Alfred State’s Center for Organic and Sustainable Agriculture (COSA) will house not only Alfred State’s conventional dairy herd, but also an organic dairy herd so students can learn both conventional and organic protocols. The Center will include a 60-stall dairy barn, new heifer and dry cow housing (again, both conventional and organic), a new calf-raising barn, and upgrades to existing farm structures. Although dairy farming is one of COSA’s prominent program, it is not the only one students will have access to some of the region’s most productive cropland for hands-on learning about sustainable production of grain crops, vegetable crops, and forage crops.
Alfred State also plans to take a leadership role in the integration of alternative energy technology, not only on the farm, but throughout campus. According to Dr. Terry Tucker, dean, School of Arts and Sciences at the college “We are preparing our students for a very different future. The need for good stewardship of land, water, and soil, as well as savvy consumers who will want to know how and where their food products are produced will require agriculturists to be familiar and comfortable with the new technologies.” Additionally, Tucker noted, “The projected growth in population [9 billion people by 2050] will increase the demand for food by nearly 70%. It will be imperative for farmers to know how to use the same amount of land, probably less water, and possibly a less favorable climate for food production to meet the increased demand. And that’s what COSA is all about: we’re creating a new generation of problem solvers and innovative entrepreneurs whose influence will reach beyond Western New York.”
Alfred State has constructed a Zero Energy Green Home on the Wellsville campus. This showcase home was constructed completely by Alfred State students in 2009 to 2011 and is funded primarily by the Federal Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). The home was built to National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) green building standards and is certified Gold. The project has allowed the college to integrate green construction and renewable energy education into existing applied technology programs at the college. This project will continue to educate the future construction workforce in green building techniques including green construction, energy efficiency, and renewable energy systems including geothermal, solar thermal, photovoltaic and small wind. The home also has a Tempcast fireplace that is a high efficiency wood burning system. All of these systems have been included in the zero energy green home. The home has a high end monitoring and automation system funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) that includes temperature sensors to the full depth of the geothermal wells, insolation monitoring adjacent to solar thermal and photovoltaic systems and other monitoring and automation systems. The home is being used as an open laboratory for the public and Alfred State students. Additional basic monitoring for a home owner is also being added to the home.