On this edition of Sustainability Now!, your host, Justin Mog, sets down his seed catalogues for a chat with Tim Patterson, Dean of Admissions at Sterling College, an undergraduate college of environmental stewardship in Craftsbury Common, Vermont. Like Berea College, Sterling is one of seven colleges in the Work College Consortium and its curriculum is focused on environmental stewardship through Ecology, Environmental Humanities, Outdoor Education, Sustainable Agriculture, and Sustainable Food Systems.
Sterling is currently recruiting students for a new Wendell Berry Farming Program (WBFP), which will launch this fall in Henry County, KY. The Program provides a no-tuition, junior- and senior-year agriculture curriculum and is committed to serving Kentucky students who intend to farm, as they pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in sustainable agriculture from Sterling. This program is for students who will have completed at least 60 college credits by August of 2019 and who wish to transfer to the Wendell Berry Farming Program to complete an undergraduate degree. Sterling is especially interested in recruiting Pell Grant-eligible students as well as students from groups underrepresented in farming. Application review begins on April 1st, 2019.
Offering pioneering, integrated approaches to sustainable farming practices and the liberal arts, the curriculum links farming, forestry, draft power, and healthy community and land stewardship. It combines the arts and sciences with cooperative economics, hands-on experience, and farm business training. The WBFP is offered solely in Kentucky and was inspired by the lifework of Wendell Berry, a native son of the state and one of the nation’s most celebrated authors. Wendell Berry says of the curriculum, “This farming program is exactly what most needs doing here.” The WBFP was born of a partnership forged between farmer advocacy organization The Berry Center in New Castle, Kentucky, and Vermont’s Sterling College. The partnership developed because of shared values and complementary missions. A federally recognized Work College, Sterling’s curriculum and focus on the working rural landscape inspired the organizations to connect.
Led by Sterling faculty, the WBFP draws on the resources and expertise of The Berry Center and the natural and agricultural setting. Students work side by side with excellent farmers, foresters, and rural advocates, including The Berry Center staff. The WBFP fosters farmers for the future and promotes bringing people back to land-based communities. Program graduates are expected to contribute to the revitalization and renewal of rural communities in Kentucky and beyond. And while educating future farmers is a central aim, the WBFP’s innovative approach will also provide numerous positive benefits for the region’s economy, culture, and pride in place. As the WBFP succeeds and grows, it will serve as an educational model for the nation of how to build healthy farm and food systems and prosperous rural communities.
With some of the richest, most fertile farmland in the country, Kentucky can be a leader in restoring lands, communities, and vibrant economies in rural areas.
Further information and applications are at: http://sterlingcollege.edu/wendell-berry-farming-program-2/
As always, our interview is followed by your community action calendar for the week, so get your calendars out and get ready to take action for sustainability NOW!
Sustainability Now! airs on FORward Radio, 106.5fm, WFMP-LP Louisville, every Monday at 6pm and repeats Tuesdays at 12am and 10am. Find us at http://forwardradio.org
The music in this podcast is used by permission from the fantastic Louisville band, Appalatin. Explore their inspiring music at https://www.appalatin.com