Organic Farming Certificate Program

(acoustic music) – Organic farming you
can take care of people and you can take care of
the environment all in one. So that was the huge draw to me cause I care about both. – Maintaining everything
in a holistic manner where you’re looking at the
farm as a living organism and you’re treating it so and with respect. – We know that over the
next few generations, we’re gonna need close
to a million new farmers and we’re gonna train
them to be organic farmers cause we really believe
in the power of organic to feed people and to improve
the health of the soil for generations. (celestial music) The partnership we have with
Delaware Valley University is unique in that we have a university partnering directly with a non profit to bring along a new generation of farmers to teach farmers to farm and transition farmland
from conventional production to organic production. That’s our mission. – DelVal is the perfect place to have the organic farming certificate program because we have a long
history in agriculture. The school was founded in 1896, it was known as the National Farm School. – The Rodale Institute is the birthplace of organic agriculture in this country. J I Rodale, who started the Rodale Institute, said healthy soil equals healthy food equals healthy people, back in 1947 and that still holds true today. – Well our program is a year long, it’s broken into three semesters. It has a fall, spring
and a summer semester. One of the benefits of this program is that it has rolling enrollment so a student can begin at any semester. – So the courses that the
students will take here at Delaware Valley University, really cover a broad swath
of organic agriculture. They’re going to learn about
the national organic standards and what it means to actually
have a certified organic farm. They’re going to learn
about being an entrepreneur and owning their own business and in fact because we
have farms here at DelVal, students really get a
lot of hands on learning on farms. – Previous to this I had
no farming experience and being in the classroom first gave me a really good base understanding of pest control or equipment, things like that, so when I did get to the farm, it made the things that
I learned kind of click. – So how you guys doing? – Good. We’re doing good. – These ones are called parade and look at their leaves, they’re like straight up like they’re marching in a parade. Here at the Rodale Institute they actually get an
operating organic system that they are immersed in. Where they’re seeing how things grow, they’re planting, they’re weeding, they’re cultivating and they’re harvesting and then they also learn
how to process that food until it gets to the customer. So this is the perfect
time to be harvesting it. – They learn a whole variety of tasks from vegetable production to livestock to grains, bee-keeping, maple syrup, greenhouse operations, orchards, tractor maintenance, a whole variety of topics. – What we’re doing here today is we’re looking at the connection between soil health and human health. What I’ve asked, is the students bring in soils that they want to check and so they’re gonna be looking
at the biology of the soil. We’re connecting that life in the soil to the ability to process
nutrients from the soil. – I grew up in the city so I’ve never done
anything like this before, out in the field, harvesting the foods. So when I found this I was like, wow that’s really what I want to do. We did composting for a week, livestock and I’d never
drove a tractor before. (laughs) And I got to do that. This program has opened my eyes up to a lot of different opportunities. – At Delaware Valley University, we are a yellow ribbon school which means we can work with veterans, that they can use their G I
benefits to pay for the tuition. But it is also open to civilians and they’d have a common goal, to get into organic or
sustainable farming. – The advantages I find, doing this program as a veteran, financially it’s a huge deal, by G I Bill covers all of it and I get a living stipend as well and it’s a one year program. I’m like, I can do anything for a year. (laughs) – I use by G I Bills to
pay for this program, it’s worth it. Just everything I’ve learned
in a short amount of time is everything that I’m going
to need to be successful when I leave here. – So what she wants to do
right now is sit on the eggs and hatch them and not lay more. – The program has been
wonderfully beneficial to me, just exposure to all types of agriculture, especially organic. To see how to raise good, nutritious food for your family, neighbors, communities. People are here after their passions and it’s a great place to be. – There are a lot of soon
to be retiring farmers that contact us looking for people to turn their farm over or they want it converted
over to an organic farm so we actually have farms
waiting for farmers, so it’s definitely a growing industry. – Organic farming is important to me because it’s the future and just meeting the whole community, that is organic farming, is just great. – You’re looking for a program in depth with the knowledge that
they can give you here, it’s pretty amazing. (optimistic music)

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