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Lycoming College is expanding its line of coffee products this fall and with it, the unique educational experiences offered by the brand.
Warrior Blue, the latest addition to Lycoming’s coffee line, is grown by Dominican Republic farmers in El Naranjito who are working to improve the quantity and quality of their product by partnering with the college. Professors and students are assisting farmers with navigating the complex organic certification processes and helping them improve farming techniques that protect the environment and improve the flavor of their product. Students from all majors will have the opportunity to learn the science of growing coffee while designing and implementing community and economic development projects relevant to their major.
“The collaboration reflects the promise of a liberal arts education and is critical to the farmers’ success with completing the lengthy and expensive certification process,” said Caroline Payne, assistant professor of political science. “The long-term goal is to help them farm using sustainable agricultural practices that command higher prices for their product on the international market, eventually helping raise their standard of living.”
Warrior Blue is a shade-grown coffee that is grown according to organic principles. Lycoming College is helping to educate the farmers about the certification process and will be partially funding its expense through coffee sales. The guaranteed pricing structure offered to the farmers provides them with fair wages and provides the market incentive to continue adapting their processes to improve their coffee, thus remaining competitive in the international market.
Beginning homecoming weekend, Oct. 23-25, Warrior Blue will be available for purchase from the Lycoming College Streeter Campus Store in twelve ounce bags of whole bean and ground. Warrior Blue will also be available from the Streeter Campus Store’s website. Warrior Blue is the first truly transitional coffee to be offered by Golden Valley Farms and joins the list of their organic, shade-grown coffees served at Lycoming’s Café 1812 and will be served at catered college events.
Like Lycoming’s other coffees, Warrior Blue is part of the Cultivation to Cup (C2C) network, initiated through a partnership between Widener University and Golden Valley Farms, which ensures funds from the sale of the coffee are directed back to Lycoming College. Those funds, along with retail profits and matching funds from generous Lycoming supporters, provide service learning opportunities for students to study and research in the developing world. The funds raised so far have significantly offset the cost of expenses for students traveling to the Dominican Republic next spring.