Many U.S. universities have research farms – it’s an important component to their agriculture colleges, in fact. Recently, the Best College Reviews website made an honest attempt to objectively rank these university farms.
Best College Reviews surveyed more than 50 colleges to determine the results. Ranking criteria included the following:
- Farm Size
- Integration with the Main Campus
- Are courses taught at the farm?
- Do students use the farm?
- Integration with the community
The resulting “best of” list showcases the diversity and innovation on U.S. university farms. Here are the top 20. For a more detailed description of each one, visit http://www.bestcollegereviews.org/best-university-farms/.
20. University of New Hampshire [livestock, mixed crops]
19. Cal State Chico [livestock, mixed crops, flowers]
18. Berry College (Ga.) [livestock, herbs, mixed crops]
17. Berea College (Ky.) [mixed crops, livestock, microlivestock]
16. Duke University [mixed crops]
15. Yale University [mixed crops, poultry]
14. Central Carolina Community College [mixed crops]
13. Western Washington University [mixed crops]
12. University of California at Davis [mixed crops]
11. Evergreen State College (Wash.) [mixed crops, sheep, poultry]
10. California Polytechnic State University [mixed crops]
9. Clemson University [fruits, mixed crops, flowers]
8. Michigan State University [mixed crops, fruits, herbs, livestock]
7. UC Santa Cruz [mixed crops, fruit]
6. College of the Atlantic (Maine) [mixed crops, livestock]
5. Butte College (Calif.) [wine, livestock, mixed crops]
4. Hampshire College (Mass.) [livestock, honey, syrup, dairy, hay]
3. Deep Springs College (Calif.) [mixed crops, fruits, livestock]
2. College of the Ozarks (Mo.) [mixed crops, fruits, livestock]
1. Warren Wilson College (N.C.) [mixed crops, livestock]
Most people outside of North Carolina have probably never heard of this small liberal arts college. What makes it’s farm No. 1?
For starters, students have a mandatory Work Program that helps them earn $3,480 toward the cost of tuition each academic year. Many opt to work on the school’s farm – a mixed-crop and livestock operation that is managed as a working farm.
The 275-acre farm also includes beehives and an heirloom orchard. A CSA and farmer’s market further connect the college to the local community.
Did you go to one of these colleges? Do you agree (or disagree) with the list? Continue the conversation on the AgWeb discussion boards.