Creating sustainable food systems
The Sustainable Agriculture major is designed to prepare students for careers in sustainable agriculture and food systems.
B.S. in Sustainable Agriculture
The sustainable agriculture program at Unity College emphasizes small-scale, local, sustainable agriculture, blending applied knowledge of plants and soils, the context of environmental change, and skills necessary to problem solve and advocate for the role of agriculture in building healthy communities.
Our unique location provides distinctive partnership advantages to our sustainable agriculture majors:
McKay Farm and Research Station, in Thorndike, Maine, is a multi-faceted greenhouse operation owned and operated by Unity College. The facility serves as a direct extension of the 225 acre campus, providing the community with both educational and entrepreneurial opportunities. The donation of the facility by Isabel McKay and Rick Thompson has helped give the College develop and model replicable solutions for environmental challenges, in addition to creating a marketplace presence to serve the community. Students learn invaluable business management and administrative skills necessary to operate a successful agricultural business.
Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA)
Situated right here in Unity, the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) is the largest organic organization in the nation. MOFGA is the state’s certification agency for certifying organic farms, and is also very active in farmer education. Our students take advantage of year round events –trainings, films, speakers—at MOFGA. In addition, two of the organization’s twenty staff members have regularly taught courses for us, and several serve as advisors to our program. In September each year 60,000 people visit MOFGA’s Common Ground Fair.
Maine Farmland Trust
Maine Farmland Trust has an office in Unity and its main office is located in nearby Belfast. In addition to participating in programs like Farmshare, interns help with MFT’s mission to preserve farmland.
Veggies for All
We partner closely with a local food-bank farm called Veggies for All, managed by Unity College alumna Sara Trunzo ’08, to teach students about vegetable production and food security. Veggies for All provides tons of fresh, whole, healthy food to local food pantries each year by growing vegetables on campus. Unity annually hosts Empty Bowls, a fundraiser for hunger relief.
The Sustainable Agriculture Community
Unity is surrounded by certified organic farms—over 48 in our county—as well as seed companies, and food security and farm viability organizations. Both in and out of the classroom, our students network with this very supportive agricultural community.
What You Will Study
Many courses in the Sustainable Agriculture program integrate other disciplines for cross-study purposes, helping you to consider solutions to human-natural systems in your coursework. As a student in our program, you will gain the fine-tuned skills and knowledge to become an experienced environmental problem-solver.
In addition to liberal arts foundation courses from our Environmental Citizen Curriculum, you will have the opportunity to study and specialize in fundamentals of organic horticulture, sustainable agriculture systems, sustainable pest management, livestock and pasture management, agro-ecology, soil fertility, and sustainable enterprise. Take a look at some of the projects developed by students in the sustainable agriculture program.
Many courses have an outdoor lab component in which you’ll learn in various nearby natural settings and then continue the learning process in the lab using modern equipment and technology. All students in the sustainable agriculture program must complete an internship.
Careers in Sustainable Agriculture
As a sustainable agriculture graduate from Unity, you’ll have a wide range of career options available to you. Graduates go on to become organic farmers, plant health specialists, plant breeding technicians, directors of community food organizations, seed conservation society directors, farmland conservation organization leaders, research greenhouse managers, and soil scientists.
Discover the many ways Unity College Career Services can help you reach your career goals.
Our Expert Faculty
Our accomplished faculty are dedicated to helping you drive real change through leading-edge knowledge and expertise.