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How to Start an Organic Farm in Pennsylvania

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Posted on March 12, 2015 by Delaware Valley College.

Whether you’re passionate about organic food or inspired by farming and agriculture, organic farming is a beneficial activity to be involved with. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in organic farming, the Organic Farming Program, offered through a partnership between DelVal and Rodale Institute, is an outstanding opportunity available to you. You can gain experience in the field and create your own pathway to transition into a career in organic farming.

DelVal partnered with the Rodale Institute to offer students a 36-credit program that explores the production of food in a way that restores, maintains, and enhances the natural world without the time commitment of a typical degree. The Organic Farming Program is a one-year certification program open to all students interested in pursuing a career in organic farming and combines classroom instruction with hands-on experience at Rodale Institute in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, and other organic farms in the area. 

At Rodale Institute, students learn about the latest research in organic farming as it’s being developed on a 333-acre farm. For more than 60 years, Rodale Institute has conducted scientific research as well as educational outreach to benefit the community and the world in general. Organic agriculture promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity based on minimal use of off-farm inputs. 

Organic Farming Program students take courses such as: Commercial Vegetable Production, Organic Food and Fiber, Principles of Sustainable Agriculture, Plant Health Management and Soil Biology. Courses cover an array of information that students then apply to practicums. If you still are interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree after you complete the program you can apply these courses toward a four-year degree at DelVal. Many organic farming certificate programs don’t allow students to transfer credits towards a four-year degree. 

The one-year program allows people who don’t want to commit to a full four years to quickly transition into the growing field of organic agriculture. It has been popular with military veterans looking to find civilian careers. 

By enrolling in this program, students gain valuable information within a year’s time that will pave the way for a career in organic farming. You’ll learn about modern, environmentally sound methods of food production from faculty who are experienced and knowledgeable in organic farming. After completing the Organic Farming Program, you’ll be more informed and educated in organic agriculture and equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to help you pursue a career in the field.

If you’re interested in a career in organic farming, the Organic Farming Program offered by DelVal and Rodale Institute could be right for you. Click here for more information.