Sprout Creek Farm, a nonprofit working farm and education center in Dutchess County, has transferred control of its operations to Marist College. The 200-acre farm produces award-winning cheese, raises a variety of farm animals, and offers numerous educational programs focused on agriculture and the environment. The Farm will remain an independent nonprofit.
“As we considered ways to ensure the viability of Sprout Creek Farm in the future, we approached Marist College and were delighted that they were interested in integrating the Farm into the College,” said Alice Maggin, chairperson of the Board of Directors.
“Sprout Creek Farm provides the College with a tremendous opportunity to establish programs for our students and faculty while continuing and enhancing the wonderful educational offerings the Farm has offered this community for more than 25 years,” noted Marist President David Yellen. “Sprout Creek Farm’s central work—educating people to appreciate the rich agricultural heritage of the Hudson Valley and the United States and fostering a sense of responsibility for the future of the environment—aligns perfectly with Marist’s core mission.”
In addition to continuing the current educational programs and agricultural operations, Marist plans to invest significantly in the facilities and to develop new connections between the Farm and Marist’s academic programs. “Sprout Creek will play a key role in Marist’s experiential learning programs by serving as a living classroom and providing hands-on learning opportunities for students in a variety of academic disciplines,” said Dr. Geoffrey Brackett, Marist’s Executive Vice President.
Sprout Creek Farm was originally founded in 1982 by the Society of the Sacred Heart, which remained deeply involved after an independent Board of Directors was established in 2012.
“The Society of the Sacred Heart is delighted that Marist College will move Sprout Creek Farm into the future,” said Sheila Hammond, RSCJ, provincial of the United States – Canada Province. “This is really a ‘marriage of missions’—the farm will continue to offer the same excellent educational and agricultural experiences for children and adults that have become beloved features of Sprout Creek.”
Located on the banks of the historic Hudson River and at its Florence, Italy campus, Marist College is a comprehensive, independent institution grounded in the liberal arts. Its mission is to “help students develop the intellect, character, and skills required for enlightened, ethical, and productive lives in the global community of the 21st century.” Marist is consistently recognized for excellence by The Princeton Review (Colleges That Create Futures and The Best 381 Colleges), U.S. News & World Report (9th Best Regional University/North), Kiplinger’s Personal Finance (“Best College Values”), and others. Though now independent, Marist remains committed to the ideals handed down from its founders, the Marist Brothers: excellence in education, a sense of community, and a commitment to service. Marist educates approximately 5,000 traditional-age undergraduate students and 1,400 adult and graduate students in 47 undergraduate majors and 14 graduate programs, including fully online MBA, MPA, MS, and MA degrees. marist.edu
About Sprout Creek Farm
Founded in 1982 by the Society of the Sacred Heart, Sprout Creek Farm was originally located on the campus of the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Greenwich, Connecticut. The operations moved to Dutchess County, New York, in 1990. The relocation to New York came after Sprout Creek Farm was identified as “mission-aligned” with the intent of the original farm’s owner. Encompassing 200 acres, Sprout Creek Farm is really three different entities, distinct yet dynamically intertwined. It is a working farm, raising free-ranging cows, sheep, goats, free-range turkeys, guinea fowl, chickens, and pigs. It is a market, selling internationally award-winning cheeses and farm-produced meats, as well as local Hudson Valley milk, eggs, vegetables, crafts, and gifts. And it is an educational center, offering day, weekend, and summer programs that help connect young people to the land, the seasons, and the plants and animals that co-exist in harmonious rhythm. sproutcreekfarm.org