Graduation Year

Spring 2014

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Environmental Analysis

Reader 1

Richard Hazlett

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© 2014 Jennifer Schmidt

Abstract

Agricultural education, originally the province of land grant institutions, has recently entered the liberal arts curriculum. This represents a profound shift from the origins of agricultural education, when it was intended primarily as vocational training for future farmers, and has important implications for the future of the American food system. The first chapter of this thesis addresses the history of agricultural education: what was it originally like, and why did it come to be heavily criticized in the late twentieth century? Formal agricultural education changed significantly in response to these criticisms, making it more environmentally sustainable and bringing it into liberal arts institutions. The Pomona College Organic Farm is representative of a broader student farm movement that has gained momentum since the late 1990s, and offers the chance to evaluate agricultural education in the liberal arts. This thesis includes a curriculum in sustainable agriculture that was led as a group independent study at the Pomona College Organic Farm in fall 2013 and reflections on the process of curriculum design and implementation.