Experiential Learning Opportunities for Graduate and Undergraduate Students

2003 Annual Report for LNC03-229

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2003: $60,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2007
Region: North Central
State: Minnesota
Project Coordinator:
Dr. Helene Murray
University of Minnesota

Experiential Learning Opportunities for Graduate and Undergraduate Students


Student internships in sustainable agriculture provide educational opportunities for experimental learning that deepen students’ appreciation for the complexity of sustainability challenges and the need for broad-based solutions. Each student that completes an internship also contributes to the “What’s Up in Sustainable Agriculture” weekly seminar series which broadens the exposure to more students, faculty, and staff as well as others for the variety of experiences and innovations that are going on within the realm of sustainable agriculture.

Objectives/Performance Targets

1. Twelve students will work with faculty advisors and community-based internship hosts on collaborative learning opportunities over three years.
2. Students will present their internship experiences in the weekly meetings of a campus-based learning community consisting of students, faculty, and staff (average 30 participants/ week). The seminar series is known as, “What’s Up in Sustainable Agriculture”.
3. The steering community will take part in developing evaluation and reflection tools for internships and WUSA seminars.


Internships Funded

Derek Folden
Summer 2003
Farm Intern
Natural Harvest CSA

Angie Goodrich
Summer 2003
Farm Intern & Sustainable Ag Intern at a School
The New Dawn Center & Finca Loma Linda

Michelle Menken
Summer 2003
Certification Survey
Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Sustainable Agriculture and Energy Program

Amy Moore
Summer 2003
Researching Legislative Issues
Minnesota Farmer’s Union

Seminars Given

September 17, 2003
Angie Goodrich: Coffee sales, reforestation, and a small organic farm: Sustainable Agriculture in Costa Rica

October 8, 2003
Derek Folden: Community Supported Agriculture, From an Intern's Perspective

November 19, 2003
Michelle Menken: My internship with MDA's Sustainable Agriculture Program

Graduates with Sustainable Agriculture Systems Minor

Amy Moore

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

This grant has allowed students to receive compensation for their work with community-based organizations and farms that would have been difficult for the host to provide. Students have also provided hosts with completion of work and projects that otherwise may not have been accomplished. Students have completed internships and graduated with the sustainable agriculture systems minor. Through presenting seminars, students have exposed others within the university to innovations and projects in sustainable agriculture.