Engaging Agricultural and Non-agricultural Students in Interdisciplinary Curriculum for Sustainable Agriculture

  • Williams, Mark (PI)
  • Bhavsar, Victoria (CoI)
  • Grabau, Larry (CoI)
  • Mullen, Michael (CoI)

Grants and Contracts Details


American agriculture has two critical inter-related needs that education must address. First, there is a need to equip people interested in farming with production skills to ensure the long-term economic and environmental sustainability of agriculture. Second, there is a need to educate non-farmers about agriculture to increase societal acceptance of and support for sustainable farming systems. This project addresses both needs. This project will create and refine a multidisciplinary undergraduate curriculum for sustainable agriculture in which students willieam sustainable principles in the classroom and apply them in a real farm setting. Additionally, students will minor in a discipline outside the College of Agriculture to gain an understanding of the sociopolitical framework in which agriculture developed and exists. Part of the University of Kentucky organic research farm will be developed into a community supported agriculture system to serve as a living laboratory for hands-on learning and farming experience. Sustainable agriculture students will supply locally grown organically produced food to the university community, creating an avenue for communication and mutual learning among food producers and consumers. Furthermore, this project will develop a model of collaboration to allow non-agriculture students and faculty controlled access to the organic research farm to enrich their understanding of the importance of agriculture. Non-agriculture faculty will be encouraged to develop lessons or assignments that will help students appreciate how agriculture contributes or historically contributed to the discipline they are learning. Additionally, a minor in sustainable agriculture will be available for any student in the university. This project's collaborative multidisciplinary approach has broad administrative and faculty support in the University of Kentucky and will become a catalyst for new directions in education that will affect agriculture in Kentucky and beyond.
Effective start/end date7/15/057/14/08


  • Cooperative State Research Education and Extension: $141,274.00


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