Published: May 3, 2012

MSU gets perfect score in first organic land grant report

Organic Farming Research Foundation announced the release of the first Organic Land Grant Assessment Report, measuring research, education and outreach in the federally funded Land Grant system.

The system, initiated by President Abraham Lincoln's visionary Land Grant Law, includes universities, research stations and Cooperative Extension. The Top Six campuses scoring a perfect '8' include Michigan State University, Colorado State University, University of Florida, University of Minnesota, University of Tennessee and Washington State University.

The schools were evaluated in the following categories: certified organic research or student farm ground, organic experiment station ground, a student organic or "sustainable" farm—a training site, an organic major, minor or certificate program, an organic course of any kind, a dedicated organic staff or faculty person, organic Extension resources and an annual organic field day.

"It's important that MSU is active in – and doing well in – all eight categories they evaluated," said John Biernbaum, professor in the Department of Horticulture and faculty coordinator for the Student Organic Farm. "This recognition also reflects that MSU has many faculty and staff working in ecological and organic farming."

Five years ago, Washington State University was the first in the country to offer students a major in organic agriculture. Today, eight Land Grant Universities provide students this opportunity.

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