SFS 6060 Turning Traditions into Markets
In this course, students will immerse themselves in food systems in international contexts, examining how savvy entrepreneurs, in concert with regional governments, tourism and other development initiatives, link food traditions to the marketplace, providing farmers and consumers with the opportunity to share in this unique blending of cultural history, landscape ecology, and regional markets. Incorporated in the course is an overview and critique of how economic and food safety practices impact these traditions and their associated markets. International locations can include: Brunnenburg Castle in the Italian South Tirol, a historical nexus point between northern and southern European agricultural and culinary traditions; or Kyrgyzstan, a global hotspot for agricultural biodiversity with wild fruit forests, home gardens and nomadic-pastoralist lifeways.
 
SFS 6065 Agricultural Biodiversity in the Marketplace
As the world marketplace becomes increasingly globalized and food products become more homogenized, the opportunities for farmers, chefs, marketers, and consumers to work together in conserving agricultural biodiversity are growing. These strategic collaborative efforts to conserve heirloom seeds, heritage fruits, rare breeds of livestock, and wild edibles are an important response to the rampant genetic erosion of our global food system. Furthermore, the loss of historical and cultural knowledge associated with these items threatens the traditions that ultimately support the plants and animals themselves. Included in the course will be a review of emerging techniques in genetic manipulation and the role of these technologies both in supporting and threatening these resources.
 
SFS 6090 Capstone Proposal
Offered in the September intersession, this course provides a timeframe for the student and assigned advisor(s) work together to develop a Capstone Proposal, based on the Capstone Concept submitted by the student in August. This course culminates in a Capstone Proposal that is approved by the advisor(s) and MSFS Director.
 
 
SFS 6091 Capstone Project
As the concluding experience in the MSFS program, the Capstone Project requires an integration of applicable skills and knowledge acquired through the program into a project that applies to the student’s anticipated professional/academic trajectory. Culminating in an applied professional project or a thesis, the capstone is a networking and professional development experience, rooted in research and applied knowledge, and designed to bridge the MSFS program with students' career and/or academic aspirations.
 
Sustainable Food Systems
Course Descriptions
 
 
SFS 5010 Contemporary Food Systems
The complexities of the food system are enormous, and the tools for understanding the system and its dynamic historical shifts are interdisciplinary. This survey of local, regional, national, and international food systems will provide students with a basic understanding of how to analyze individual elements of the systems and their interrelationships and how to begin assessing the "sustainability" of those food systems at different scales and in different bioregions. 
 
SFS 5020 Bioregional Theory and the Foodshed
Bioregional theory and the emergent idea of foodsheds are complementary and provide a context for defining areas of study and change. Students' understandings of their own bioregions and foodsheds will inform the entire program of study for this masters program. As students hone their methods of analysis for studying their own bioregions and foodsheds and subsequently deepen their understandings of these areas, they will also broaden their understandings of distant and larger food systems through the cross-comparisons made with the peers in their MSFS cohort.
 
SFS 5030 History of American Agriculture
Comprehending the present state of the American food system, predicting potential shifts, and acquiring the tools required for leveraging change all require a historical context for how the contemporary food systems emerged. This survey of American agriculture will move from Native American diets and sustenance practices to the modern era of industrial food production, including American agriculture's role in an increasingly globalized food system.
 
SFS 5040 Theory and Practice of Sustainable Agriculture
Premised upon a basic understanding of food system dynamics, bioregional impacts upon food production, and the historical emergence of the current paradigm, this course will provide an historical overview of the theory and
    practice of sustainable agriculture in the U.S., with an emphasis on soil health, farm systems, crop and livestock selection, animal husbandry practices, natural and synthetic chemical use, energy resources, mechanization options, and genetic manipulation. Driven by a constant interplay between science and values as they respond to a series of historical problems in agricultural practices, sustainable agriculture will be explored as a field in flux, constantly challenged by the inherent difficulties of manipulating natural ecosystems for food production.
 
SFS 5050 Vegetables and Fruits: Farm to Plate Sustainability
Beginning with the differing challenges of farming with annual crops versus perennials, this course will explore current thinking, trends, and production methods for vegetables and fruits before moving into the often hidden methods and difficulties in processing, storing, distributing, preparing, and consuming these foods. Various business models and management systems will be explored, with a careful eye toward "sustainable value chains" that focus on profitability, environmental concerns, and consumer satisfaction. 
 
SFS 5060 Livestock: Farm to Plate Sustainability
Livestock production starts with complex plant-animal relationships and moves into a series of environments: ethical realms, a labyrinthine regulatory world, and multiple
marketplaces. Regardless of personal dietary choices, a clear understanding of different livestock production methods and varying farmgate to dinner plate scenarios is critical, and this course is designed to help students see the decision-making junctures in meat production and consumption, junctures that can determine different definitions and understandings of "sustainability" in this complicated aspect of the food system.
 
 
SFS 6010 Contemporary Food and Agriculture Movements: Regional, National, and International
Changes in food systems are driven not only by technological, economic, and policy developments, but also by emerging values. These values can transform into social action, media focus, policy changes, and-relatively recently-certification programs and processes and marketplace innovation and incentives. This chronological overview of food movements in the US and abroad from the 19th century forward will enhance student understanding of how food and agriculture movements begin, develop, transform, and sometimes wane.
 
SFS 6020 Advanced Food and Agriculture Policy
This course addresses primarily federal government food and agriculture policy. It addresses policies intended: to influence crop prices and farm income; to reduce risk due to crop losses or price declines; to regulate environmental impacts of agriculture; to assure food safety; to enhance both voluntary and compulsory collective action among farmers; to protect competition in food manufacturing; to inform consumer choices; and to shape the global markets for agricultural products and farm labor. The course will focus on intended and unintended effects of policies, who benefits at whose expense, the impact of these policies on the development, adoption, and practice of sustainable agriculture and local food systems, and the interest groups whose influence helps shape these policies.