Education in Sustainable Farming & Food Justice, NY 2012

PRESS RELEASE; Contact: Joanna Green, 607-277-0180, Education: Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming is now accepting applications for its 2012 Summer Practicum in Sustainable Farming And Food Justice in NY. Farm-to-College intensive teaches sustainable agriculture, food justice Ithaca, NY – In cooperation with the Environmental Studies Program at Tompkins Cortland Community College, Groundswell will again offer its Summer Practicum in Sustainable Farming and Food Justice from May 31st to June 26th, 2012. The Summer Practicum is designed for students from any discipline as well as non-students who are interested in learning more about sustainable agriculture, local food systems and food justice. The class will meet for four days each week to explore these issues through readings, discussion, lectures, field trips, labs, and immersion in the actual work of operating a successful and sustainable small farm. “It's an exciting, very dynamic way for students to engage with food and the spectrum of related issues; production, social justice, ethics, nutrition,” says Julia Lapp, one of the instructors of the team-taught course. “Students interact with leaders in the movement to make food systems more supportive of health for all people, animals and ecosystems. It's a unique opportunity for students to investigate, reflect upon, and integrate information and experiences to become part of the momentum that keeps food system change happening."

Students in the Practicum will spend Mondays working and learning at West Haven Farm at EcoVillage, an organic vegetable and fruit CSA farm in Ithaca. Farm Manager Todd McLane will provide instruction in a variety of sustainable farming practices, from crop cultivation to pest and weed control, to harvest, post-harvest handling and record-keeping. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the class will meet at one of EcoVillage at Ithaca’s comfortable Common Houses to interact with a stellar line-up of guest speakers from TC3, Cornell, Ithaca College, and the local community. On Wednesdays, students hit the road to explore Ithaca’s local food system firsthand, visiting farms and food businesses, community gardens and food pantries. Each week, a team of students is in charge of the class’s “Local Lunch Labs,” weekly hands-on meals that teach students to procure and use ingredients that are healthful, locally available, in season and on a budget.

“What’s exciting for me as an educator is the incredible passion and fire that these students have for making a difference in the world,” says Todd McLane. “They’re the ones who’ll be creating the food systems of the future; what we’re doing is giving them some of the tools they need to succeed.”

Tuition for New York State residents enrolling through TC3 is $858 plus a $250 lab fee; tuition for out-of-state applicants is $1,776 plus lab fee. A limited number of non-credit slots are available through Groundswell for $850, which includes the $250 lab fee. Students of color and of limited resources are especially encouraged to apply. Tuition support is available.

Applications for the Summer Practicum are now online. For more information and to apply, visit

The Groundswell Center for Local Food & Farming is an initiative of the EcoVillage Center for Sustainability Education/Center for Transformative Action. Support for Groundswell comes from individuals and businesses who believe in the importance of strong local food systems, and from the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute for Food and Agriculture-USDA, Grant #2010-49400-21799. For more information, visit


Groundswell is an initiative of the not-for-profit Center for Transformative Action, Tax ID: 16‐0990318

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