C. J. Walke

Courses Taught

HS919Farm and Food Project Planning

How does a farmer decide what to grow or raise?  How will COA use the Peggy Rockefeller Farms (PRFs) and integrate it with Beech Hill Farm?  How can students help to improve COA's food system?  In this class, students will study the information available about our farms and food system from maps, historical data and previous student work.  We will learn from specialists around the state who work with farmers to plan new enterprises and investigate potential markets, from COA faculty who have expertise in business planning, and from our farm managers.  We will work through data on one farm enterprise together to understand what is needed to plan, implement and evaluate a food enterprise.  In the second half of class, students will design independent or team projects for production enterprises, changes in food consumption practices or research related to production practices and our entire food system.  Students will be evaluated based on their participation in class activities, the quality of their final projects, and the level of effort they put into developing their final projects.  Projects that prove to be feasible and cost-effective using student labor and staff oversight will be continued, allowing COA to build up a portfolio of farm enterprises and ongoing research projects that are thoroughly vetted and documented and have student and staff or faculty support.  This course is designed to follow the introductory course, COA's Foodprint:  Our Local Food System.  Students who have studied food systems through other means are also welcome.  

Course level: Intermediate/Advanced.  Prerequisites:  Basic knowledge of the components of food systems and the economic, social and environmental impacts of industrialized food systems.  Relevant farming or processing experience if the student wants to design and implement a farm production or value-adding enterprise.  For research projects, the student will be expected to have already acquired many of the necessary research skills. Instructor permission required.  Class limit: 12.  Lab fee: none.  *HS*