Located on about 500 acres, the Berea College Farm is one of the oldest, continuously operating, and most highly diversified student educational farms in the United States. The Farm, located in the Knobs along the edge of the Bluegrass Region, borders the campus of Berea College and the City of Berea. It consists of pastures, cropland, woodlots, and ponds.
The Berea College Farm offers students practical work and management experience through the Labor Program. Many ANR majors, as well as students from various other majors, handle the daily farming operations throughout the year with College Farm staff and ANR faculty providing supervision and support. In their first year, all students gain experience in each enterprise, including field crops, maintenance, cattle, hogs, poultry and pasture management. Students will also gain experience with equipment use, the feed mill, and general farm upkeep. After learning the basics, students employed at the Farm have the opportunity to focus on their area of interest by serving on a management team or becoming the student manager of an enterprise. They may also serve as the Student Farm Manager as they gain experience. This role entails making management decisions, coordinating activities and tasks, and leading other student workers.
The Farm is also an essential educational resource that complements and reinforces in-class academic learning by serving as the primary laboratory for many of the courses taught in the ANR Department. To be utilized in this role, the College Farm must be a model of sustainable agriculture. This is broadly defined as being ecologically sound (resourceful and holistic), socially acceptable (safe, fair, and just), economically viable (financially solvent and potentially profitable), and humane (ethical and caring). Students enrolled in ANR courses may gain experience in farm planning, farm management, enterprise budgeting, safe handling procedures for livestock, livestock management and care, and much more. Students participating in farm activities demonstrate and develop stewardship, leadership, cooperation, teamwork, and safe and ethical work habits to advance the whole-farm system.