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Penn State’s Student Farm Is Growing

After a successful first three years, the Penn State Student Farm will continue to grow from its one-acre plot.

The plan for expansion began last year as the three-year pilot period was coming to an end. Members of the Student Farm met with groups on campus, such as representatives for Student Affairs, UPUA, and Provost Dr. Nicholas P. Jones.

Courtesy of the The Student Farm

Expansion was approved over the summer for two additional acres to be added to the already existing one acre plot on Fox Hollow Road. The Farm will receive an additional $400,000 to cover capital expenses such as the placement of waterline, electricity, and refrigeration units.

The club has plenty of projects already planned, with one already underway thanks to an agricultural engineering class on campus. The class is currently working on converting a shipping container into a full refrigeration unit that can be used during harvest season. 

With the expansion of land comes the ability to create a greater impact on campus. Currently, the Student Farm is able to partially fill the need for produce within the campus dining halls. The extra land will allow that need to be more fulfilled. The Student Farm’s goal is to make sure more and more of Penn State produce is all locally grown, while also lessening the environmental footprint left behind. 

Courtesy of The Student Farm

The Student Farm will likely see substantial changes with the expansion over the next year or two. Volunteer groups have been helping to prepare the land for growing and building. However, it probably won’t be until the spring when members will have a better feel for how long the current expansion will take. 

“A farm is a living space,” said Whitney Ashead, the Student Farm’s Director of Campus Outreach. “I don’t know if it ever really stops growing and changing and developing.”

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About the Author

Dana June Nunemacher

Dana is a redshirt sophomore, who is studying public relations. She is from the 570 and yes, she has watched The Office. Her passions in life include drinking unsweetened iced tea and spreading her love for agriculture (yee haw)! Send any cow pictures or complaints to [email protected]

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