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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Hands-on farming practice available at student-run organic farm on campus

Freshman+engineering+major+Daniel+Guintos%2C+senior+nutrition+major+Amanda+Beaver%2C+and+freshman+psychology+major+Emily+Smith+load+containers+with+soil.
Photo by Photo by Jenny Hollowell

Freshman engineering major Daniel Guintos, senior nutrition major Amanda Beaver, and freshman psychology major Emily Smith load containers with soil.

Texas A&M students looking for hands-on agricultural experience in organic farming do not need to travel far to find an opportunity.
A&M has its very own sustainable farm located on campus and run by student volunteers. The“Howdy Farm” gives students the chance to gain agricultural work experience in everything from planting, growing and selling their own produce. Founded in 2008, the Howdy Farm was established by a group of students in a vegetable crop sciences class who wanted to learn more than what they could in a classroom.
“So they got an advisor together and they started their own farm out where the White Creek Apartments are now…in a big field out there,” said Marissa Albers, president of the Howdy Farm organization and nutrition science senior. “When the university started building the White Creek apartments we were transitioned to our plot where we’re at now [behind the Horticulture Building.]”
Rachel Housley, education and sustainability officer for the Howdy Farm organization and bioenvironmental sciences junior, said Howdy Farm has multiple technological resources that make it easy to promote sustainability.
“It’s the organic and sustainably grown farm on campus that’s run by students mostly and our farm manager, Corey [Wahl],” Housley said. “It is a good place for education on sustainable agriculture. We have a lot of neat technology … we have solar panels on the roof of our building that powers the whole thing, and we just got a new farm sink that’s going to pump used water back into the field.”
The produce grown by A&M students who use the farm is sold throughout the Bryan-College Station area, according to Albers.
“We have an on-campus market, as well as selling at the Brazos Valley Farmer’s Market,” Albers said. “We typically sell our produce on Thursdays from 3 to 6 at the farm, but we won’t be selling anything until March. And then we sell in Downtown Bryan at the Brazos Valley Farmer’s Market from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, and that will also start up again in March.”
The funds for these sales make up a big part of the funding for the organization, Albers said.
“We initially started with a grant,” Albers said. “We fund ourselves through our produce sales and our membership dues, and we also take donations. Corey [Wahl] is our farm manager, and he’s a full time A&M employee. Everything else is student run.”
John Crump, fundraising officer and biological and agricultural engineering junior, said the farm is open for visitors and always accepting willing volunteers.
“I guess you could say that the farm is always open,” Crump said. “You can come out and do homework. If you want to volunteer there is a signup on our website that opens up every Monday, and anybody that wants to volunteer, help plant plants or help wash, and giving yourself to the community, that’s available for people to do.”

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  • Howdy Farm

    Photo by Photo by Jenny Hollowell
  • The “Howdy Farm” is an on-campus, sustainable farm that gives students the experience to plant, grow and sell their own produce.

    Photo by Photo by Jenny Hollowell
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