The Organic Farming Program is a 36-credit, one-year certificate program offered through a partnership between Delaware Valley College and Rodale Institute. The program helps military veterans transition to civilian life by preparing them to enter the rapidly growing field of organic farming. The program offers a quick way to shift to a rewarding career producing food in a way that restores, maintains and enhances the natural world. Organic agriculture promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity. It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs. Students take courses such as: Commmerical Vegetable Production, Organic Food and Fiber, Principles of Sustainable Agriculture, Plant Health Management and Soil Biology. They also apply what they learn at both Delaware Valley College and Rodale Institute during practicums.
Students are mostly military veterans, but the program is open to nonveterans who are willing to cover the full cost of the tuition. Participants who complete the program leave with the knowledge and experience necessary to start a small-scale organic farm or, work for an organic operation. The program offers assistance with job placement and developing business plans so that graduates can easily move right into rewarding careers in organic agriculture.
Students are welcome to complete their courses at Delaware Valley College on a part-time or full-time basis, but all three courses at Rodale Institute must be completed during one summer. Students may apply to start during any term. Courses in the certificate program may be applied toward bachelor’s degree programs in agriculture at DelVal.
DelVal is proud to be a Yellow Ribbon School. Veterans who are eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill can train for a new career using their benefits and will have up to 100 percent of their tuition covered. Eligible veterans also receive funds for living expenses while completing the program.
Get started on your organic farming career!
We are currently accepting applications for the program. Please reach out to Linda Lefevre at Linda.Lefevre@delval.edu with any questions. To get started, please take the following steps:
Apply to the Program
- Apply for funding for tuition and expenses- To start this process, please submit an electronic copy of your VA Certificate of Eligibility to Kerr Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Even if you're not sure if you want to start the program yet, you can still find out how much funding you're eligible for. Email Kerr Smith at Kerr.Smith@delval.edu or call 215.489.2914 as soon as possible to discuss your potential eligibility for GI Bill Benefits through the VA or Tuition Assistance from your branch of service. Interested veterans can take this step without committing to starting the program.