About Cornercopia

2020 Farm Update

Due to the pandemic and a resulting pause in hiring, the Cornercopia has five main goals for the 2020 season:

  • Maintain organic certification
  • Host four research experiments
  • Grow a small number of vegetables 
  • Assist the Boynton Nutritious U program staff to grow crops to distribute to students needing food assistance this fall
  • Cover crop the remainder of the nearly six acres of certified organic land for weed control and to improve soil health

We will unfortunately not be hosting any tours or field days this year and will not be selling produce at any farmers markets.

Cornercopia Student Organic Farm Mission

Cornercopia is the University of Minnesota’s student organic farm and living laboratory, where students are encouraged to realize bold ideas and take creative risks via the production of diverse, high quality, and ecologically responsible foods, and participation in a community of practice dedicated to promoting sustainable food systems. Through our formal and informal programs, Cornercopia prepares tomorrow’s agricultural leaders with skills to bring about positive, forward-thinking food system change.

Organic Field Research

The six acres of certified organic land on the Student Organic Farm in St. Paul offer students and faculty a unique research to participate in hands-on learning and student research projects. Each year, several faculty and grad students use this land to conduct peer-reviewed research projects. In addition, several undergraduates have the opportunity to develop and execute independent research projects through programs such as UROP or the Johnson Research Internship. Check out our Research page for details about what we're up to this year.


Cornercopia was founded in 2004 on student vision and initiative. The farm began from two Horticulture students asking "Why isn't there anywhere on campus for us to grow stuff, much less organically?" The farm has evolved over time from a 20ft by 30ft into its current 5.5 acre configuration. The farm class started out as a directed studies class and now has its own designator (HORT 3131). The farm continues to grow by leaps and bounds every year, thanks to ongoing creativity and consistent crops of new, passionate students.

If you're curious about starting a student farm or similar initiative at your own college or university, you can access Cornercopia's extensive founding documents on the "How we got started" link.

Organic Certification

Cornercopia is a certified organic farm. The Student Organic Farm was in organic transition from November 2004 until August of 2008, at which point we received our first organic certification. This means that the farm has followed all the rules and regulations detailed in the National Organic Program and is inspected yearly by the Minnesota Crop Improvement Association.

We currently have 5 acres of certified organic land. Cornercopia remains the only certified organic land on the University of Minnesota's St. Paul Campus!

How we got started

Stuednt farm curriculum

In the Spring of 2005 the first Student Organic Farm Class took place at the University of Minnesota on the Twin Cities Campus. The curriculum that was used by the class to create our initial master plan is provided below. It is in the format of an Integrating Paper that was submitted by Courtney Tchida for her Masters of Education Program. Please contact Courtney (tchi0003@umn.edu) with questions.