The Warren Wilson College Farm is one of “The 40 Best College Farms in America,” according to a website. In addition to Warren Wilson, CollegeRanker.com, which aims to help potential applicants make informed decisions when considering colleges, also includes the farms from Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Michigan State University, North Carolina State University, Ohio State University and Yale University, among others, in the “40 Best” list.
“The Warren Wilson College Farm has long been known as an agricultural innovator,” said Dean of Work Ian Robertson. “Warren Wilson is not a farm school; it’s a college that has a farm, and our students are farmers. We seek to teach, and in some cases create, the best practices for the industry and then graduate students who can use that knowledge to their advantage wherever they choose to work.”
The challenge and responsibility of managing Warren Wilson College’s 275-acre farm lies with two alumni staff managers, one with a master’s degree in animal science, and a large student work crew—one of more than 100 student work crews on the campus. In addition to providing more than 8,500 lbs. of the beef, roughly 5,000 lbs. of pork, and over 1,100 lbs. of chicken served in the Warren Wilson dining halls each year, the mixed crop and livestock farm sells beef, pork, chicken and lamb to the surrounding community twice each year. Barley and oats are grown in rich bottomland soils in rotation with alfalfa-based hay and forage mix. No pesticides or herbicides are used in the farm’s crop production.
According to a release, “The 40 Best College Farms in America” list is based on “compiling scores and ranking college farms” from “hands-on experiences”; “student involvement”; “community outreach programs”; “workshops, classes and lectures”; “volunteering opportunities” and “degree plan options.”
“We are excited to highlight these 40 farms,” said Elizabeth Chapman, who compiled the list for CollegeRanker.com. “They are providing great resources to their students as well as the community. These schools are impacting the future of our country as they work to research and develop innovative ways to grow and provide for families around the globe.”
In early 2015, the Warren Wilson College Farm was also ranked first among “The 20 Best College Farms” by Best College Reviews.