Dickinson College Farm is the first higher education farm to be Food Alliance Certified. We take pride in caring for our land with deep respect for the natural environment and the people who work here. That’s why we have chosen Food Alliance certification for our farm and its products.
Food Alliance, operating out of Portland, Oregon, is a non-profit third-party certification program that promotes environmentally and socially responsible agricultural practices. The criteria for certification include safe and fair working conditions, healthy and humane treatment of animals, reduction of pesticide use and toxicity, soil and water conservation, energy and waste management, and protection of wildlife habitat. Thus, farming or food industry establishments with the Food Alliance seal, like the Dickinson College Farm, can demonstrate to their consumers that they employ a holistic approach, taking into account the health of the people, soil, water, plants, and animals. Food Alliance also requires its certification holders to have plans in place for continual improvement, encouraging ever-evolving, responsible, and traceable practices.
“I appreciate that third-party entities watch us to ensure our efforts are legitimately progressive,” Jenn Halpin, Director of Farm Programs, says. “Food Alliance offers a different, holistic approach that requires a farm to provide habitat for wildlife, to implement strategies for biodiversity, to treat workers fairly, etc.” The farm also has a personal relationship with customers. “We want our customers to come out and see how we’re raising our crops and animals, to ask us questions, challenge us and propose new methods,” she explains. “We want to ensure that we have a long-term positive impact on this land and that our food is safe for our customers,” she says.
The Dickinson College Farm is also the first farm to become a Food Alliance educational partner.