Vermont Tech Introduces Three New Courses Through the Institute for Applied Agriculture and Food Systems

22 Jan 2014

Randolph, Vt. — In Vermont and across New England, the agricultural industry is a vital part of the economy and one of the largest sources of employment. Vermont Tech, the state’s only higher education institution dedicated to hands-on, applied learning, has developed a series of new courses to allow farmers and agricultural workers to enhance their skills, productivity and competitive edge. Through the college’s Institute for Applied Agriculture and Food Systems, Vermont Tech is offering three new courses including Cold Climate Fruit and Berry Management, The Organic Farm’s Business Course and Sustainable Vegetable Production. The Institute is dedicated to teaching courses that sustainably support the environment and our food systems, and is made possible by a $3.4 million Department of Labor grant.

“With the Institute for Applied Agriculture and Food Systems, we are able to provide specific, pro-active courses taught by industry experts that allow students to quickly and effectively develop important skills,” said Chris Dutton, director of the Institute. “We’re excited to offer these new opportunities for students of all ages and backgrounds that are interested in learning more about maintaining a sustainable food system.”

The three-day Cold Climate Fruit and Berry Management course will take place February 18-20 at Vermont Tech’s Randolph Center campus. This course will study the science and methodology behind fruit and berry production including pest and disease prevention and pruning techniques. It will feature a hands-on lab component and costs $350.

The one-day Organic Farmer’s Business Course will take place in Randolph Center on March 5 for a cost of $70. Noted organic farmer Richard Wiswall will share advice on how to make vegetable production more efficient, better manage employees and finances, and turn a profit. During the course students will find the farm’s profit centers, learn about efficient farm planning and analysis, efficient farm office management, key financial statements, employee management and financial tips for success.

Sustainable Vegetable Production is a one-week course taught by Mimi Arnstein of Wellspring Farm that will take place on March 31-April 4 in Randolph Center. This course will study farm business planning, crop planning and production, financial record keeping and analysis, marketing, soil health, and fertility using organic methods. Students will take a holistic view of business development and farm profitability. The cost for this course is $635. Fees for all courses include instruction, certificate of completion, meals and field trips where applicable.

To register for the courses, please call 1-877-337-7116 x1677 and to learn more about Vermont Tech, visit


About Vermont Tech – Vermont Tech is the only public institution of higher learning in Vermont whose mission is applied education. One of the five Vermont State Colleges, Vermont Tech serves students from throughout Vermont, New England, and beyond at its two residential campuses in Williston and Randolph Center, regional campuses in Brattleboro and Bennington, and at five nursing campuses located throughout the state. Vermont Tech takes an optimistic, rooted and personal approach to education to support students in gaining the confidence and practical skills necessary to not only see their potential, but to experience it. Our academic programs encompass a wide range of engineering technology, agricultural, health, and business fields that are vital to producing the knowledgeable workers needed most by employers in the state and in the region.