Clark University & Sodexo
Sodexo Student Employee
Clark University Farm Intern
Clark Office of Sustainability
Clark University Campus
Bambi Summer Crisp
Cherokee Summer Crisp
Moss Curled Parsley
In January 2016, Clark University and Sodexo brought the LGM™ to campus to provide students the freshest greens possible. Since then, they have been growing hyper-local produce successfully only 100 yards from where it is served.
Sustainability is a core value at Clark, and is incorporated into every aspect of student life on campus. Clark was the first university in Massachusetts to sign on to the Real Food Challenge, a student-run organization determined on sourcing 20% of all food sold on campus from local, ecologically-sound, humanely raised or fair trade vendors by 2020.
Sodexo has its own vision of the future, with the Better Tomorrow Plan, which specifically focus on individuals, communities, and the environment. Partnering with Clark and Freight Farms allows Sodexo to foster engagement with students.
The biggest factors for choosing a location for the LGM™, on campus or otherwise, are the water and electrical sources. Clark also considered the farm’s visibility to make it accessible to current and incoming students, faculty, and the Worcester community. It was decided that the perfect location was a parking lot between the science center and admissions office.
Running the Farm
Clark's LGM™ has two key operators. The primary farmer is a student Sodexo employee, and the secondary operator, a farm intern from Clark's Office of Sustainability. Both were hired before the farm arrived on campus, and the hiring process is repeated yearly to ensure a smooth transition as students graduate and move on.
Our Freight Farms team sat down with the people bringing fresh greens to Clark University campus: Michael Newman, Heather Vaillette, and Nick Pagan. In the hour-long interview, we discussed:
- The benefits of having an LGM™ on campus
- Clark & Sodexo's motivations and goals
- Site preparation, logistics, and training
- Program integration with dining services
- Student engagement and education
- Day-to-day LGM™ operations
Don't have a full hour to spare? Read our webinar re-cap to learn about how and why Clark University and Sodexo brought the LGM™ to campus.
Clark university q&a
During the Question and Answer portion of the webinar, we got quite a few inquiries about operations, logistics, and student reactions. Read responses from Clark, Sodexo, and Freight Farms representatives.
Hear from Campus Partners
"Alumni love hearing about the farm and how it has become a part of our program. The greens are, well, just that…green. Picked at the peak of perfection rather than before they are ready so that it could be shipped to us. It’s an entirely different product and one look at it tells you that it’s hyper-local."
Michael Newmark, General Manager of Clark Dining Services
"An important piece for Sodexo is our ‘Better Tomorrow Plan’ [which] specifically focuses on individuals, our communities, and our environment…Freight Farms has given us a great opportunity to have that engagement with students on a higher level, especially with sustainability."
Heather Vaillete, District Manager, Sodexo Campus Services and Independent Schools
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