meat and crop enterprises, and how they fit our landscape.