Section: News

AVI, Kenyon Farm cook up new partnership for eggs

After students return from winter break, 50% of the egg supply at Peirce Dining Hall will come from the Kenyon Farm. This comes as a result of continued talks between Farm Manager Bethany McCarty and AVI management. Following initial meetings in late spring of this year, both McCarty and AVI were hopeful that more of Peirce’s food could come from the Farm, but limited funding for the Farm made that seem unlikely. However, over the summer, Bill Yost ’68 donated the funds for 300 pullets — young hens that are not yet laying eggs — and a new coop, which arrived at the Farm on Nov. 16.  

Discussions about the partnership began in March, following a particularly turbulent time for the Farm. In January, two months before McCarty was hired, student workers at the Farm were informed that the residential farm program would be terminated. This came as a shock to student workers, particularly since, at the time, the farm manager position was still vacant following the former manager’s resignation last fall. This position would remain vacant until March, when McCarty was hired. Soon after being hired, she began talks with AVI. 

Currently, Peirce goes through about 3,600 eggs a week and, with this partnership, half of those will be supplied by the Kenyon Farm. Beyond making economic sense, this partnership will help make the menu at Peirce more sustainable by cutting down on the environmental effects of transportation. According to Ryan Summers, resident director of AVI Fresh at Kenyon, this partnership could also potentially extend beyond eggs in the future. “We are looking to expand the program next year with mini sweet peppers and whatever else they may have available,” he wrote in an email to the Collegian. McCarty has similar hopes. “I think that it’s possible that some of the goats might be going,” she said. “I know in the past that they’ve done goat roasts and goat tacos.” This partnership will increase profits at the Farm, potentially allowing the program to expand its capacity to teach students about farming for profit at a large scale. 

McCarty is excited for this opportunity for students to understand the mechanisms of a larger agricultural project. “It’s gonna show the students a larger-scale production than having 10 chickens and [how to] actually [be] a part of the local food system significantly,” she said. Although students are hopeful that projects like these signal a growing utilization of the Farm, some worry that it may get in the way of the Farm’s actual mission. Ethan McCullough ’24 hopes that the Farm will begin to focus more on ethics and environmentalism than profit. “I think we should be teaching principles of sustainability … because I think personally for most of the people that have come down here to work, that’s what they’re here for,” McCullough said, asserting that bringing money into the Farm should be a secondary goal. “I do think [the Farm has] still been the coolest thing the College offers. It’s a very unique program. I hope the College is committed to seeing it through and carrying [the Farm] out as a positive.”


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