Villaume Foundation grant supports new Sustainable Agriculture farm, degree program
SCRANTON, Pa. – Lackawanna College was recently named the recipient of a $20,400 grant from the John and Helen Villaume Foundation. The grant will provide necessary funding to establish a sustainable farm at the College’s Environmental Education Center in Covington Township to be used by students of the new Sustainable Agriculture degree program offered at the Lake Region Center in Hawley.
The Sustainable Agriculture program continues to accept students for the Fall 2016 semester. The program has been designed with community partners including the Wayne Pike Workforce Alliance, Wayne Tomorrow, and the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture to address the needs of the agriculture industry in Pennsylvania’s Lake Region and to provide skills and training necessary to operate an economically viable farm in the 21st century.
The program’s innovative and interdisciplinary hands-on approach education will also allow graduates to explore employment opportunities in fields related to environmental health and safety, forestry and park recreation, building construction and landscape management, government regulation, and more. Students will take classes at the Lake Region Center and will gain the first-hand farming experience they need at the new sustainable farm located at the Environmental Education Center.
The Villaume Foundation grant will help the College overcome the initial start-up costs to create and maintain the sustainable farm, including but not limited to protective fencing, irrigation, greenhouse equipment, tools, and more.
Through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, students interested in the Sustainable Agriculture degree program may be eligible for tuition forgiveness. Interested students should visit the National Young Farmers Coalition website at www.youngfarmers.org or FedLoan Servicing at www.myfedloan.org for more information.
Students interested in the Sustainable Agriculture degree program should contact the Lake Region Center at (570) 226-4625, ext. 2602 or visit www.lackawanna.edu/lakeregion.