Community invited to collaborate on Student Farm Initiative April 14

March 30, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — An upcoming “Student Farm Community Check-In” will inform students, administrators, faculty, staff and community members about recent developments in the Student Farm Initiative and seek collaborative input about the future of the student farm. The event will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 14, in 110 Henderson Building.

"We're very excited to host this event to tell the community about all our hard work,” Leslie Pillen, sustainable student farm design coordinator, said. “The student farm has big plans and many events for the rest of the semester, the summer, and beyond, that we think the community will be very interested in learning about and sharing their own ideas about.”

In January, Penn State’s administration approved use of a one-acre plot near the intersection of Fox Hollow and Big Hollow roads for a student farm pilot program. Student Farm Club members have already sown seeds that will be planted on the plot later this spring.

“There’s great energy surrounding the Student Farm Initiative and I can't wait to celebrate that with others” at the forum, said Alyssa Gurklis, a junior community, environment, and development major.

“I’m most excited to brainstorm new, creative ways of connecting students to their campus food system,” Hayly Hoch, a junior plant sciences and agroecology major, said. “How do art or political science or electrical engineering students see themselves as having a hand in food and agricultural sustainability?”

The Student Farm Initiative has collaborated with classes in five academic colleges and the Center for Democratic Deliberation. Specifically, in the College of the Liberal Arts, they have sponsored collaboration with six courses in English and communication arts and sciences.

“I'm really excited to see this diverse group of Penn State community members connect with one another,” Gurklis said. “I'm particularly excited for students to share their successes and visions with faculty and administrators.”

Hoch encourages students, faculty and community members from diverse backgrounds and disciplines to attend the event.

“Regardless of where you're from or what you're studying, you engage with the food system daily. Food and agricultural sustainability sit at the crux of current health, social, environmental and economic issues. It will be our generation's task to solve the problem of feeding 9 billion people sustainably,” Hoch said.

“I hope that the forum inspires the wider community to see how they can connect to our mission. I would love to see this event serve as a catalyst for greater engagement across all parts of the Penn State community,” Gurklis added.

Doors open at 4:45 p.m. for the event, which will include collaborative discussions as well as presentations. Refreshments will be provided.

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Last Updated April 04, 2016