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UMD Land Lab Named a ‘Top Five’ Farm

Champ sitting on a tractor
February 20, 2020

Bulldogs are celebrating their farm being named one of the nation’s “top five college farms” by Best Value Schools.

Land Lab director Randel Hanson and students will be at the farm, 3568 Riley Road, an Tuesday, June 26 from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

They’ll talk about the award, their work, and offer tours of the farm’s new high tunnel– a greenhouse-like structure that extends the growing season. It was completed last August and is now fully occupied with soil-based organic production and two hydroponic experiments.

Hanson says they’re also completing planting the 10 fields that are rotated for the organic production, including a quadrupled strawberry crop experiment.

About the Award

Best Value Schools ranked the top 15 schools with “fantastic college farms.” The website commended UMD for providing field-based education and promoting sustainable agriculture.

Its relationship with UMD’s Dining Services was also lauded, as 90% of the food grown on the farm is served to UMD’s students, faculty, and staff.

UMD Land Lab

Summer image of two students picking vegetables at UMD's farm

The UMD Land Lab is a 30-acre field site that harvests 20-25 tons of sustainably-grown food for UMD Dining Services.  

The UMD Land Lab formed in 2009 to institute collaboration, education, and research around regional food systems. “The farm is where education and operations come together, creating a sustainable evolution of ideas and action,” says Hanson.