Academic Programing and Internship Opportunities
As an institution, Kenyon has integrated a great deal of local foods education into our academic curriculum. Ten percent of our faculty teaches courses in nearly every academic department dealing with food, agriculture, or rural life. One of the hardest courses to get into at Kenyon is “Sustainable Agriculture” in the environmental studies department. This intensive fieldwork course provides students with hands-on experience at local farms and places of agricultural significance within our community, which is supplemented with current literature and participation in small seminar discussion groups. Another course, “Anthropology of Food,” examines the roles of food and agriculture in society from a cross-cultural perspective. Kenyon also offers a biology course on animal behavior in which students observe and quantify the behavior of animals by visiting various sustainable farms in our surrounding region. There is even photography course that seeks to document rural food culture and politics, and a course offered by our Religious Studies department that devotes a section of coursework to the discussion of Wendell Berry, a writer, farmer, and activist, as a great American prophet.
In addition to courses offered during the academic year, the college has implemented a unique summer opportunity that provides students with exposure to the agriculture of our local region. Kenyon runs a joint program with the Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Association (OEFFA) that allows students to take a minimum of three relevant courses at Kenyon and then spend the summer participating in a 10-week paid internship on a sustainable farm. When they have cultivated the skills and practical knowledge regarding our local farming and food systems, students receive a certificate in ecological agriculture from OEFFA. This program began out of OEFFA’s interest in generating enthusiasm for farming among young people. The idea was to combine academic work and active farm internships at small colleges throughout Ohio; the Kenyon initiative served as a pilot. We’re now working with OEFFA to introduce this program into other small colleges across the state.
For more information about academic programing, click here.