DelVal appoints director of its new Roth Center for Sustainable Agriculture

Dec 17, 2012

Delaware Valley College alumnus Kristin Hulshart has been appointed as the new director of DelVal’s Roth Center for Sustainable Agriculture.

The College established the 124-acre center in North Wales, Pa., in fall 2012 to anchor its academic programs in sustainable agriculture.

Hulshart, who begins in early January, has six years of experience in sustainable agriculture. She will manage all aspects of the Center and lead the effort to accomplish the College’s production, education, and research objectives.

Hulshart graduated from DelVal with a bachelor’s in horticulture in 2009. She is scheduled to earn her master’s in plant science with a concentration in horticulture from the University of Connecticut this month.

Most recently, Hulshart worked for the University of Connecticut assisting with research and teaching in greenhouse technology and operations, pest management, urban horticulture, and vegetable production.   She has also worked for DelVal’s Henry Schmieder Arboretum; managed the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) for the College; and worked for several farms and farm markets to learn plant production and marketing.

“She has an extensive background in sustainable agriculture and will help us develop the Center into a great resource for our students and for the community,” said Russell C. Redding, dean of agriculture and environmental sciences. “As an alumnus, she has a passion for the College, knows the value of our education and is eager to help students learn the science of sustainable agriculture. ”

Hulshart will oversee the day-to-day operations of the Center and build partnerships that support the College’s academic programs. She will provide support for the new specialization in sustainable agriculture systems and the DelVal/Rodale Veterans Organic Farming Program, which will use the Center.

“I’ve always been really excited about DelVal, but particularly now with the changes happening on campus, including the new vision for the Roth Farm and experiential learning,” said Hulshart. “I’m looking forward to joining the College in this aspect and leading something so new.”

Hulshart will help with future plans for the Center and plans to do an assessment of the natural resources available for education at the site.

She is also eager to work with the faculty to use the Center for classes.

“I want this to be something that is responsive to the academic programs and their needs,” said Hulshart who will work closely with the Natural Resources and Biosystems Management department.

She would also like to use the Center to educate the public.

“Sometimes people see sustainable agriculture as being equal to certified organic.  That’s part of it, but that’s not the whole picture,” said Hulshart. “I would like to help people understand the broader scope by picking different themes to focus on each year.”

Hulshart’s responsibilities will also include: partnering with a wide-array of agricultural, environmental and related organizations on education activities; marketing products from the Center; developing and managing gardens (CSA, charitable and community); stewardship of the Roth Farm; and managing students working at the Center.