UMD’s Department of Dining Services, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) and Office of Sustainability are partnered to create “Terp Farm” a sustainable farming operation located just 15 miles from the College Park campus. The College of AGNR has committed two acres at the Central Maryland Research and Education Center’s Upper Marlboro facility for Terp Farm. Terp Farm will offer four-season vegetable production to be used in selected dining halls and on the Green Tidings mobile dining food truck, as well as provide produce to food-insecure members of the campus and College Park communities.
Just 15 miles from campus at the Upper Marlboro Research and Education Center, the farm is two acres of field with high tunnel space.
Students from many campus departments are getting their hands dirty at Terp Farm. When class is not in session, student staff will work at the farm.
Peppers, tomatoes, herbs, lettuce, squash, broccoli, kale, collards and MORE.
5% – 10% of produce grown at Terp Farm will be donated to people in need.
Look for Terp Farm produce at 251 North, Green Tidings, South Campus Dining Hall and The Diner.
The Terp Farm Team is committed to sustainable agriculture, good food, and the University of Maryland community! Terp Farm is managed by the Department of Dining Services – including Dining’s Sustainability and Wellness Coordinator and Lead Agricultural Technician. Each summer, Terp Farm hires a team of dedicated students to work on the farm in preparation for the fall harvest and start of the academic year. During the semester, Terp Farm serves as a hands-on learning center for students in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. UMD students’ in-class lab experiences and committed volunteerism sustain Terp Farm during the academic terms.
After graduating with her Master of Public Health degree in Spring, 2012 from the Maryland Institute of Applied Environmental Health, Allison joined the UMD Dining Services team full-time. She coordinates the Green Dining Program – which includes Terp Farm, as well as reusable carryout, composting & recycling initiatives, campus community gardening efforts, Green Dining Internship Program, Sustainable Food Commitment and Action Plan and more. Allison is thrilled to see Terp Farm taking root and continuously looking for even more campus collaborations to enhance the program!
Farmer Guy grew up in Western Maryland and brings a diverse skill set to the project. He has many years of experience on organic fruit and vegetable farms in addition to completing the Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture at the University of California – Santa Cruz. Agricultural sustainability is a great passion of his and so is growing delicious food.
Originally known as the Campus Tobacco Farm, the Central Maryland Research and Education Center – Upper Marlboro Facility, now serves as the home for Terp Farm. The 202 acre Upper Marlboro Facility is located 15 miles from the College Park campus and focuses on the development of alternative crops to replace the tobacco crop in Maryland. A total of 32 AGNR faculty use Upper Marlboro on either a regular or a periodic basis for their research, instructional, and/or Extension programs. Staff from the AGNR Research & Education Centers provide technical expertise and support to Terp Farm. Additionally, the Upper Marlboro Facility shares its resources with Terp Farm such as land, equipment, storage, utilities, and meeting/office space.
Students and faculty in the Department of Plant Sciences and Landscape Architecture (PSLA) utilize Terp Farm to enhance the learning experience at UMD. Professor Dr. Chris Walsh teaches PLSC433 – Technology of Fruit and Vegetable Production each fall – which includes weekly laboratory visits to Terp Farm to work with Farmer Guy producing crops for campus dining and donations. Additionally, specialists from PSLA serve as advisers to Terp Farm to assist with Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification and promote food safety on the farm.
The Institute of Applied Agriculture (IAA) offers a Certificate in Sustainable Agriculture and Ms. Meredith Epstein, the program’s lead instructor, identifies ways for IAA students to find practical learning experiences with Terp Farm. The IAA also provides funding for one of the Terp Farm Student Summer Staff positions each summer.
Terp Farm received its initial funding from the Sustainability Fund, supported by student fees and administered through a student-majority subcommittee of the University Sustainability Council to provide funding for projects that promote environmental sustainability, and positively impact and enhance the student experience at UMD. The Office of Sustainability supports Terp Farm by connecting students and the campus community to ongoing Terp Farm projects.