The way humans produce food can intensify problems like global warming, water scarcity and energy shortages. Farming methods can also become part of the solution for a more habitable world. Green Mountain College’s Sustainable Agriculture and Food Production program shows students how to take part in the current food revolution that is transforming farming and how we view food.
In the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Production program, agriculture and food systems are presented through the lenses of history, anthropology, the natural sciences, philosophy, business, economics, and art. The College’s 22-acre Cerridwen Farm serves as an agricultural laboratory right on campus. And the new Solar Harvest Center, just a few steps away from the farm, provides office and classroom space for the Farm and Food Project and other regional organizations.
Cerridwen Farm is Green Mountain College’s 22-acre campus farm that integrates experiential learning into a liberal arts education. The agricultural products the farm provides to Green Mountain College and the local community demonstrates a commitment to soil health, animal welfare, food justice, and the needs of future generations. Cerridwen Farm is operated by students, with guidance from administrative and faculty mentorship. Sustainable Farming and Food Systems majors use the farm as a way to practice and apply what they learn in the classroom, and Farm Crew members are students who provide the labor under the guidance of the farm manager and paid student chore managers. The farm provides opportunities for all GMC students to get hands on experience on the college’s campus.
Green Mountain College’s Master of Science in Sustainable Food Systems program is the first distance learning program of its kind in the country. The MSFS program prepares future leaders in the burgeoning food movement with a graduate level interdisciplinary understanding of sustainable agricultural production, and a deep knowledge of the economic, ecological, and social forces driving food systems.
At Green Mountain College, we’ve been teaching about sustainability for over fifteen years. Our distance MSFS program—built on the success of the College’s undergraduate major in sustainable agriculture and on the surging interest in food and agriculture in the U.S. and beyond—is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), and is designed to provide students with the skills to conduct in-depth interdisciplinary investigations into the complex arena of their own bioregional food systems. Our MSFS students graduate with the knowledge and confidence to become leaders and join a cutting-edge community ready to make a difference.
Over the past six years, the Farm and Food Project has attracted $350,000 in funding for research in sustainable agriculture and food production. Research projects include:
- Research in fossil-fuel-free and renewable energy based food production systems on GMC’s Cerridwen Farm;
- Assessment of local and regional food processing technologies in collaboration with the Rutland Area Farm and Food Link and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture;
- Assessment of the college’s regional food purchasing initiative in collaboration with Chartwells, the college’s dining service.
This research engages GMC’s undergraduate and graduate students in developing new methods of food production, processing and distribution that are less reliant on fossil fuels and other non-renewable resources, reduce the impact of our food systems on the environment, and ultimately create the foundation for a thriving and healthy agriculture.
Inquiries: Hope Chambers, Enrollment Services, 802-287-8000