Big Y has partnered with the "Student Farm Enterprise" to bring its customers local organic produce. The "Student Farm Enterprise" is run by University of Massachusetts students from the Stockbridge School of Agriculture.
As part of their program, each student is responsible for three different types of crops and creates a plan for how best to grow them. The farm program gives students the experience of running their own farm since they plant, harvest, clean, package and sell the vegetables they grow locally to Big Y.
The Amherst Big Y World Class Market, at 175 University Drive, sells organic beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, kale, leeks, onions, red and gold potatoes, sweet potatoes, swiss chard, and butternut squash grown by the "Student Farm Enterprise."
Student farmers started the "Student Farm Enterprise" six years ago. The program started with only two members growing kale. Today, the program includes twelve to fifteen students per year and has grown to over ten markets and thirty-six crops. The program allows students to be able to take what they learned in the classroom and apply it to their fields. After they graduate, many students have chosen to continue to work at local farms.
Big Y has been committed to sustaining local farming and supporting local farmers since its founding over 75 years ago.
The UMASS Student Farm Enterprise has grown considerably! The latest offshoot involves selling produce at local Big Y World Class Market in Amherst. Amanda Brown, Jason Silverman and Brooke Dillon give a little explanation of the program and their experience of learning hands on.