By Danielle Walczak, Farm & Sea to Campus Communications Intern

Posted April 4, 2016

Opportunities, Policy

Food Education Opportunities

Summer Programs Offer Food-Centric Learning for Students

Pictured: Agronomy instructor Sosten Longu teaches Summer Study Tour students about the carbon cycle in the Vermont Tech greenhouse. Photo courtesy of the Vermont Council on Rural Development.

In addition to local foods programs in their cafeterias, some campuses also offer food or agriculture based curriculum in the classroom. These educational efforts provide important learning opportunities for future leaders in our food system. Students can learn about agriculture, fisheries, culinary skills and more, depending on the program.

The following are two examples from colleges in New England that are offering for-credit experiential and classroom learning opportunities for students interested in sustainable food systems and agriculture.

Vermont Food Systems Summer Study Tour

Dates: June 16-29, 2016

Locations: Colleges throughout Vermont, including: University of Vermont, Vermont Technical College, New England Culinary Institute, Sterling College, Middlebury College, Green Mountain College, and Vermont Law School

Website >

In this three-week program you will visit seven schools and study the future of food. Vermont is often considered the epicenter of the sustainable food system movement. This program is an opportunity to work with leaders in Vermont’s food system. Throught different stops on your journey through Vermont you will learn from farmers, policy experts, food justice advocates, agricultural education specialists, land conservationists and entrepreneurs, while traveling to farms, processing facilities, businesses, and policy centers.

Course subjects include:

  • Vermont Technical College – Dairy Begins and Ends with a “C”: Cattle, Carbon, and Capital
  • New England Culinary Institute – From Farm Gate to Chef’s Plate
  • Sterling College – Restoring the Ecosystem that supports Our Food System: From Underground Biology to Nutritious Food
  • University of Vermont – Building an Urban Food System From the Ground Up
  • Middlebury College – Small State in the Big Picture: Leadership for a Climate of Change in Global Food Systems
  • Green Mountain College – Conservation at the Core: Biodiversity, Land, Energy, and Water Quality
  • Vermont Law School – Food System Advocacy: Leading the Nation in GE/GMO Labeling
  • Courtesy of Vermont Farm to Plate

Who can apply? Undergraduate and graduate students

Credits and Cost: $3,500 (tuition and course fee, covers all credits, food, lodging, travel, and associated activities). Three undergraduate or graduate credits available (SFS 2000/MSFS 5100), credits will transfer to home institutions.

Questions: Rachel Arsenault at [email protected] or (802) 728-1677

Syllabus and schedule >


Food, Farm & Sustainability Institute

Dates: June 6 - July 1, 2016

Location: Hampshire College, Amherst, MA

Website >

In the program’s fifth year, the Food, Farm & Sustainability Institute combines rigorous classroom instruction and practical experience, utilizing the college’s working farm as a laboratory. The Institute will follow food from its soil origins, through plant cultivation and animal management — discussing issues of public health and politics — ending up in the kitchen, assessing the character of the food we produce and eat. Students will learn about organic vegetable production and sustainable animal husbandry on Hampshire College’s farm, while learning about microbiology through making cheese, fermentation through making sauerkraut, and cultural practices through growing heritage varieties and breeds. Program instructors from Hampshire College’s faculty, and faculty from five other colleges will engage in lectures, discussion groups and experiential learning opportunities.

Course subjects include:

  • Agroecology: Organic and Sustainable Agriculture
  • Soil Health and Sustainability
  • Pest Management
  • Food Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Safety
  • Animals in Agroecosystems
  • Global Issues, such as Trade and Food Sovereignty, Climate Change, and Agricultural Sustainability

Who can apply? Students, local and international. Primarily undergraduates (and some graduate) students with an interest in food, sustainable agriculture, farming, environmental studies, and/or sustainability studies. Anyone over the age of 18. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Credits and Cost: $2,300 (tuition) / $904 (room) A minimum of four undergraduate credits for the completion of the program is recommended.

Questions: Email [email protected]