CSU, Chico News

University Farm Ranked No. 1 for Sustainability

Date: 10-02-2015

Sarah Langford
Public Affairs
Dave Daley, interim dean
College of Agriculture

College of Agriculture Also Recognized for Value

The Paul L. Byrne Memorial Agriculture Teaching and Research Center at California State University, Chico, commonly known as the University Farm, was ranked No. 1 in College Values Online’s recent list of top sustainable college farms.

To create the list, the college ranking company measured the sustainability of the top 30 from its initial pool of 100 college farms. Points were awarded for farm size, being certified organic, having animal components, providing academic courses on the farm and selling to campus dining halls, CSA basket shares and other venues.

College Values Online also ranked CSU, Chico No. 30 in its list of schools offering the most value to agriculture students. That ranking was based on payscale.com return-on-investment data, tuition, financial aid and number of agricultural programs.

The 800-acre University Farm is among the nation’s most diversified and productive college-run farms. With four livestock units, a USDA-inspected meat laboratory and 600 acres of orchards, row crops and greenhouses, students have unparalleled access to hands-on learning in the heart of the nation’s food basket.

Approximately 10 percent of the farm’s acreage is certified organic, including an organic dairy and a variety of organic vegetable crops.

Through a sustainability partnership with Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in Chico, beef cattle raised at the University Farm are fed grain and yeast byproducts from the brewing process and eventually become the beef supply for the brewery’s restaurant.

And earlier this year, the College of Agriculture cohosted the Western Regional Grazing Conference themed “Grazing for Change,” which focused on sustainable farming and ranching practices.

“The University Farm is the living laboratory for agriculture students at Chico State,” said Dave Daley, interim dean for the College of Agriculture. “It is likely the most diversified farming operation in Northern California, which gives students opportunities to work with a wide variety of crops, livestock and production systems. Our student-centered approach at the University Farm gives undergraduates the opportunity to take the lead in day-to-day management, giving them valuable leadership and team-building skills as they prepare to enter the workforce.”

Other California college farms making the top-30 sustainability list include UC Davis (No. 6); UC Santa Cruz (No. 14); Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo (No. 18); and Butte College (No. 30).

College Values Online ranks schools and programs, highlights features of the college experience and provides career information from the angle of value. Learn more at www.collegevaluesonline.com.

Visit the College of Agriculture online at www.csuchico.edu/ag.