Farmers are often reluctant to experiment with new products that require a different knowledge base and address different markets than those to which they are accustomed. This is particularly the case with older farmers who, despite the hardships associated with traditional approaches, take comfort in familiar ways.
Two Kenyon students are working to introduce new products to Knox County agriculture. One intern is working with a young traditional soybean farmer to develop a new dry roasted soybean regional sale. Dry roasted soybeans represent a growing market, particularly as an alternative to nuts. The farmer is interested in creating the value-added product, which will be sold to Kenyon’s dining service for consumption by Kenyon students. The dining service is also interested in marketing the product to its other dining service accounts and for retail sale in its vending service operation.
A second student has established a model aquaponics installation at Kenyon to demonstrate how this closed system can produce both fish and vegetables for market. Developed in conjunction with his academic program in biology and environmental studies, this student has hosted several open house events to share his experiences with the Kenyon and surrounding communities.