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Sustainable Agriculture & Food Production

Program Director: Philip Ackerman-Leist
Division of Environmental Studies & Management

Program Offered:

  • BA in Sustainable Agriculture & Food Production

Bachelor of Arts in Sustainable Agriculture & Food Production
Sustainable Agriculture & Food Production is not a discipline; rather, it is a culmination of disciplines that encompasses thousands of years, an enormous array of ecosystems, and arguably every contemporary culture on earth. Few areas of study are so well-suited to interdisciplinary inquiry and the integration of academic theory and hands-on praxis, and few liberal arts colleges offer a sustainable agriculture major backed by an on-campus farm and research facility; extensive library resources related to food and farming; a center dedicated to building regional food systems; a 12 credit/12 week summer farm intensive program; a teaching commercial kitchen; and ongoing agricultural study opportunities at Brunnenburg Castle in the Italian Alps. Furthermore, GMC’s new masters program in Sustainable Food Systems is indicative of the college’s commitment to and expertise in the interdisciplinary exploration of food and agriculture issues.

Students majoring in Sustainable Agriculture & Food Production examine food and agriculture systems through the lenses of history, anthropology, the natural sciences, philosophy, business, economics, and art while learning firsthand the challenges of food production in a dynamic marketplace, a world of increasingly constrained natural resources, and a complex policy arena. Work on the college’s Cerridwen Farm, numerous site visits to regional farms, and engaging internships are critical components of this major. Students pursuing this degree pursue careers in farming, food advocacy, agricultural policy, farm-based education, animal welfare, and natural resource conservation, as well as graduate school in related areas.

Learning Outcomes for Sustainable Agriculture & Food Production Majors
The successful student will:

  • Understand how to examine “sustainable agriculture” and “sustainable food production” along a historical continuum and within multiple cultural contexts

  • Demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of the ecological principles and systems upon which “best practices” in sustainable agriculture and sustainable food production are created and utilized

  • Articulate how farm businesses are established, managed, and marketed in today’s dynamic economic and social contexts

  • Develop skills both in specific farm/food enterprises and in the management of diversified farm operations, utilizing the college farm and regional farmers and food system professionals as critical components of their education

Core Courses


General Electives
Total electives vary depending on total of other credits.
Credits: 39-40

ELA Requirements
See ELA section of this catalog for details.
Credits: 36-37

Total credits for BA in Sustainable Agriculture & Food Production: 120-121
Note: All students are required to complete 33 credits of upper-division work (3000-4000 level courses).



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