COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WJZ) — Farm to table is a strong trend in the restaurant industry.
Alex DeMetrick reports the University of Maryland is taking it a step further.
Food trucks are everywhere, but at the University of Maryland, there’s a good chance some of the produce comes from Terp Farm. Produce harvested there goes straight to campus dining facilities.
“I majored in English and I ended up becoming a farmer,” said Guy Kilpatrick.
Kilpatrick manages the university’s Terp Farm. His journey from classroom to field is being passed on to students who do much of the work.
“What we offer them is the opportunity to go out on a farm for the first time, maybe do some of the work, some of the labor, and see if it’s right for them,” Kilpatrick said.
“As soon as I started farming, I kind of got the bug for it and here I am. I’m 22 and it’s all I want to do now. I just want to farm,” said Karyn Owens.
Hands on experience grew out of demand on campus for fresh and local.
“Students are coming to my office and my director’s office and saying, `We want this food,'” said Allison Lilly, University of Maryland.
“It allows us to know where our food is coming from, which is really important [and] something we’ve kind of lost as a culture,” said Chloe Isacc.
The program is very much a return to the university’s founding purpose as an agricultural college.
“There’s a strong agricultural history in Maryland and we’re trying to keep it alive,” Kilpatrick said.
While the bulk of the produce grown at Terp Farm goes to campus dining programs, surplus is also donated to area food banks.