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Student Farm Management (I&II) course guide

Assignment Expectations


Managing the Student Farm I: Planning For Production

Special Topics Assignment

6-8 page paper and in-class presentation

This course offers an in depth look at practices associated with sustainable agriculture production.  It is impossible for the instructors of this course to cover every aspect within this broad topic.  To overcome this dilemma we are asking for your help!  Through this assignment we are asking you to become an expert on a special topic that is relevant to production agriculture and the Student Farming Enterprise course.  You will be asked to select a topic, do some research, and prepare a 6-8 page paper of ORIGINAL WORK that will serve as an informational report for your classmates. 


Your paper should include the following:


  • An introduction on the topic and its history and use within the Agriculture community.


  • The main body of you paper should be a detailed look at your topic.  What are options available for farmers? What is most commonly used?  Include prices if relevant.  Include a pro and con section if appropriate. 


  • What is the relevance of the topic to this class, how does it directly relate to SFE?


  • What recommendations do you have for the group in regards to the use or consideration of your topic?


  • List of resources from where you gathered your information and sources of additional information.  You will need to show at least 3 credible sources from which you gather information using the UMass Library Databases.



The second portion of you grade for this assignment is to present your material to the group.  There will be an in-class presentation (time and date to be determined) we will also be hosting a Special Topics Fair (time and date to be determined) for you to display your work and talk to others about what you have worked on.  Note that for both presentations, reading from your report is not acceptable!  You should bring in examples of materials where appropriate; pictures, informational brochures or any handouts that you think would enhance your presentation and give both your classmates and other interested parties valuable information on your topic. 

Remember that you are responsible for providing this information to the class.  Be creative and have fun with this assignment.  All work is due on the due date; no work will be accepted after the due date.  If you need help with your report or presentation, attend office hours or set up a time to meet with an instructor. 


The Paper

A detailed look at your topic, looking at options that are available for farmers, common practices, pricing, and any other relevant information.  Be sure to focus on how the topic can be applied to the class and the Student Farm, as well as what recommendations you have for the group.  A works-cited page is required.

The In-Class Presentation

A slightly less formal presentation of your project will occur during our scheduled class time, where you will summarize your findings and open up discussion with the rest of the class about how your subject can relate to the Student Farm.  These presentations will be roughly 15-20 minutes long and will be peer reviewed.  You should look to prepare a powerpoint presentaion  -bring in artifacts to share and prepare to engage your audience.

The Poster for the Special Topic Fair

Here is an example of what we are looking for.

Special Topics Fair 2014 video

A short video to show what you'll be doing at the Fair!

© 2016 University of Massachusetts Amherst.