Sustainable agriculture education programs continue to increase nationwide with many inquiry-based educational activities occurring on student farms. Student farms are defined as associated with educational or college institutions that provide diverse, hands-on educational experiences in agriculture. While student farms provide multiple benefits primarily to students, few studies have examined successes, challenges and educational strategies for utilization of these farms. In an effort to fill these gaps, we surveyed student farm leaders including farm managers and associated faculty from 24 college and university student farm programs nationwide. We utilized a three-round, online modified Delphi survey to collectively gather and rank student farm leaders’ perceptions of five key student farm characteristics including: 1) successful components for establishment and long-term management; 2) educational and outreach strategies for students and community; 3) challenges, issues and solutions; 4) funding resources and strategies; and 5) ideas for future educational and outreach activities. Results demonstrated the importance of having an experienced farm manager; diverse interdisciplinary educational strategies primarily for students and some for community and the need for strong institutional support. These findings are important both for newly established farms as well as those already developed as student farms are becoming an increasingly important tool for providing the experiential educational foundation to university-based sustainable agriculture education programs.


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