Green Mountain College welcomes Philip Howard, visiting scholar for the College’s M.S. in Sustainable Food Systems (MSFS) winter residency February 17-19. Howard will make a public presentation “Is Food Diversity an Illusion?” on Wednesday, February 17 at 7 p.m. in Ackley Hall. The event is free and open to the public.
“Students in this online program come from all over the country. They complete their studies online and in their own communities,” said Robin Currey, Director of the MSFS program. “The annual residency gives students a chance to have face-to-face time with and their faculty mentors. It’s also a great opportunity for our undergraduate students to learn from the graduate students and about trends in the discipline.”
In conjunction with the residency the College will also be offering its first GMC Sustainable Food Systems Research Symposium, which focuses on research MSFS students have produced in their coursework. A complete schedule of symposium presentations can be found here.
All programs are open to GMC faculty, staff and students, including a second presentation by Howard for the GMC Community at 7 p.m. in the Gorge, Thursday, Feb. 18, entitled “Concentration and Power in the Food System.”
Phil Howard is an associate professor in the Department of Community Sustainability at Michigan State University where he focuses on “mapping” trends that help illustrate the rapid evolution of food systems. His new book Concentration and Power in the Food System: Who Controls What We Eat?, explores how mergers and acquisitions in the industry have placed 40% or more of the market in the hands of four major companies. Howard demonstrates how a handful of companies dominating markets can drive up prices for consumers, reduce innovation and result in negative environmental and human health impacts.
Howard holds a PhD in Rural Sociology from the University of Missouri. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, GOOD, The Ecologist, and Mother Earth News. He is president of the Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society from 2015 to 2016, and is a member of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems.
The MSFS degree program prepares future leaders in the growing movement for sustainable, just, and local foods, through a two-year program that emphasizes an interdisciplinary understanding of sustainable agricultural production and knowledge of economic, ecological and social forces forming food systems.