Rodale Institute and Kutztown University Research Affiliate Establish Biological Education Program | Berks and beyond


Kutztown University and the Rodale Institute have signed a five-year academic cooperation agreement establishing a research affiliation which they believe will establish the world’s first regenerative biological educational pathway.

Rodale is a non-profit research and educational institution founded in 1947 by organic farming pioneer JI Rodale to study the link between healthy soil, healthy diets, and healthy people through agriculture. regenerative biological.

The institute’s headquarters are on a 333-acre farm with research facilities in Maxatawny Township, less than 10 km from Kutztown University, where it has field laboratories and a full staff. personnel and equipment to generate scientific data.

The agreement gives KU students and faculty the opportunity to partner with Rodale staff and researchers around the world for field research in the areas of soil health and regenerative organic farming practices. such as pest control, composting and pollinators. Internship opportunities will also be available for students.

KU President Dr Kenneth S. Hawkinson said the agreement, signed on Monday, was an opportunity to commercialize the university’s new branch in regenerative organic farming.

“One of the biggest benefits of this collaboration are the mutual networking opportunities we will have to educate our audience on the mission of our organizations,” he said in a press release.

Jeff Tkach, Rodale’s director of impact, said the partnership made sense because the institute and university are so close.

“We are supported by a state government and a department of agriculture investing in the future of regenerative organic farming,” Tkach said in the statement. “Together, we will continue to position Pennsylvania as the leader in organic agriculture and a center of innovation and education for the next generation of farmers and food entrepreneurs.

“As an alumnus of Kutztown University, I am delighted to see this partnership come to fruition and look forward to building on our momentum for years to come.”

KU’s academic offerings include biology, chemistry, environmental sciences and a track in regenerative organic agriculture. Students and faculty in these fields will have access to Rodale’s research facilities, including field labs, in-house labs, growing and ranching areas.

Rodale conducts research on regenerative organic practices for agricultural systems and soil health in three focus areas: cultivation of regenerative organic agriculture; mitigate and adapt to climate change; and address food insecurity by addressing the nutritional density of foods.

Rodale advocates for policies that support farmers and educate the community that regenerative organic is the safest and healthiest option for people and the planet.

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