J.G. Davis, H.G. Hughes, F.H. Stonaker, A.L. Elliott, S.M. Ward, J.R. Fenwick, and D.G. Westfall. Colorado State University, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Fort Collins, CO 80523
Colorado State University unveiled its new Interdisciplinary Program in Organic Agriculture in the Fall of 2006. The program is designed for students with an interest in alternative agricultural production approaches, in particular, organic agriculture. The focus of the program is on the science of organic agricultural production. Students build on a base of fundamental agricultural sciences with additional courses specifically focused on organic agriculture production techniques, business management, marketing, and decision-making. Lecture, discussion, lab, and internship experiences involve experiential learning at many levels. Eight new courses have been developed to support this program including a freshmen-level gateway course entitled Environmental Issues in Agriculture, a hands-on, field-based summer course called Diagnosis and Treatment in Organic Fields, and a capstone course entitled Topics in Organic Agriculture. In addition, we have developed five 1-credit modules including Soil Ecology, Organic Soil Fertility, Composting Principles and Practices, Introduction to Crop Development Techniques, and Organic Greenhouse Production. Scholarships have been donated for all participating students by a local organic dairy, and student numbers are building.