Sustainable agriculture has found a new home in Austin – and students are the first to benefit from it.
Austin Community College is set to launch its Sustainable Agricultural Entrepreneurship program, teaching agricultural knowledge and skills in sustainable crop growth. The program will include three different non-credit courses that will be held at ACC's new 98-acre Elgin Campus.
Sharon St. John, ACC's Agriculture Program Coordinator, says the college is emphasizing the importance on sustainable agricultural growth.
"ACC recognizes the strong interest in agricultural farming," St. John says. "We support that by providing the best in agriculture education."
The program encourages students with a career interest in agriculture, as well as those who are just "recreational" growers. ACC says that through its program students will gain heavy knowledge in sustainable crop production and entrepreneurship.
Equally important though, says ACC Associate Director of Public Information Alexis Hanes, is how the new program is helping meet Austin's community needs.
"This is something that we are responding to directly from the community," says Hanes. "And it's not just Elgin. If you walk through any farmer's market in the Austin area, you will see that there is this growing demand for sustainable products, sustainable produce, so this is really on the cutting edge and is the future on where [agriculture] is going."
St. John agrees and says the program will aid in preserving natural resources and provide a purer nutrition for Austinites.
"It's what's going to meet the growing demands of food," St. John says. "It allows food to get to the table quicker with lower transportation costs and while the food is fresher and the nutrients are still intact."
Sustainable agriculture classes will begin at ACC in September. Here’s the three certificate programs available beginning this fall:
- Fundamentals of Soil Science
- Introduction to Organic Crop Production
- Introduction to Sustainable Agriculture
For more information and to register, click here.