Students from the Master of Science in Sustainable Food Systems Program are presenting their Capstone Project/Thesis online starting April 17, 2018. All are welcome to join and learn about the great research that is taking place in the graduate program. Below is the webinar schedule and access details.
4/17/2018 at 9:30am EDT
Sustainable Food Systems Track: Undergraduate Course Development for Lehigh University by Cynthia James
The modern industrial food system that evolved to serve the growing global population with an emphasis on corporate profitability over human and environmental health has left consequential economic, environmental and social impacts. There is an increased need to analyze and address the negative effects and develop long-term solutions that will nurture communities and regenerate natural resources through the food system. The majority of the current population of farmers is aging, and the younger generation of farming families frequently chooses a different career path. College courses are a perfect opportunity to introduce students to the practical skills and knowledge needed to actively improve the food system related to the three pillars of sustainability. This project examines and compares the successes of existing undergraduate programs in sustainable food systems and uses them as a model to design a suite of undergraduate courses in this field for Lehigh University. The courses combine guiding ideologies and practical training through a variety of teaching styles including traditional classroom training, a hands-on agricultural laboratory, and integrated community interaction. They are intended to be not only an educational tool, but also a vehicle to positively affect local food systems both on the University campus and throughout the surrounding community. Students will gain analytical skills as well as hands-on implementation experience in sustainable food systems that they can utilize to secure a future career in the field or start their own project following graduation.
To join this webinar by computer: Visit https://greenmtn.webex.com/greenmtn/j.php?MTID=md4cba6e71c8e1cb032c9c14c21932747 and enter password: 12345
To join this webinar by phone: Dial +1-415-655-0002 US Toll and enter meeting number (access code): 732 873 797
4/17/2018 at 12:00pm EDT
Cultivating Abundance for the Modern Agrarian – A Guide for New and Beginning Farmers in New York State by Ashley Pierce
New and beginning farmers are in short supply in the United States, with the average age of farmers ever increasing. This project focuses on educating those interested in beginning in agriculture, with a focus on increasing the health of their finances, the environment, and society. Working to address the lack of beginning farmers in my bioregion, the handbook equips those just beginning to learn, as well as start up operations with tools and ideas for consideration, enabling them to make informed decisions, provides connections, networks, and resources that are essential for growth and development. The handbook also identifies opportunities in education, financing, networking and marketing, increase agricultural producer knowledge, while including best practices, serves to educate and encourage decisions to be based on a holistic management decision framework, and prepares new and beginning farmers for future opportunities and challenges. The handbook includes a discussion of various methods and recommendations specific to the needs of beginning farmers, while promoting production methods that encourage sustainability and environmental stewardship. By partnering with Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Capital Area Agricultural and Horticultural Program, this handbook will be available online via a PDF file.
To join this webinar by computer: Visit https://greenmtn.webex.com/greenmtn/j.php?MTID=md9333111688fa236296b9d507cd8e02d and enter password: 12345
To join this webinar by phone: Dial +1-415-655-0002 US Toll and enter meeting number (access code): 733 983 161
4/18/2018 at 8:15am EDT
All the Buzz: A Guide to Support Bees in the Northeastern United States as a Component of Sustainable Food Systems by Christina L. Folmar
Bees are the lifeblood of our food system, and it is imperative that we acknowledge their importance in the ecosystem service of pollination. Habitat loss and decreasing bee-appropriate plant diversity are two of the most pressing issues that native pollinators face as their numbers continue to decline. To help homeowners understand the implications of increasing bee-appropriate plant diversity in their yards, I have developed an assessment and guidebook for homeowners. The assessment portion of the guidebook provides a way for homeowners to document how well their properties facilitate habitats for local bee populations and leaves room for homeowners to develop plans to improve biodiversity for bees. My guidebook explains why bees are important in the food system, what flowers homeowners can choose for local bee populations in the Northeastern United States, and defines sustainable beekeeping.
To join this webinar by computer: Visit https://greenmtn.webex.com/greenmtn/j.php?MTID=mc7bc9a03bd9bd52fcaaf36e388deac60 and enter password: 12345
To join this webinar by phone: Dial +1-415-655-0002 US Toll and enter meeting number (access code): 737 591 103
4/20/2018 at 4:00pm EDT
Empty Cartons, Broken Dairies: The Unsustainability of Vermont’s Iconic Milk Industry and Its Hidden Reliance on Undocumented, Abused Labor by Jeannine A. Guttman
Dairy and Vermont are synonymous. For more than a century, dairy farming shaped Vermont’s economy, ecology, values, and culture. Thousands of hardworking family operations gave rise to its modern, multi-billion-dollar industry. Dairying is arduous, labor-intensive work, with thin profit margins. Today, to keep operations afloat financially, more and more dairy owners employ undocumented migrant workers, mostly from México, to dampen expenses and control costs. The official position of Vermont, facing a severe labor shortage, was to “look the other way.” When dairy farmers in Vermont, known for its liberalism and progressive ideals, and its government openly flout federal immigration laws, the desperation of the state’s dairy industry becomes clear. The tragic 2009 workplace death of a young migrant dairy worker from Chiapas, México, sparked the birth of Migrant Justice of Vermont, which now advocates for workers’ constitutional protections, food sovereignty, and a reformed federal agricultural visa program. The migrant workers, who live in isolation on dairy farms and in fear of detection and deportation, are viewed as “illegals” by federal law enforcement. Vermont’s reliance on undocumented workers is unsustainable and counter to its groundbreaking statewide sustainability goals, outlined in the Farm to Plate Strategic Plan. Vermont provides a unique window into the world of undocumented workers, desperate farmers, and largely ignorant consumers. This capstone examines undocumented migrant worker exploitation; the history of using Mexicans as temporary farm labor; the free trade impact; the racialized food system, and how Vermont food justice advocates can respond to the Trump Administration’s anti-immigrant policies.
To join this webinar by computer: Visit https://greenmtn.webex.com/greenmtn/j.php?MTID=mc33967d44d9f32a8561b3571cf16d96f and enter password: 12345
To join this webinar by phone: Dial +1-415-655-0002 US Toll and enter meeting number (access code): 738 530 708