Sustainable Agriculture


Lawrence F. London, Jr. - Venaura Farm - Chapel Hill, NC, USA
mailto:london@sunSITE.unc.edu  http://sunSITE.unc.edu/InterGarden
mailto:llondon@nuteknet.com  http:nuteknet.com/london  Venaura Farm
Title: Sustainable Agriculture

Sustainable Agriculture at The University of Maine

Many factors have convinced the agriculture community to seek new approaches to the production of food and fiber. Among these factors are increasing input costs, pesticide resistance, ground water contamination, soil erosion, decreasing soil fertility, and the demand for chemical free food. The University of Maine offers academic, research, and extension programs in Sustainable Agriculture (SAG) in order to address the principles and practices of environmentally sound, profitable farming.

The academic program emphasizes:

The Sustainable Agriculture Program is an interdisciplinary program offered cooperatively by the faculties of the Departments of Applied Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Plant Biology and Pathology, and Resource Economics and Policy. In addition, to the core courses, students obtain knowledge and skills in the liberal arts, mathematics, sciences, and communications.

Courses in the Core Curriculum:

Other course work is available in plant science, soil science, entomology, plant pathology, ecology, resource economics, philosophy, and animal science.

Hands on, outside the classroom learning opportunities:
  1. Internships on commercial farms.
  2. "Tractors and Farm Machinery: Safety, Maintenance, and Use", a non credit course offered by the SAG Program.
  3. One day workshops/field day tours on various agricultural topics.
  4. Research field and laboratory assistants.
  5. Students have studied in several foreign countries through several University programs.

Professional Organizations

Black Bear Food Guild

The Guild, a community supported agricultural endeavor, was initiated and developed by students in response to need for more hands on learning. Students manage a vegetable garden, two acres under vegetable production, one acre under cover crop, and 1/3 acre devoted to seed increase for a Maine based cooperative seed company. The majority of the operating capital is from the sale of membership shares. Students provide fresh organically grown vegetables and a newsletter twice a week to 25 share holders.

Sustainable Agriculture Interest Group (SAIG)

SAIG was established in the fall of 1988 by a group of students of various disciplines drawn together by their common pursuit of a more sustainable agriculture. The organization is recognized by the University and the student government. In addition to biweekly meetings, SAIG members discuss and investigate various topics that relate to sustainable agriculture, sponsor off campus speakers, attend conferences, and organize field trips.

Employment Opportunities

Recent summer employment of SAG students:

Employment of recent SAG graduates:

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Mary Wiedenhoeft
Academic Coordinator
Sustainable Agriculture Program
University of Maine
5722 Deering Hall Rm 204A
Orono, ME 04469 5722
(207) 581- 2951

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Last Updated March 27, 1996.