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Maharishi University of Management is the first U.S. college to offer an organic, vegetarian, freshly prepared menu, which is one reason why their students are healthier when they graduate than when they enroll.



MUM's farm passes organic certification inspection
by Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, Iowa, USA, The Review
22 December 2012

For the eighth year in a row, Maharishi University of Management's farm has met the high standards for organic certification, thanks to the recent inspection by the USDA-accredited Nature's International Certification Services.

Steve McLaskey, who heads the farm, said that in order to sell certified organic produce, the farm must renew its certification each year by meeting the rigorous federal guidelines.

The process involves extensive paperwork in which Dr. McLaskey documents all facets of the operation: what crops are grown, what is done to maintain fertility of the soil, the steps taken to prevent soil erosion and degradation, the practices used to control weeds, pests, and diseases, how the produce is harvested, and what steps are taken to insure the produce isn't contaminated after being harvested.

The onsite inspector reviews all the paperwork beforehand, and then during the inspection checks to make sure that the paperwork accurately reflects the farm's practices.

The inspection also entails examining the records kept by the farm, which must document all products sold so that any product can be traced back to the field in which it was grown and the seeds purchased to grow that particular crop. The records must even include receipts for the purchase of the seeds.

The inspector also checks to make sure there's no danger of contamination. Since the farm is bordered on one side by a conventional farm, there needs to be at least a 30-foot buffer strip so no chemicals from the neighboring field will reach the organic crops.

Dr. McLaskey said the inspector was extremely impressed. In her report she wrote, "The organic agriculture program at MUM is amazing. The soil building, composting, greenhouse operations are second to none. . . . It was truly a pleasure for me to have the opportunity to visit with Steve and MUM."

The farm has over one acre of greenhouses that are used year-round, and over five acres of fields that are used in season.

The farm grows a wide range of produce used in the MUM dining hall* and sold at the Golden Dome Market and at the Fairfield Farmer's Market.

At peak productivity in mid-summer, the farm employs as many as a dozen staff members, volunteers, interns, and students, and harvests several hundred pounds of produce a day.

Dr. McLaskey said that he's a fifth-generation farmer, with his great great grandfather having purchased a farm in Illinois in 1832. "It's a fulfilling job. I'm following my family dharma."


* The University’s organic farm provides some of the produce for campus meals. The vegetables are picked at their peak of ripeness and served the same day.

The MUM organic farm uses Maharishi Vedic Organic Agriculture principles. In addition to avoiding toxic chemicals, this approach enlivens the plant’s inner intelligence, so that the vegetables have maximum nutritional value and promote growth in consciousness.


© Copyright 2012 Maharishi University of Management


"The potential of every student is infinite. The time of student life should serve to unfold that infinite potential so that every individual becomes a vibrant centre of Total Knowledge."—Maharishi

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