University of Minnesota
UMD Continuing Education
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Continuing Education.

Sustainable Food Systems Certificate


What do you know? What do you need to know?

Why are systematic changes needed to ensure national and global food security?

How do we make a difference in creating healthy food systems?

What is food justice?

Which trends and policies will shape the future of our food systems?

The Sustainable Food Systems certificate is perfect for anyone who wants to learn more about the major issues surrounding today’s food system, and what is needed to create a sustainable food system for the future.

This certificate provides a broad and integrated base of knowledge for those interested in our local food system model, as well as the complex history, policies, businesses, strengths, and challenges in the food industry. Learners will acquire the knowledge, skills, and understanding that is needed to create change and build a sustainable food system for the future.

Participants in this certificate will gain an understanding of sustainability and how it relates to the current U.S. food system. The certificate will give learners a strong foundation of knowledge and skills to work in a regional food system in the areas of production, advocacy, service, and education.

Where does our food come from and why should we care?

Today’s agriculture and food systems are extraordinarily productive, but in the long run may not be sustainable. They have created tremendous pressure on natural resources and surrounding natural habitats, as well as compromising the economic health of rural communities, the food security of economically disadvantaged citizens, and the well-being of many of those who grow and harvest our food. (The Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems.)

The certificate is composed of 5 courses, you can take one course or the entire certificate.

Local and Global Food Systems
Sustainable Farming and Urban Agriculture 
Between Farm and Table 
Food JusticeEthical Production and Distribution
Food Systems Policy and Trends

Try a sample of the course

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Interested in the topic, but don't want to commit to the whole certificate...or even a course? These 2 hour modules are bite-sized pieces of sustainable food systems topics and are just $49 each. Choose your focus, choose your passion. Completing all the topical courses will not result in a sustainable food systems certificate.

The topics include:

Current Food Issues
Key Moments in the History of US Agriculture
History of Sustainable Agriculture
Principles of Sustainable Agriculture
Urban Farming and Community Gardens
Local Food Systems
Regional Food Systems
Future of Food in the US
Fair Trade
Genetically Modified Food
Climate Change and Food Production
Gender and Farming
U.S. Farm Bill
Food Policy
Urban Farming Policy
Food Sovereignty
Defining a Sustainable Local Food System

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Courses, Costs, Policies

Certificate Outline

Who Should Enroll and Why

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UMD Continuing Education