Where will the next generation of farmers come from? What will their farms look like? Fields of Learning: The Student Farm Movement in North America provides a concrete set of answers to these urgent questions, describing how, at a wide range of colleges and universities across the United States and Canada, students, faculty, and staff have joined together to establish on-campus farms as outdoor laboratories for agricultural and cultural education. From one-acre gardens to five-hundred-acre crop and livestock farms, student farms foster hands-on food-system literacy in a world where the shortcomings of input-intensive conventional agriculture have become increasingly apparent. They provide a context in which disciplinary boundaries are bridged, intellectual and manual skills are cultivated together, and abstract ideas about sustainability are put to the test.
Editors Laura Sayre and Sean Clark have assembled a volume of essays written by pioneering educators directly involved in the founding and management of fifteen of the most influential student farms in North America. Arranged chronologically, Fields of Learning illustrates how the student farm movement originated in the nineteenth century, gained ground in the 1970s, and is flourishing today—from the University of California–Davis to Yale University, from Hampshire College to Central Carolina Community College, from the University of Montana to the University of Maine.