C. J. Walke

Courses Taught

HS4040Farm 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.  Meets the following degree requirements: HS

MD1013Introduction to Farm Animal Management

This course will provide an introduction to the basics of farm animal care and management with a focus on small-scale, sustainable livestock production.  The outline of the course will include lectures from professionals within the local agricultural community (experienced farmers, Extension agents and veterinarians), student-led discussions of assigned readings (traditional production agriculture to contemporary sustainable farming), and hands-on interactive learning through visits to working farms in our area.  Students will explore the various health and nutrition needs of common livestock, including monogastrics (hogs), avian (poultry), ruminants (cattle, sheep, goats) and pseudo-ruminants (horses).  The course will have a strong focus on the integration of two or more of these livestock species on a diversified farm and include pasture management and feed production.

Students will be evaluated on attendance, participation in class discussion and activities, short synthesis essays and a final project focused on the integration of livestock into a farm setting.

Level: Introductory.  Prerequisites: Permission of instructor.  Class limit: 10.  Lab fee: none.