As UMass student farmers, we commit to providing our campus community with nutritious, organically grown, local produce. We cultivate student empowerment through hands-on agricultural production and by educating our peers about the importance of creating a healthier food system.
The UMass Student Farm is a truly a vibrant and student-run farm. Each season up to 15 undergraduate students take part in the cooperative planning and management for our 20-acre certified organic vegetable farm. Our student farmers represent a variety of backgrounds and come from many departments on campus as well as from the other Five Colleges. Meet Our Student Farmers and Farm Staff!
The UMass Student Farm is the primary hands-on learning lab for Stockbridge Sustainable Food & Farming majors. But students from any allied major can receive up to 12 academic credits and a full-time summer employment opportunity on the farm. All revenue received from the sale of vegetables and meat goes directly back into the program to support farming inputs and summer labor for the upcoming season.
The UMass Student Farm grows certified organic produce and manages over twenty acres of land, split between the UMass Agricultural Learning Center located on North Pleasant St in Amherst MA, and the UMass Crop and Animal Research and Education Farm in nearby South Deerfield.
Part of the UMass Family of Farms
The University owns and manages several agricultural research and production farms in local Massachusetts communities, including fruit-tree orchards, grape vineyards, a cranberry station, and a livestock facility with sheep, swine, and goats. See the full list of our Research and Education Farm Facilities.
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How Can I Buy and Eat Produce Grown by UMass Students?
At harvest, our fruits and vegetables move sustainably to a number of nearby outlets:
Become a CSA member! Purchase a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share to be a part of our season and to receive 25 lbs of produce per week for 10 weeks! Around 150 shares are available to community members.
Shop at our Student Farmer's Market! During the Fall harvest season our pop-up farmers' market happens every Friday from Noon to 4pm. Follow us on social media for a schedule of locations and the student vendors you'll meet there.
Visit your local Big Y grocery! Select produce from our farm is sold in the Amherst, Northampton, Greenfield, and South Hadley Big Y stores. They even have a page on the Big Y website about us!
Eat at any UMass Dining Commons! Our produce is distributed through all four dining halls and other campus locations. Here's a video our Sustainable Food & Farming students made about that.
Eat at a Student Coop Business on campus! Our food can be found at Earthfoods Cafe, Peoples' Market, and Greeno Sub Shop.
A Farm Project With Humble Beginnings and Many Futures
The UMass Student Farm began in the fall of 2007 when two students grew a quarter-acre of kale and broccoli as the hands-on component to an independent study. This led to the development of a year-long class in Farm Management which first ran in Spring 2008 and provided hands-on access to farming opportunities at the Crop and Animal Research Education Center in nearby South Deerfield. At this original site, 14 acres are devoted to organic vegetable production and research.
In 2013, an additional 6 acres of undeveloped University land in North Amherst (previously used for hay production) was deemed by Chancellor Subbaswamy to be for exclusively agricultural use. Ground was broken on both the Agricultural Learning Center just a mile from campus. A historic UMass horse barn was re-located to the North Amherst site and deep retrofitted to become Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation Hall, the headquarters and produce distribution hub for the Student Farm. As the Stockbridge School of Agriculture's primary outdoor lab for both a 2-year and a 4-year degree in Sustainable Food & Farming major, these two farm sites offer students 20 acres of certified organic farmland. Our students keep ten to twelve acres in active production each season, and the farm now provides students the option of on-site paid employment during summers.
Graduates of the Sustainable Food & Farming major have gone on to start or renew their own farms, have taken managerial positions at farms throughout the region, have found work in all parts of the agricultural products industry, and have been recruited to non-profit organizations focused on food policy and food justice. Our students and graduates succeed in living their values while undertaking sustainable careers.
Donate to the Student Farm
If you can afford to do so, please consider donating to the Student Farm in order to help us continue to run and expand our farm to better serve you. Regardless of your contribution level, we are beyond humbled by your continued support. Thank you very much!