AMHERST, Mass. — With the rising interest in local meat, milk and other animal products in New England, the UMass Stockbridge School of Agriculture has begun to offer more animal husbandry classes for small farms. This fall, two online classes will be offered as part of the Sustainable Food and Farming degree program.
STOCKSCH 190D, Raising Dairy Goats Sustainably, explores the differences between conventional, organic, and sustainable methods of raising goats and managing a dairy, whether for home or commercial use. It will cover planning and managing the dairy, as well as natural methods of raising goats. It will integrate current research on goat health issues with management practices. Breeding and birthing issues will be discussed in detail, as well as raising kids. Basics of cheese and soap making will be included, as well as composting waste and using milk or whey as fertilizer or to raise other meat animals, such as poultry, pigs, and calves.
STOCKSCH 269, Raising Pigs and Poultry, is a farmer’s perspective on the sustainable management, production and marketing of poultry and pigs on a small farm. This course will address the advantages of having pigs and poultry and will review basic care, processing options, regulations and marketing. The course will be structured around lectures, local farm visits, discussions and readings. The class will explore different alternative farming systems that utilize animals to enhance their production. At the end of this course, students will be able to utilize pigs and poultry as an integral part of their small farm plan.
These classes are both 3-credit college level class and maybe used to satisfy the degree requirements for the UMass Sustainable Food and Farming 15-credit Certificate, the 60-credit Associate of Science and/or the 120-credit Bachelor of Science degree programs. Credits may also be transferred to other colleges or universities. The UMass Stockbridge School of Agriculture Sustainable Food and Farming program is the only online program in the U.S. that offers 40 online classes that may be taken either individually or toward completion of one of these three fully online degrees.
The UMass Stockbridge School of Agriculture is offering 13 online classes this fall including; Practical Beekeeping, Building a Sustainable Homestead, and Organic Vegetable Production. Fall classes begin on September 3, 2019 and registration is now open. For information on all 13 online classes offered this fall at UMass Amherst, please see: https://onlinesustfoodfarm.com/.
—John M. Gerber, UMass-Amherst