At the Kenyon Farm, pastoral meets academic. Students operate the 10-acre farm, living in a house on the property and managing the care of the animals including turkeys, goats and chickens, as well as the growing and harvesting of field crops such as potatoes, basil and sunflowers.
Students who live at the farm learn to balance their full-time coursework with the chores that keep the place running. They participate in a more sustainable lifestyle and experience the full cycle of farming, from planting seeds to harvesting crops used in the dining hall, from incubating eggs and raising the chickens to delivering eggs to the Kenyon Inn for breakfast. Students also learn the value of recycling and repurposing by using materials from College building projects to construct chicken coops and turkey tractors. Volunteer students and staff help, but ultimately, it’s up to the people who live there to make sure the animals are well tended and the plants well maintained – a way of life that is uniquely demanding and rewarding.
The value of the experience is incalculable. Some of the students who live on the Kenyon Farm plan to operate their own farms when they graduate. Others are interested in working in public policy regarding food safety and sustainability issues. It’s more than just hands-on experience for these students. It’s a chance to live the agricultural life to its fullest while still earning a liberal arts degree.