The Student News Site of University of New Hampshire

The New Hampshire

The New Hampshire

The New Hampshire

Follow Us on Twitter

Farm to You NH hosts annual Harvest Day

UNH’s sustainable agriculture and food systems (SAFS) class put on their annual Harvest Day on Saturday, Sept. 24 to educate the community about what it is they do. Held at the Fairchild Dairy Barn slightly outside the main UNH campus, this eco-friendly event paid tribute to the hard work done by the SAFS class, while also allowing for a fun, informative field day.
Though technically a class project, the event was aimed at educating the public about the SAFS class and sustainable agriculture on campus.
“This is actually our semester project,” senior Victoria Georgetti said. “A lot of people don’t know that UNH is a land grant, so we are trying to show people what we do.”
Harvest Day was created for a class project that allows for students to receive credit while also educating the public about sustainable agriculture. Complete with lectures, research presentations, high tunnel tours, sheep shearing demonstrations, children’s activities and cow petting, Harvest Day was a cornucopia of ways to learn about sustainability while simultaneously having a good time.
“We are primarily geared toward sustainable vegetable production, both in the high tunnels and in field production,” Professor Andrew Ogden said about the SAFS class. “This aspect of [informing the general public] is becoming a bigger and bigger part of what farmers and growers are doing these days…so I like my students to gain some experience in this area,” he said.
The SAFS class, also known as “Farm to You NH,” is not a typical college class. Started in 2012, it allows for both a lecture-based portion and a hands-on portion where students tend the crops harvested in the high tunnels by UNH’s own dairy barn.
“It’s a lecture and we have team meetings…and then we kind of have a lab where you do a work shift three hours a week,” senior SAFS major Sam Metz said. “This semester there is also a huge project we have to do…It’s kind of like create your own barn business plan so that’s really what we are working toward.”
After the produce is ready to go, 100 percent of the produced crops are used in UNH dining locations, including Holloway Commons dining hall, the Dairy Bar and UNH Conferences and Catering services. This is just one of the many ways that UNH is becoming more sustainable.
Taught by Professor Andrew Ogden, students typically take this two-part class mostly for the SAFS major, but can take it out of their own curiosity as well, with permission, allowing for everyone to learn the beauty of sustainability.
Though the turnout from the general public may have seemed a little low at Harvest Day, the students responsible were actually pleased with how the day had gone, as they knew that knowledge of the class was lacking to begin with.
The students implied that though there were only about 10 visitors two hours after the start of the event, the visitors proved to love it anyway, and they were even accompanied by someone from the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture.
“It’s hard to get people out here,” Metz said. “But that is more than we thought.”
Students also expressed that, unless somehow involved in UNH agriculture, most of the student body has no idea that the high tunnels the SAFS class uses even exist. That is why part of the Harvest Day event’s purpose is to spread awareness of the SAFS students’ activities.
Besides passing the class and doing assigned work, the SAFS class only hopes to spread sustainability knowledge on campus and get more students involved later on.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The New Hampshire Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *