Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 75.15
Liaison Lori Collins-Hall
Submission Date March 5, 2021
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Sterling College (VT)
EN-12: Continuing Education

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 5.00 / 5.00 Nicole Civita
Assistant Director
Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution offer continuing education courses that address sustainability?:

Total number of continuing education courses offered:

Number of continuing education courses offered that address sustainability:

Percentage of continuing education courses that address sustainability:

A copy of the list and brief description of the continuing education courses that address sustainability:

A list and brief description of the continuing education courses that address sustainability:

Through the School of the New American Farmstead, Sterling provides a variety of workshops, classes, and certifications that will inspire, equip students with marketable skills, and provide new perspectives on integrated, community-centered farming and food production. Here are the offerings in 2019/2020:

Surviving the Future: Conversations for Our Times - Surviving the Future lays out a compelling and powerfully different new economics for a post-growth world.

Strategies for Social & Environmental Justice with Vandana Shiva - Activism in the Indian tradition, following from the example set by Gandhi, offers modern environmental, food sovereignty, and climate activists lessons and victories by which to model ongoing efforts to make change.

Introduction to Natural Cheesemaking - Learn the practical and scientific knowledge needed to create exquisite artisan cheese.

Wild Fermentation - “Fermentation has been an important journey of discovery for me,” writes author Sandor Ellix Katz. “I invite you to join me along this effervescent path, well trodden for thousands of years yet largely forgotten in our time and place, bypassed by the superhighway of industrial food production.”

Artisan Bread Baking - Connecting to the origins of sustenance, students will practice the art of bread-making using both domestic and wild yeasts with an emphasis on baking with retained heat provided by Sterling’s wood-fired ovens.

Empowered Bread, Pies, and Pastries - A revolutionary hands-on week of baking with the best local ingredients, learning to make artful food, and community empowerment through terroir.

Ecological Orcharding - A whole system-based approach for producing delicious, nutritionally dense fruit. Students will learn to select varieties; cultivate a thriving, diverse, productive landscape; create habitat for pollinators and beneficial insects; make and use natural sprays to boost plant immune response; and garden fungally.

#HempHack: A Workshop for Budding Hemp Farmers & Entrepreneurs - With the recent change in regulations opening up a burgeoning market, small acreage farmers have an opportunity to add a new source of revenue: growing hemp. What's more, utilizing regenerative practices that build soil and sequester carbon results in the highest quality hemp, giving you a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

The School of the New American Farmstead’s experiential approach engages all the senses and impart techniques perfected by some of the world’s most skilled ecological farmers and craft-food producers. Our instructors pair their singular expertise with enthusiastic and effective teaching.

Do the figures reported above cover one, two, or three academic years?:

Does the institution have at least one sustainability-themed certificate program through its continuing education or extension department?:

A brief description of the certificate program(s), including the year the program was created:

At the end of the 2019/2020 academic year, the School of the New American Farmstead launched four certificate programs:

Artisan Cheesemaking Professional Certificate: Teaches students to intentionally source raw agricultural products, transform quality ingredients into higher-value products through application of time-tested techniques, and market their products to a growing population of conscious consumers.

Organic Wine & Spirits Production Professional Certificate: While “organic” is the fastest-growing trend in the wine industry and a fast-emerging niche in the booming world of craft distilleries, learning how to manage the full cycle of pesticide-free farming, harvesting, fermentation, and distillation requires the mentorship of proven cutting-edge producers.

Sustainable Food Craft Professional Certificate: With the growing demand for local, sustainable, and value-added foods comes a clarion call for craft food artisans who understand on-farm sustainability practices and can collaborate with farmers to provide consumers with food that is ethically-produced, delicious, and healthy.

Educational Farm & Garden Management Professional Certificate: Educational farms and gardens are complex entities to manage, regardless of mission, setting, or scale. They demand a diverse array of skills and expertise. Managers face unique challenges in the visioning, planning, budgeting, structuring, governance, oversight, finances, fundraising, educational integration, curricular development, socioeconomic & food justice issues institutional engagement & support, food service linkages, marketing options, risk management, and surrounding community needs–not to mention the management of landscape, infrastructure, plants, and livestock!–of these living and dynamic entities.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

In small classes, students work one-on-one with sustainable agriculture pioneers and reverent food artisans, who will also share illuminating history, fundamental theory, and practical information. On Sterling’s Farm and in its teaching kitchen, students have ample opportunity to put their new knowledge into practice. Visits with the stewards of Vermont’s working landscape and the visionary leaders of its vibrant food movement will complete the immersive experience.

Give your passion for food and farming the time and space it deserves. Explore a lifestyle or career that feeds your body, mind, and soul. Learn to replenish the land, relish its bounty, and revive time-tested rural arts.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.