Sustainable Food Systems Course Listings

A major around the sustainable production, marketing and distribution of sustainable food is offered, which includes two distinctive Goshen College offerings: the Sustainability Core sequence and the Agroecology Summer Intensive program at Merry Lea Sustainable Farm.

Major in sustainable food systems

46 credit hours

Sustainability Core (25 credit hours)

  • Biol 207, Roots of Environmental Crisis 3
  • Bus 121, Introduction to Entrepreneurship 3
  • Bus 230, Business Fundamentals 3
  • Bus 307, Career Planning 1
  • Econ 309, Environmental Economics 3
  • Sust 155, Sustainability Seminar (taken two times, 1 credit each)2
  • Sust 201, Introduction to Sustainability 3
  • Sust 205, Sustainability Policy 3
  • Sust 409, Internship (off-farm) 1
  • Sust 410, Sustainability Capstone 3

Agroecology Summer Intensive (15 credit hours)

  • Sust 210, Animal Husbandry 3
  • Sust 215, Food Systems 3
  • Sust 316, Crop & Soil Management 4
  • Sust 318, Ecology of Agricultural Systems4
  • Sust 408, Internship (on-farm) 1

Remaining major requirements (6 credit hours)

  • Choose two of the following courses 6-8
    • Biol 115, Ecology and Evolution (4)
    • Biol 201, Botany (4)
    • Biol 205, Pollinators in Peril (3)
    • Biol 222, Soil Science (4)
    • Biol 235, Geographic Information Systems (4)
    • Bus 316, Principles of Marketing (3)
    • Chem 101, 103, or 111 (3-4)
    • Econ 314, Ecological Economics (3)
    • Kin 360, Teaching Health Concepts (3)
    • Kin 415, School and Community Health (3)
    • Posc 210, Public Policy (3)
    • Soc 320, Environmental Sociology (3)

Student learning outcomes

Graduates in Sustainable Food Systems will:

  1. Recognize and analyze food system challenges as complex socio-ecological systems with the goal of anticipating future trajectories to build healthy, sustainable, and just communities.
  2. Synthesize and apply knowledge of the natural world to enhance sustainability and resilience through the design of agroecological systems.
  3. Develop relationships, hone communication skills, and collaborate with stakeholders holding varying worldviews and values.
  4. Understand how social issues such as unequal access to education, healthcare, and nutritious and safe food contribute to vulnerabilities in communities.
  5. Develop personal ethics that motivate action to alleviate injustice and exploitation in food systems.
  6. Demonstrate basic competency in skills, tools, language, and techniques for food production, food processing, and food marketing.
  7. Explain how food policy is made, how policy and economics shape the food system, and how to engage in the political process.
  8. Develop basic business skills and apply them to food-related enterprises.

Planning guide

First year Goshen Core
Introduction to Sustainability
Roots of Environmental Crisis
Introduction to Entrepreneurship
Sustainability Policy
Second year Goshen Core
Sustainability Seminar
Major Elective
Business Fundamentals
Agroecology Summer Intensive (15 credits)
(summer after second year)
Third year Goshen Core
Environmental Economics
Career Planning
Sustainability Seminar
Internship II (off-farm)
SST
Fourth year Balance of Goshen Core
Major Elective
Environmental Economics
Sustainability Capstone
Note: most students will be part-time in spring semester

Planning and advising notes

The major can be tailored to individual career goals, in consultation with the academic advisor and sustainability coordinator. For example, students pursuing science-based careers and/or graduate study may need additional courses in the sciences.

Other courses besides those listed above are acceptable to fulfill the major electives category at the discretion of the major advisor.

Goshen College financial aid is able to be used for the summer semester just as it is used for the fall and spring semesters; contact financial aid for more details.

Minor in sustainable food systems

18-19 credit hours

Agroecology Summer Intensive at Merry Lea

  • Sust 210, Animal Husbandry 3
  • Sust 215, Food Systems 3
  • Sust 316, Crop & Soil Management4
  • Sust 318, Ecology of Agricultural Systems4
  • Sust 408, Internship (on-farm) 1
  • One of the following courses: 3-4
    • Biol 201, Botany (4)
    • Biol 205, Pollinators in Peril (3)
    • Biol 222, Soil Science (4)
    • Bus 230, Business Fundamentals (3)
    • Soc 320, Environmental Sociology (3)
    • Posc 210, Public Policy (3)

Student learning outcomes

Graduates with a minor in sustainable food systems will:

  1. Demonstrate on-farm practical knowledge and skills related to soil/plant management and animal husbandry.
  2. Translate practical knowledge of livestock, crops, and soils to a wide range of farm contexts across food systems.
  3. Understand how farms and food enterprises are part of complex coupled human-environmental systems.
  4. Follow the flows of energy, materials, and information through agroecosystems of varying scales and designs.
  5. Extend first-person knowledge beyond food production into processing, packaging, distribution, consumption, and food waste.
  6. Experience the power of food in shaping communities through differences in food access, food literacy, food cultures, and human health.
  7. Network and hone communication skills by interacting with professionals from diverse sectors of the food system in multiple contexts.
  8. Understand how morals, ethics, and/or spiritual beliefs influence decision making in food systems.
  9. Develop a personal ethic and the real-world skills to work towards individual and communal action for lasting change in food systems.

Advising notes

For more information about the Agroecology Summer Intensive (ASI), see www.goshen.edu/asi. Once the summer semester has been completed, other courses besides those listed above are acceptable to fulfill the minor in Sustainable Food Systems at the discretion of the minor advisor.
Goshen College financial aid is able to be used for the summer semester just as it is used for the fall and spring semesters; contact financial aid for more details. A certificate of completion is available at a discounted rate for ASI participants who do not wish to earn academic credit.