New York State: Groundswell Center seeks Applications for Summer Practicum

4 Feb


Groundswell Center for Local Food & Farming gears up to offer popular summer course

Ithaca, NY – In cooperation with the Environmental Studies Program at Tompkins Cortland Community College, Groundswell will again offer the eight-week Summer Practicum in Sustainable Farming and Local Food Systems in 2011. The Summer Practicum is designed for students from any discipline as well as non-students who are interested in learning more about sustainable agriculture, local food systems and food justice issues. The class will meet for three full days each week to explore these issues  through readings, discussion, lectures, field trips, labs, and immersion in the actual work of operating a successful and sustainable small farm.

Mondays will be spent working and learning at West Haven Farm at EcoVillage, where Farm Manager Todd McLane will provide instruction in a variety of sustainable farming practices, from crop cultivation to pest and weed control, to harvest, post-harvest handling and record-keeping. On Wednesdays, students will spend the day interacting with a stellar line-up of guest speakers from Cornell, Ithaca College, TC3, and the local community, as well as preparing and enjoying a regionally sourced menu during their weekly “Local Lunch Lab”. Each Friday, students will hit the road and visit more local farms, food businesses, and community organizations for a close-up look at Ithaca’s vibrant local food system. Each student will also spend a Saturday helping Todd with set-up, sales, and clean-up at the Ithaca Farmers Market.

Tuition for New York State residents enrolling through TC3 is $1,034 and tuition for non-credit students enrolling directly through Groundswell is $850. Substantial scholarship support is available for the 2011 Practicum, including several partial and full scholarships. Minority and limited-resource students are especially encouraged to apply.

Applications for the Summer Practicum are now online. For more information and to apply, visit

The Groundswell Center for Local Food & Farming is an initiative of the EcoVillage Center for Sustainability Education/Center for Transformative Action.  Support for Groundswell comes from individuals and businesses who believe in the importance of strong local food systems, and from the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute for Food and Agriculture-USDA, Grant #2010-49400-21799. For more information, visit


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