PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



Student Farm Initiative Moving Forward

by Briana Yablonski

As my graduation loomed ever closer this spring, the fact I’m leaving one of my favorite places and some of my favorite people became more palpable, and assignments became increasingly less important. But despite knowing I was leaving, I couldn’t stop spending time working towards something I had been involved with for the past year: the development of a student farm at Penn State.

Throughout this year I have worked with a dedicated group of students, faculty, and staff who make up the Student Farm Initiative (SFI). We have analyzed potential farm sites, spread the word to students, hosted film screenings and speakers, surveyed farm managers at other universities, and talked to administrators across the university. We have created a vision of a community space where students gather to dig in the dirt and harvest vegetables, where classes across colleges engage in hands-on learning on the farm rather than in a four-walled classroom, and where students eat fresh produce, grown by their peers, in the dining halls.

But as with most things, enthusiasm only goes so far. We still need the approval and money to make this vision a reality. Recently, the SFI received $225,000 from the Facilities Fee Advisory Committee. Before receiving this funding, I didn’t even know this group existed, but now I am thanking them. This group of students advises the Board of Trustees on how to allocate funds collected through the Facilities Fee, $250,000 of which is dedicated to smaller projects such as the SFI.

Thanks to the FFAC we now have funds to cover potable water and electric service at the farm site, along with a storage shed. Of course, we still need more funding, but I am confident we will be able to find these funds, because during this last semester at Penn State I have learned that the student voice is more powerful than I thought. If we voice our passions and ideas, people will listen, and support will come.

The funds received from the FFAC stand as proof of the power that students’ voices hold. Even though I’m leaving State College, Penn State, and the SFI, I expect to return in a few years to an operational student farm. I personally know a group of students who will make their voices heard, and I encourage everyone who is still fortunate enough to be a student here at Penn State to do the same.

About the Author

Community Content

Content submitted by members of the community not affiliated with Onward State. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of our staff. To have your work published on Onward State, go to


More by Community

Op-Ed: One Year After Our Son’s Hazing Death

“It is important to talk openly about what has transpired this past year, and over many years, and to remind your children that they are important to you. Tell them to take nothing at face value, be cautious, guard against peer pressure.”

College From A Basement Window View

Get To Know Penn State’s Business Fraternities


Incoming Penn State Track & Field Athlete Kristian Marche Shot To Death In Philadelphia

The incident surrounding Marche’s death is “under investigation,” according to the Philadelphia police department.

Former Women’s Gymnastics Coach Files Lawsuit Against Penn State Over Handling Of Abuse Allegations

Men’s Soccer Trio, Reading United Win PDL Eastern Conference Title, Fall Short Of National Championship

Penn State Hockey’s Evan Barratt, Aarne Talvitie Participate In World Junior Summer Showcase

Ally McHugh Wins 400 Medley National Championship

Student Life

Penn State Parking Office Runs Into Student Permit Purchase Issues

Students were delayed hours on Tuesday afternoon while trying to purchase on-campus parking permits.

Girirajan Lab Seeks To Bridge The Gap Between Fly And Human Genomes

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Onward State is hiring for the fall semester and we’d love to have you join us.

Incoming Penn State Track & Field Athlete Kristian Marche Shot To Death In Philadelphia

The incident surrounding Marche’s death is “under investigation,” according to the Philadelphia police department.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Madden NFL 19 Ratings For Nittany Lions

For the second consecutive year, Sean Lee is the highest-rated Nittany Lion in the Madden video game.

Send this to a friend