On the back 16 acres of Walla Walla Community College, 30 Red Angus cows stand munching on hairy vetch, ryegrass, and other cover crops that were planted to help restore the soil.
The cattle, which were artificially inseminated by students in the spring, will eventually be harvested at a USDA plant and incorporated into the fine dining menu at the college’s student-run campus restaurant, Capstone Kitchen.
Those cows are just one part of the closed-loop system the college aims to highlight in its new farm-to-fork program that is rolling out this school year. “The agriculture students will be growing and raising specialty crops and animals for us, and culinary students will get the chance to get their hands in the dirt to learn what it takes to grow a crop,” says chef-instructor and Top Chef alum Robin Leventhal. “It’s truly full circle.”
Walla Walla’s hands-on coursework is bringing together agriculture and culinary students as part of a nascent movement among community colleges that are increasingly bringing food production into curricula in new and innovative ways.
Read more at modernfarmer.com