The Wendell Berry Farming Program

Berry Farm

It is a two-year degree program with Sterling College in Craftsbury, Vermont and it is run by the Berry Center in New Castle, Kentucky  Learn more from Latria Graham‘s piece at Garden & Gun.  Here is a taste:

Now, the Berry Center has revived the program with a new educational partner, Sterling College, based in Craftsbury Common, Vermont. The school has a legacy of focusing on environmental stewardship, and though the college is based in the northeast, the Wendell Berry Farming Program will be located in the Berrys’ own Henry County, Kentucky, and a number of Sterling staff will now call this place home.

Sterling students have already done two short sessions in Henry County, in August 2018 and January 2019. They worked side-by-side with cattle farmers, learned from foresters, and spent time gaining an appreciation for the knobs and barrens that dot the landscape. When the new program kicks off in the fall, it will once again be a two-year capstone experience designed for students in their junior and senior years of college. Interested students don’t need to have previously attended Sterling to be considered and can transfer into the program, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Sustainable Agriculture upon completion.

“I believe that Henry County ought to be used as a classroom to instruct young people who want to take up a life of farming,” Mary Berry says.

As part of the program, students will use draft animals to learn more about sustainable farm practices. “There’s a way that working with draft horses teaches farming like nothing else can,” Berry explains. Her father said the same in his essay “Taking Draft Animals Seriously.” Participants will also learn about the economics of agriculture, including studying the history of the Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative Association, a one-hundred-year-old organization that John Berry Sr., Mary Berry’s grandfather, helped found to provide stability for small farmers in the region. The Berry Center is trying to recreate that approach with its Our Home Place Meat initiative, a cooperative for local livestock farmers through which students will have the opportunity to gain real-world experience.

Read the entire piece here.