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An Update from the BCC Sustainable Agriculture Program

The Sustainable Agriculture Program at Bristol Community College has a new look and a new program coordinator. Professor Kimberly Amaral Newton has taken up the position of program coordinator after the long-time coordinator, Jim Corven, retired last August. Since taking on the program, Prof. Newton has secured a $15,000 grant from the Koppelman family to help refurbish and greatly expand the growing capacity of the college, including constructing a series of modular greenhouses to extend the growing period into the school year. The current heated greenhouse (also a gift from the Koppelman family) will be utilized to capacity to help grow out transplants for the new effort. Students from the sustainable agriculture program will actually construct the modular greenhouses and add to the protected growing capability with each new class.

All of the produce grown on campus will be donated to the student population, to help meet the need of food insecurity on campus. The project will be part of a new “CSA” or “College Supported Agriculture” effort on campus where students both from the agriculture program and the general student population can assist with the growing effort, and learn about agriculture in the process.

The program aims to give students scientific and technical knowledge regarding agriculture along with hands-on opportunities to practice those skills, and prepare them for employment on local farms or to develop their own farm. This hands-on component is also being expanded upon with a new internship opportunity that is being built into a program redesign. Local farmers interested in taking on a new intern to help them learn and succeed in the field are encouraged to contact Prof. Newton at kimberly.newton@bristolcc.edu