We believe that when people with diverse backgrounds and skills come together around the table (and on the farm!), innovation and creative problem-solving occurs.

The Student Farm is a living laboratory and classroom, and like any classroom space, it is open to our entire campus community, whether for a specific class project, or simply to hang out and study. The farm has picnic table seating for up to 48 people, and can accommodate visitors arriving by bus, van, personal vehicle, or bicycle.

For Faculty:

If you are interested in collaborating with the Student Farm to develop a project, assignment, or independent study opportunities, please contact: Leslie Pillen, program director, at lrp143@psu.edu.

active semesters

colleges engaged

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Course-Client Collaborations

Each semester, we collaborate with courses on projects that support the specific learning objectives of that course, and that also help us achieve our mission. Students gain real-world experience as they work with the Student Farm as their client throughout their project.

Courses from colleges and majors from across the university are invited to participate — not just Ag majors! In the past, we have worked with classes from the College of Communications, the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Arts and Architecture, and more.

Collaborators may work with the farm’s physical space, such as a Plant Sciences course designing a crop rotation plan or an Architecture course building farm structures. But they also engage the farm conceptually and programmatically, such as Communications students developing a marketing campaign for the upcoming Food Systems minor, or Agribusiness Management students researching and proposing new market opportunities for produce grown on the farm. To learn more about these collaborative projects, check out the gallery of past projects.

Class Tours, Volunteer Days, & Presentations

Instructors looking to bring your class to the farm are encouraged to fill out this short form, and a Student Farm representative will respond via email to finalize plans. Please use the form to specify any topics or demonstrations you want covered during your visit. For instructors asking students to independently volunteer on the farm, please share our volunteer signup form with your class.

For courses asking students to visit the farm to observe or reflect on the space in some way, no notice is needed; we just ask that students visit between dawn and dusk.

To invite a program representative in to your class to speak about the program or about food systems sustainability topics, please email Leslie Pillen at lrp143@psu.edu.

For-Credit Internships & Student-Led Research Projects

Students seeking for-credit internships are welcome to work with the Student Farm. These internships often fulfill requirements for minors such as Sustainability Leadership Minor and the Civic and Community Engagement Minor.

Students may work on the farm as part of the production team, where you will learn the ins and outs of production, harvest and marketing. Students can also develop a project with the farm tailored to each person’s interests and area of study. Student interns could trial different production methods on the farm, develop a new market opportunity, start a workshop series, organize a food donations program, or build an app for organizing farm records. The sky is the limit!

Past interns completed internships and research projects that included experimenting with compost tea and establishing a pollinator garden on our one acre farm. Read more about their experiences 

If you are interested in learning more about for-credit internships, contact Leslie Pillen at lrp143@psu.edu.

Food Systems Minor

A group of faculty is currently developing a Food Systems minor, which will be a curriculum open to students in any major. The minor will seek to engage students on the student farm, as well as with other aspects of our food system.

New courses intended to be part of the Food Systems minor include:

CED 497: Changing Food Systems; Instructor: Dr. Clare Hinrichs; Spring semester

AGBM 170: US Food Systems; Instructor: Dr. Ted Jaenicke; Spring semester

HM 497: The Sustainable Fork: Food Systems Decisions for Away-From-Home Eating; Instructor: Dr. Amit Sharma; Fall semester