Women in Agriculture and Food Production Exhibit in the Library

Farmers’ Week: women gathered on steps of Stockbridge Hall, 1922. University of Massachusetts Amherst Photo Negative Collection (RG 171). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries

The UMass Amherst Libraries host “Growing Season: Women in Agriculture and Food Production,” through August 15, 2016, in the W.E.B. Du Bois Library, both on the Lower Level and in Special Collections and University Archives, on Floor 25, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

On the Lower Level, “Growing Season” focuses on the growth and encouragement of women in agriculture and food production at Massachusetts Agricultural College (MAC or “Mass Aggie,” the precursor to UMass Amherst and the home of the Stockbridge School of Agriculture) from the 1910s through the 1930s. With growing local food supply issues from 1900-1920 due to WWI and population movement from farms to cities, MAC started special and short course programs that engaged women in practical agriculture, like gardening, fruit growing, dairying and also rural social services and home economics. The growing Extension Service program reached out to rural and farm community members with instructional workshops and pamphlets.

womanagOn display in Special Collections and University Archives, floor 25, are collections that reflect women and food production, including cookbooks focused on preservation and canning; Helen Hunerwadel who taught and advised on agricultural in Burma and Iran in the 1940s and 1950s; and Elizabeth Henderson, an organic farming pioneer and founding member of the Northeast Organic Farming Association.

The exhibit draws upon the archival collections in Special Collections and University Archives and includes photos, articles, and other artifacts.

For more information, contact Kirstin Kay at kay@library.umass.edu, 413-545-6843.


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Approximately 58% of the 140 students currently in the Sustainable Food and Farming major in the Stockbridge School of Agriculture are women.

Summer Course on Clean Energy & Sustaianble Ag

Sustainable Food and Farming majors at UMass are invited to apply for this free summer class.


SUS 220: Clean Energy and Sustainable Agriculture

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Clean energy is becoming a priority as our global community faces the challenge of climate change. At the same time agriculture is changing to meet the needs of a more environmentally aware consuming public. In this intercollegiate and collaborative course students will learn how to apply clean energy technologies to sustainable agriculture practices. This class brings together students at Holyoke Community College, Hampshire College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst to learn a variety of emerging technologies. Topics will include solar, wind and geothermal technologies, ecological farming, greenhouse management, rainwater collection, root zone heating and considerations of social justice. This course is intended for second year students. Permission of instructor is required. Field trips will involve physical activity and appropriate dress.

  • Earn 6 Credits transferable to UMass
  • May 23 – June 30, 2016
  • Monday to Wednesday 9:00am to 1:00pm
  • Thursday 9:00am to 3:00pm

COURSE OBJECTIVES: Upon completion of this course students will understand:

(1) the application of solar thermal energy in an agricultural setting;

(2) the application of solar photovoltaic energy in an agricultural setting;

(3) the application of wind energy in an agricultural setting;

(4) the application of geothermal energy in an agricultural setting;

(5) the use of biomass as an energy source in an agricultural setting;

(6) the production and harvesting of food;

(7) the management of greenhouses;

(8) the use of energy sources in greenhouses;

(9) the use of machinery, including solar tractors and cooling trailers, in an agricultural setting;

(10) food systems and social justice as it relates to food systems.

COURSE METHODS: This collaborative course will be taught by a number of instructors on three campuses; HCC, Hampshire and UMass Amherst. As outlined in the schedule there will be a variety of activities each day. Lectures, discussions and hands on activities will be the primary methods. This course will focus on clean energy sources with an emphasis on agricultural applications. We will present, in broad outline, the problem of climate change, the implication and the legacy of fossil fuel consumption, and the practicality of developing clean energy sources for environmental, societal, technological, and financial benefits. As much as possible students will be asked to discover answers for themselves, collaborating in small groups, and sharing their findings with their cohort. What are the benefits? Does the technology have applications in our area? What clean energy applications are already up and running in the Pioneer Valley? Have these applications lived up to their promise? While at Hampshire College, students will engage on multiple levels with several different energy technologies, including design and assessment of a mobile refrigeration trailer, alternative models for root and vegetable storage, electric tractor conversion, and solar arrays to power farm operations.   Students will learn in the classroom, on Hampshire’s 100-acre farm and in Hampshire’s innovative Center for Design laboratory. Students will visit other farms and operations that incorporate these technologies in different ways. Students should participate as reflective practitioners throughout the course.

TEXTBOOK: There is no textbook for this course. Materials will be distributed throughout the course as well as being posted on the course Moodle site.

METHOD OF EVALUATION: Students will be expected to keep a notebook/sketchbook. This will serve as a class notebook as well as a reflective journal. Reflective evaluative papers will be written every two weeks, as well as a final evaluation.

ATTENDANCE POLICY: While each student is expected to attend all classes, two excused absences will be allowed, and additional absences may be considered on a case-by-case basis. More than two absences may result in an administrative withdrawal. Consistent tardiness or leaving class early will be counted as absences.

Contact John Gerber to apply at jgerber@umass.edu

To see some video clips from our class last summer, see;

Class Videos


We need more young farmers!

Against a backdrop of lush green mountains and swaying papaya trees, La‘amea Lunn readies his crop of carrots, kale, and eggplants for the weekly farmers market. He carefully tends his one-third acre on Oahu, Hawai‘i, preparing produce for a market stall he shares with friends—young farmers like himself, a few of whom he met when they worked neighboring plots on this land owned by the University of Hawai‘i.

At 32, Lunn has an office job with a career in restaurant kitchens behind him. He hopes to own a farm of his own, to be part of the local food movement, and to help transform the industrial food system. But taking that on now is a substantial investment, so Lunn is Continue reading We need more young farmers!

Career Support Services at UMass


Here are some resources that might be useful….. and more are here:http://www.umass.edu/careers/

Resume Reviews by Real Recruiters – Feb 17th from 1-4pm

Recruiters from various companies will conduct reviews and provide advice on your resume while you wait. Companies such as State Street, Liberty Mutual, Target, IBM, US Fish & Wildlife. You don’t need to be interested in employment at these companies, but gain from their valuable expertise.

Start-Up Nation Innovation Technology Fair for all Majors
Feb 17, 4:00pm – 7:00pm, Campus Center Auditorium
The Innovation Fair is to introduce UMass students to the current entrepreneurial climate and to be competitive. The fair will include an Exposition floor with early stage tech Continue reading Career Support Services at UMass

Three ONLINE Permaculture & Design Classes

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The UMass Amherst Sustainable Food and Farming Program is pleased to be able to offer three ONLINE classes in Permaculture and Design this spring as part of our 15-credit Certificate Program.  Classes begin on January 19 and registration closes whenever the classes fill up or on January 29 at the latest.

Among the 22 online classes we offer year round are the following three which will begin soon (click on the title for more information):

STOCKSCH 197 G – Introduction to Permaculture

perma4Description: The Introduction to Permaculture Course is a three-credit course that offers students a foundation in permaculture history, ethics, principles, design process, and practical applications. The framework behind the theory and practice of permaculture is rooted in the observation of natural systems. By observing key ecological relationships, we can mimic and apply these beneficial relationships in the design of systems that serve humans while helping to restore the natural world. This course trains students as critical thinkers, observers, and analysts of the world(s) around them, and then goes on to provide students with the tools needed to design for inspired and positive Continue reading Three ONLINE Permaculture & Design Classes

Out Post Farm Photo Essay

Submitted by Bryce Moore, Sustainable Food and Farming Student

1The apprenticeship at Out Post Farm in Holliston, Massachusetts was exciting as the opportunity to gain practical experience farming fruits and vegetables allured me. The farm is primarily for Turkeys as it has a small, boutique-style sandwich and ice cream shop. It’s safe to say that the business does very well around Thanksgiving. However, the farm is also established as a supplier of apples, corn, tomatoes, cruciferous vegetables, peppers, carrots, pumpkins, sunflowers, various assortments of flowers and much more. The farm is an excellent source of direct, pesticide-free farm to consumer produce. It’s as close to organic as possible without certification. As globalization increases everyday, it is important to have successful, dedicated small businesses. Continue reading Out Post Farm Photo Essay


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