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Associate Director of External Affairs | Cheryl Reitan | creitan@d.umn.edu | (218) 726-8996
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August 3, 2011
Cheryl Reitan | Interim director | UMD Public Relations and Marketing | 218 726-8996 | creitan@d.umn.edu
Randel Hanson | Assistant professor | UMD Geography | 218 726-6300 | rhanson2@d.umn.edu


UMD Farm Providing Internships and Sustainability

Randel HansonRandel Hanson
Formerly known as the Northeast Agricultural Experimental Station, UMD's Field and Research Studies Center hosts the Sustainable Agriculture Project field site on a 15-acre parcel that includes a 5-acre heritage apple orchard located at 4907 Jean Duluth Road.

Randel Hanson, UMD geography assistant professor, worked collaboratively with faculty, staff, and the Duluth community in order to revive the abandoned land for study, research, and student internship opportunities.

"Our project here has two areas of focus both of which are key. First, it's about the students," Hanson said. "We work with academic courses and internships. We have 94 incoming freshman coming out here in early September. How can we help them with the important life skills of knowing more about food and food systems? Secondly, it's about helping UMD, as an institution, change its food system. How can we collaborate with areas like Dining Services and Facilities Management, making the physical plant the object for research, teaching, and transformation? All around the US, communities are searching for answers related to our broken food system, and we need a broad engagement to address these issues. Sustainability must begin at home."

The Sustainable Agriculture Project at the University of Minnesota Duluth (SAP@UMD) was formed in 2009 to institute education, research, and community engagement around local food systems and food security in the western Lake Superior region. It is an interdisciplinary faculty collaborative that provides overall leadership housed in the College of Liberal Arts' Center for Sustainable Community Development.

The institutional partners for the farming initiative include UMD's Facilities Management, the Office of Sustainability, and the Office of Civic Engagement. SAP@UMD collaborates with a host of community organizations with interests and activities in food, farming and gardening issues.

For photos and more information, see http://www.d.umn.edu/unirel/homepage/11/umdfarm.html



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