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About TerpFarm

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.


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Farm

Just 15 miles from campus at the Upper Marlboro Research and Education Center, the farm is two acres of field with high tunnel space.

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Students

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.

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Crops

Peppers, tomatoes, herbs, lettuce, squash, broccoli, kale, collards and MORE.

Community

5% – 10% of produce grown at Terp Farm will be donated to people in need.

Dining

Look for Terp Farm produce at 251 North, Green Tidings, South Campus Dining Hall and The Diner.

Sustainability

Environmental

Terp Farm is a sustainable farming operation – environmentally, economically, and socially. We are still developing a working definition of sustainability for Terp Farm – a process which has involved gathering input from a diverse group of individuals across the campus community. While we are not seeking organic certification, we will be following organic methods as closely as possible. A few examples of our environmentally sustainable practices are crop rotation, cover cropping, planting habitat for beneficial insects, and use of organic fertilizers and pest controls.

Economic

Terp Farm will be economically sustainable by closely following a strong business plan that transitions away from reliance on grant funds and toward profitability. Through careful selection of enterprises, we can ramp up production and sales over time for our primary customer: UMD Dining Services. We are confident that the dining halls can buy as much volume as we can produce.

Social

Terp Farm will be socially sustainable by serving important community needs. First, Terp Farm will be a training ground for the next generation of sustainable farmers – a population for which this country is in desperate need. Second, a portion of every harvest will be donated to a local food bank.

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Our Team

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.

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Allison Lilly

Sustainability and Wellness Coordinator, Dining Services

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!

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Guy Kilpatric

Lead Agricultural Technician

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.

Team

Student Summer Team

  • Eric Biggs, Senior Environmental Science and Technology, minor in Sustainability
  • Karyn Owens, Junior Plant Sciences (concentration: horticulture and crop production), minor in Sustainability
  • Shulamit Shroder, Junior Environmental Science and Policy & Spanish Language, Literature, and Cultures

Campus Collaboration

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Research & Education Center

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.    

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Plant Sciences and Landscape Architecture

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.

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Institute of Applied Agriculture

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.

Office of Sustainability

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.

Terp Farm is a collaboration between the Department of Dining Services, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR), and Office of Sustainability. Many units from across the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources’ three focus areas (academics, extension, and research) are joined together to ensure Terp Farm’s success. Chief AGNR departmental collaborators include the Central Maryland Research and Education Center, Department of Plant Sciences and Landscape Architecture, and Institute of Applied Agriculture.

Notes from the Field

Connect with TerpFarm

Information

  • Address: 1105 South Campus Dining Hall (office) & 2005 Largo Rd Upper Marlboro MD 20774 (farm)
  • Office Phone: (301) 314-1016
  • Email:

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Our Support

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