AG 200 Introduction to Regenerative Agriculture
Regenerative Organic Agriculture is a systems-based approach to farming that leverages natural ecology to build soil, improve water efficiency, and increase biodiversity while emphasizing local food, feed, and fiber as the foundation of a strong community. This class acts as an introduction to the principles and practices involved in regenerative agriculture with an emphasis on organic certification, crop planning, and holistic farm management. This course provides students with the contextual knowledge and conceptual framework needed to understand and apply the various management strategies involved in regenerative and organic agriculture.
AG 215 Field Practicum in Farm Maintenance I
Understanding the tasks and routines involved in day-to-day field management is crucial to the success of any farmer. In this fieldwork course, students will assist in the daily maintenance of on farm activities with an emphasis on organic strategies for crop production and fertility management. Students will learn how to identify and remediate issues related to pest and disease pressure, irrigation, and weed management while simultaneously collecting field data that facilitates improved workflow and better environmental performance throughout the agricultural landscape. Prerequisites: AG 200 or consent by instructor.
AG 220 Field Practicum in Farm Maintenance II
This fieldwork course acts in tandem with Field Practicum in Farm Maintenance I and provides students with an opportunity to oversee and manage the day-to-day maintenance of a specific field plot at the university farm. Students will integrate what they have learned about organic crop production and fertility management to assess and improve issues related to pest and disease pressure, irrigation, and weed management while continuing to collect and interpret field data that facilitates improved workflow and better environmental performance. Students will be evaluated based on their ability to maintain and improve their designated field plot as it relates to crop vitality, soil health, data collection, and record keeping. Prerequisites: AG 215 or consent by the instructor.
AG 225 Biodynamic® Agriculture & Natural Farming Techniques
Biodynamics is a unique, spirit-based approach to agriculture that was first developed by Rudolf Steiner in the 1920’s. In biodynamics, farmers are regarded as “cosmic artists” that use specific preps at various times throughout the year to reinvigorate the Earth, improving soil fertility and plant nutrition. This course includes daily engagement with seasonal farm activities and includes an emphasis on how to create and utilize the preps and applications that represent the “life force” of biodynamic agriculture. Students will also explore techniques in Korean Natural Farming and other strategies used to promote self-sufficiency throughout the growing season. Prerequisites: AG 215 and either AG 300 or AG 320, or consent by instructor.
AG 300 Permaculture Design Certification
Permaculture Design is an attempt to rethink and redesign every aspect of human endeavor in terms of sustainability. In this course, you will learn about the principles, ethics, and scientific reasoning that guides permaculture design, along with how to apply it to homes, cities, and natural landscapes to increase energy efficiency. Students will engage with concepts and strategies for building soil health, maximizing water efficiency, and increasing biodiversity to foster the creation of diverse, resilient ecological systems. The course will culminate in a final comprehensive design project involving a real client, where you will work to perform site analysis and develop practical solutions for real-world design challenges. Upon successful completion of the course, students earn an internationally recognized Permaculture Design Certificate. Prerequisites: Prior biological/ecological science course or consent by instructor.
AG 320 Soil Science & Applications
The ability to analyze, build, and manage soil is a key component of Regenerative Agriculture. In this course, students will learn fundamental concepts in soil science relating to physical, chemical, and biological properties, along with instilling an awareness of soil as a natural basic resource. This class will involve fieldwork sessions where students gain experience in strategic garden bed preparation while developing technical skills for building soil fertility through the creation and application of compost, biochar, and other soil amendments. Prerequisites: Prior course in natural sciences or consent by instructor.
AG 325 Crop Science & Applications
Combining an understanding of plant sciences with a holistic perspective towards crop management represents a foundational principle of regenerative, organic agriculture. This fieldwork course involves daily engagement in farm activities and combines experiential learning in greenhouse management, transplanting, field maintenance and harvesting with an in-depth understanding of horticultural sciences and organic crop maintenance. Students will learn the unique characteristics and considerations associated with different crops related to growth patterns, propagation techniques, lifespan, disease pressure, and pest management. This course culminates with students applying what they have learned through a final project. Prerequisites: AG 200 or AG 320, or consent by instructor.
AG 330 Sustainable Farm Management
Sustainable business management is an attempt to execute triple bottom line performance in business through social responsibility, environmental stewardship, and economic viability. In this course, students will partake in daily farm activities while exploring concepts in sustainable metrics, finance, and lean management to determine operational strategies that foster continuous improvement and ensure a balanced approach towards people, the planet, and profits. This course will culminate in a final project in which students will create an enterprise budget report for a specific farm crop that combines an assessment of its economic and ecological impact, along with suggestions for improved future performance. Prerequisite: AG 200, AG 215, & AG 325, or consent by instructor.
AG 250 CCTS: Ecology
Ecology is often defined as the study of relationships between organisms and their living and non-living environment. The term has become more generalized in recent years to refer to a set of interacting entities in an environment. These entities could be thoughts, technologies, beliefs, organisms, pollutants, or mountains and the environment could be an individual mind, community, society, organism, planet, culture, or meadow. This more generalized notion of ecology opens us up to understanding ecology as something that exists in the universe rather than just a lens or set of questions through which we gain knowledge of the world. In this course students will learn about fundamental ecological concepts, including niche, habitat, community, ecosystem, biomes, biosphere; population ecology; species interactions; energy flows; nutrient cycling; and succession.
AG 398 Internship
The internship experience represents the culmination of the student experience in the BA-Regenerative Organic Agriculture program. Students will work closely with an advisor to find an internship opportunity with a farm or organization that embodies the principles of regenerative organic agriculture. Internships may include farms with various practices, ranging from pasture management, market gardening, agroforestry, homesteading, among others. At the end of the internship experience, students will give a presentation to instructors from the department that explains knowledge gained, lessons learned, and a self-reflective assessment of personal growth through the internship experience. (Offered according to demand) Prerequisites: BA-ROA majors with consent of the program director and an approved Internship Proposal.
AG 410 Holistic Farm Planning
This course represents the culmination of the learning experience in the regenerative organic agriculture program and provides students with an opportunity to create a comprehensive plan for the design, development, and maintenance of their own regenerative, organic farm. Students will be provided with personalized instruction to help determine their goals for the course and work to create a plan of action that includes a holistic, systems-based farm design, a plan for multi-phase development, and an assessment of the management strategies they will employ to build soil, increase biodiversity, and create positive impact within their local community. This course functions as the capstone project for students completing the Regenerative Organic Agriculture module. Prerequisites: ROA module.