Just outside of Asheville in Swannanoa is Warren Wilson College which has just won
National attention as the Number 1 College Farm in America!
From small student-run organic farms, to large agribusiness training centers and entrepreneurial programs, farming plays a central role in many American higher ed institutions. To highlight this unique offering, we've surveyed over 50 schools to come up with a list of the best university farms in America. We realize that a university farm can mean a number of things, and so as not to compare apples and oranges (literally), we've taken the following criteria into account:
- Farm Size
- Integration with the Main Campus
- Are courses taught at the farm?
- Do students use the farm?
- Integration with the community
1. Warren Wilson College
Warren Wilson College is a national liberal arts college structured around values perfectly manifested in the soil. To graduate, students must work through "the Triad" of Warren Wilson experience, including work, service, and academics. Warren Wilson is one of only seven federally-recognized work colleges in the nation, where the day-to-day operations of the school are in-part completed by the students. Many students choose to work on the farm, which is located on 275 acres divided into 25 fields in the scenic Swannanoa Valley. Beef cattle and hogs make up a majority of the livestock, and are sold locally. Additionally, a CSA and farmer's market provide produce from the farm to the local community. A crew was established 14 years ago to grow medicinal herbs and make medicine from them. A bee crew and an heirloom apple orchard are also present on the farm. The farm strives to practice sustainable agriculture, and is "grass-based," allowing steers to graze on a natural "salad bar" that translates into healthier meat for humans.
- Crops Grown: Mixed Crops, Livestock
Below From: www.citizen-times.com
"This award for our college farm is an affirmation to the commitment the College has shown to our working farm for well over a century," said farm manager Chase Hubbard, a 1995 Warren Wilson graduate.
The 275-acre WWC Farm is sustainably managed by two staff managers with the help of a large student work crew -- one of more than 100 student work crews on the Warren Wilson campus.
In addition to providing much of the food for the Warren Wilson dining hall, WWC's mixed-crop and livestock farm sells beef, pork, chicken and lamb to the surrounding community twice each year. Corn, wheat, barley and oats are grown in rich bottomland soils in rotation with an alfafa-based hay mix. No pesticides or herbicides are used in the farm's crop production.