The mission of Catamount Educational Farm is to model sustainable farming practices through a working vegetable and fruit farm that provides educational and research opportunities for the UVM community. Students will be integral in carrying out all activities of the farm, and this experiential learning environment will provide them with real and diverse sustainable farm management skills. The farm will also contribute to the local food system of the university by marketing the student-grown produce back to the UVM community through a campus farm stand, CSA shares and a wholesale account with University Dining Services. Read more about the Catamount Farm.
Farmer Training Program
UVM Farmer Training Program fieldwork The Farmer Training Program is a 6-month intensive program for aspiring farmers and food systems advocates that provides a hands-on, skill-based education in sustainable agriculture. This full-time program offers participants the unique opportunity to manage their own growing site, take classes from professors and expert farmers, and rotate as workers and learners on successful, diverse farms in the Burlington area. This program will provide an intense, supportive experience where participants leave with a Certificate in Sustainable Farming, a deeper understanding of agricultural management and small-scale farming, and the entrepreneurial skills to start their own operation.
Catamount Farm Summer Experience
Instructor: Lynn Fang
Course Description: This course explores ecological, physical and chemical principles behind composting, the practical management of the composting process, and benefits of using compost in plant and soil ecosystems. Prerequisite: Three credits in basic biological or ecological science or Instructor permission.
Instructor: Josef Gorres
Course Description: Agricultural and silvicultural soils will likely experience climate related disturbances more frequently. Both drought and flooding can have important effects on soil fertility and quality. This class will review concepts of soil fertility and management and place them in the context of challenges to agriculture and forestry brought about by climate change as well as other current forms of soil quality degradation of. Conventional and alternative, ecological soil management techniques will be explored that may mitigate these problems.
Course Description: Students will learn principles and practices of commercial orchard and vineyard crop production, including: site selection and preparation; cold hardiness development; varietal selection; tree and vine training and trellising systems; nutrient, water and pest management; harvest and postharvest considerations. Special emphasis will be placed on environmental and economic sustainability of fruit production systems.
Course Description: This course will address marketing considerations for locally produced agricultural products and value-added specialty foods. Evaluation of the market by studying the product competition, positioning, and definition of a target audience will be explored. Variations in sales potential determined by place and price will be studied, and how growth of sales leads to both opportunities and challenges for the local food entrepreneur. This course will address promotion through special events, PR, as well as product branding by telling the story through a visual and print context, customer service, and development of the product promise. Collaborative partnerships that lead to socially responsible business practices and stronger communities will also be explored.
In this hands-on, experiential course, students will learn principles and practices of sustainable, diversified vegetable production at the Catamount Educational Farm (part of the UVM Horticultural Research Center). Topics to be covered over this twelve-week course include: vegetable crop families, soil management, composting, organic weed, pest and disease control, propagation and planting, crop planning, irrigation and marketing techniques. The class format will consist of a combination of lectures, hands-on fieldwork, and visits to local vegetable farms. Concepts and skills taught will immediately be applied through participation in Catamount Educational Farm’s five acre vegetable operation that supplies produce to the community through a CSA, a farm stand and multiple wholesale accounts. Students will also have the opportunity to work with participants in the UVM Farmer Training Program. The Sustainable Farm Practicum is open to UVM undergraduates as well as to students from other colleges and universities who are interested in an on-farm for-credit training experience. This course also fulfills credits for the UVM Food Systems minor.