Texas Tech University

Sustainable Small Farms Certificate Program

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The Sustainable Small Farms Certificate Program is designed for individuals passionate about developing environmentally responsible and economically viable small-scale farming practices. This comprehensive online program covers essential topics such as soil health, crop rotation, organic pest management, water conservation, and marketing strategies in agriculture. Students will gain in-depth knowledge through interactive lectures, videos, and expert guest speakers, all aimed at fostering sustainable farming methods that enhance productivity while protecting natural resources.

In addition to the robust online curriculum, the course includes hands-on work at the Fredericksburg campus farm allowing students to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world settings. This practical experience is integral to the program, providing valuable insights into the day-to-day operations and challenges of sustainable farming. By the end of the program, participants will have the skills and confidence to implement sustainable practices on their own farms or in community initiatives, contributing to a more resilient and sustainable food system.

Program at a Glance

  • Program length – 18 months
  • 5 classes – 13 weeks each
  • Online and in-person at our Fredericksburg campus
  • Continuing Education Units (CEUs) offered: 3

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Small Farming


Program Courses

1. Building & Managing Dynamic, Productive Soils (Fall 2024)

2. Sustainable Crop Production & Management

3. Farm Business & Marketing

4. Post-Harvest Practices

5. Controlled Environment Cultivation


Fall 2024 Course

Building & Managing Dynamic, Productive Soils

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Learn the importance of building a biologically diverse soil environment for garden and farm production systems. With practical hands-on techniques, strategies, and intentional thought-led practices, learn how to increase organic matter and biological activity creating a living environment in your soil to support greater plant and animal health along with the benefit of long term ecological and economic impacts in any production system.

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Meet the Instructor

Matthew Hanson

Originally from Colorado, Matthew Hanson spent most of his years in Texas. Matt has a bachelor's degree from University of Massachusetts at Amherst in Sustainable Food Systems and over 20 years in sustainable and regenerative agriculture and horticulture. He brings experience in various growing capacities including operating his own farm and value-added food businesses, establishing a thriving non-profit farmers market, managing varied growing operations including hydroponic tomatoes, retail ornamental crops, and a cacao farm, coupled with extensive experience as a food justice activist and an unwavering passion to build just and healthy food systems for people and animals.

Currently residing in Austin by way of Slaton, Texas, Matt works with a Central Texas based hunger relief organization to bridge the gap between local food production and food security. When not growing food access, Matthew spends time making breakfasts for his wife, kids, grandkids, and Ginger.


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Have questions about our Sustainable Small Farms Certificate Program? Contact Matt Hanson at matt.hanson@ttu.edu to learn more.