Sustainable Food Systems Course Listings

A major around the 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.  See also the minor in agroecology.

Major in sustainable food systems

58 credit hours

Sustainability Core (19 credit hours)

  • Biol 207, Roots of Environmental Crisis 3
  • Bus 121, Introduction to Entrepreneurship 3
  • Bus 307, Career Planning 1
  • Econ 309, Environmental Economics 3
  • Sust 201, Introduction to Sustainability 3
  • Sust 205, Sustainability Policy 3
  • 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, Agroecology 4
  • Sust 408, Internship (on-farm) 1

Remaining major requirements (24 credit hours)

  • Biol 115, Ecology and Evolution 4
  • Bus 230, Business Fundamentals 3
  • Chem 101, 103 or 111 3-4
  • Sust 155, Sustainability Seminar 1
  • Sust 409, Internship (off-farm) 1-3
  • Two of the following courses 6-8
    • Biol 205, Pollinators in Peril (3)
    • Biol 222, Soil Science (4)
    • Biol 235, Geographic Information Systems (4)
    • Chem 220, Human Nutrition (3)
    • Psych 380, Statistics in Research (3)
  • One of the following courses 3
    • Econ 203, Principles of Microeconomics
    • Econ 314, Ecological Economics
    • Kin 360, Teaching Health Concepts
    • Kin 415, School and Community Health
    • Soc 320, Environmental Sociology
  • One of the following courses 3
    • Acc 201, Principles of Financial Accounting
    • Bus 315, Principles of Management
    • Bus 316, Principles of Marketing
    • Bus 319, Leading Non-profit Organizations

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 food systems.
  5. Develop personal ethics that motivate action to alleviate injustice and exploitation in food systems.
  6. Demonstrate basic competency in skills, tools, 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
Business Fundamentals
Ecology and Evolution
Second year Goshen Core
Sustainability Policy
Sustainability Seminar
Introduction to Entrepreneurship
Chemistry course
Agroecology Summer Intensive (15 credits)
(summer after second year)
Third year Goshen Core
Career Planning
Electives within the major
Fourth year Balance of Goshen Core
Environmental Economics
Sustainability Capstone
Internship II (off-farm)
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.