Students in Trent’s Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems program will be digging deeper into sustainable, regenerative farming practices with more than 240 hours’ hands-on farming experience in the University’s new Small-Scale Farming specialization.
“Trent’s interdisciplinary approach makes this specialization in Small Scale Farming truly unique,” says Dr. Karen Thompson, coordinator of the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems program and assistant professor in the Trent School of the Environment. “Many agricultural programs are very production-focused. It's rare to have a mix of both science and social science, plus a strong experiential learning component.”
Growing skills through hands-on learning opportunities
With roughly 1,400 acres of land situated on the banks of the Otonabee River, Trent’s Peterborough campus offers a unique learning landscape for students to collect real data in nature’s living labs, including the Trent Farm. The University also boasts world-renowned research facilities, all of which contribute to a well-rounded student experience.
“Trent offers a broad teaching environment in which to learn small-scale production,” says
Dr. Michael Classens, assistant professor in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems. “On the Trent Farm students will experience planting, growing and harvesting crops. We also have opportunities for hands-on learning at the Trent Apiary, Rooftop Gardens and Trent Vegetable Garden. To experience the distribution side of farming, students can get involved with the Seasoned Spoon Café, a non-profit, vegetarian cooperative café located on campus.”
Through this new specialization, which launches in September, students will have many opportunities for hands-on learning – both on campus and off – with an intensive field course on Trent’s farming resources and a 240-hour internship. During their internships, students will be placed with various community organizations and local farmers, where they will learn from experts in the field and start to build their network within the agriculture sector.
“Ultimately we want to have a network of graduates with their own farming businesses who can advise and support current students,” adds Prof. Classens.
Students in the Small-Scale Farming specialization can also look forward to an exciting range of new, focused courses, including Sustainable Farm Business Management. The new course will allow students to explore the business aspect of sustainable farming, from marketing and distribution to sales strategies for small farm viability such as ‘farm gate’ sales, farm stands, farmers’ markets, value-added production strategies, CSAs, developing an online presence, use of social media, direct sales to restaurants, co-operatives, and food hubs.
Applications for Trent’s specialization in Small-Scale Farming in the Trent School of the Environment remain open for fall 2021.
About Trent University
One of Canada's top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that's personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent's unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent's students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area, delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.
For more information contact:
Cara Walsh, communications & media relations officer, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x6240 or firstname.lastname@example.org