The Student Organic Farm (SOF) is a student-driven organic farm on the Experiment Station at the University of Minnesota St. Paul Campus. The SOF had been a staple in campus life from 2005 until 2020, when university-wide shut-downs and restrictions limited student programs on campus due to the pandemic. Thanks to the resilience of faculty and staff advisors from CFANS and the Department of Horticultural Science, the SOF was re-instated in 2022.
The student farm is cooperatively planned and managed by a full-time staff member, a core group of student interns, and the Department of Horticultural Sciences. Faculty from CFANS and staff with MISA (Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture) are also utilized for guidance and advisory purposes. The SOF grows, harvests, and markets a diversity of crops using sustainable organic practices that utilize local resources, reflect natural ecosystems and improve the quality of the farmland. The farm encourages students to implement, monitor, and evaluate innovative and sustainable organic practices in all aspects of farm management. The SOF is not only a teaching platform of sustainable organic farming for students, faculty and community members, but it also serves as a demonstration farm for interdisciplinary learning communities, as well as a resource for extension in sustainable organic agriculture research. For more information, read the SOF's Master Plan.
The SOF's mission is to supply safe, quality, organic food into the hands of our students, staff, and faculty members while using sustainable practices that utilize local resources, reflect natural ecosystems, and improve farmland quality. Produce grown on the SOF is exclusively available to the UMN community only, therefore restricting competition with local producers surrounding Saint Paul and the Twin Cities. The UMN community may taste some of SOF's produce in the Campus Club dining hall or purchase from the market stand at the Meat and Dairy salesroom in the Andrew Boss Laboratory of Meat Science. For the first time, the UMN community can order SOF produce online through UMN store- SOF. Customers use their UMN login credentials to place their order, and payment is with a credit card.
We welcome groups to tour and learn about the history of the SOF, the significance of organic and sustainable techniques, and current student experiments. Please fill out the Tour Booking form for your tour request. You may also email [email protected] for all other inquiries and requests!