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Sustainability and Environment

Sustainable Food Systems Certificate and Courses

Online, self-paced, available anytime
Certificate: $995 (5 courses, 50 hours)
Individual Courses: $239 each (10 hours each)

The Sustainable Food Systems certificate is a self-paced, independent study format. It contains topics of study with resources and activities, as well as questions guiding to a discussion forum.

Participants in the certificate will gain an understanding of sustainability and how it relates to the current United States food system model. The certificate will provide a strong foundation of learning and skills for working in regional food systems from production, to advocacy, to service, to education. The certificate will provide opportunities for online learners to acquire the knowledge, skills, and understanding that are needed to create change in their communities and build a sustainable food system model for the future – one that is ecologically, economically, and socially viable.

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Course 1: Local and Global Food Systems

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Begin a fascinating journey into the study of Local and Global Food Systems in the first of five Courses in the Sustainable Food Systems Certificate. Explore the history of the United States agriculture system from its indigenous practices, to its industrial revolution, Dust Bowl, Victory Gardens, Farm Bill, and Post WWII era. In this overview of local and global food systems, you will discover the cultural practices and impacts of modern technologies and land use practices in the United States and learn what is meant by the term sustainable agriculture. Travel from farm fields to food factories to farmers markets, restaurants, dinner tables, and back to the beginning via composters and landfills. Examine the effects of eating in the 21st Century: obesity, population growth, water shortages, food prices, and climate change. Complete your initial journey through local and global food systems by studying the relationship between a food culture and agricultural practices, and be ready to further explore the ecology and sustainable systems as they relate to agriculture.

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Course 2: Sustainable Farming and Urban Agriculture

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Continue on your Sustainable Food Systems journey, by gaining an understanding of the key principles and scientific concepts of Sustainable Farming and Urban Agriculture in Course 2, while exploring best practices and production technologies used by sustainable farmers within today’s agricultural ecosystems. Examine several sustainable models of social ways to organize agriculture, from community and school gardens, to rooftop and edible landscape projects, to Community Supported Agriculture farms. As the Course draws to a close, you will begin to consider the different ways that agriculture can be practiced in unusual places and seasons.

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Course 3: Between Farm and Table

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We have become accustomed to an international diet, foods from all over the world, and foods out of season for our own region. Are the methods of food production we depend on degrading the ecological base in other countries? Is our demand for cheap food costing some a living wage and basic access to health care and education? Why does local food matter? In Course 3, Between Farm and Table, begin to explore the practices used to grow food in a large scale industrial system. Discover the types of businesses that are focusing on local foods and why. Examine factors driving the growth of sustainable foods consumption in schools and hospitals. Discover how growing vegetables in school gardens is benefitting students across the country and why processing can be a significant barrier to integrating local whole foods into hospital menu plans.

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Course 4: Food Justice: Ethical Production and Distribution

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Everyone deserves access to good food that is reasonably priced, right? Understanding the relationship between local practices for sourcing our food and global insecurity is essential to understanding the complexity of the topic of food justice. In Course 4, Food Justice, you will begin to learn about the complex relationship between global inequity, local food sourcing, and distribution practices. You will also develop an understanding of the sense of urgency about this topic and reflect on the process for creating change. Although the issues are complex, Course 4 will provide tools for putting your online study into action as you learn what is needed for communities to counter issues of unfair food justice.

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Course 5: Food Systems Policy and Trends

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A growing number of Americans are concerned about the food system and its interconnectedness with major health, environmental, justice, and community issues, more attention is being paid to food/farm policy. The U.S. farm bill is the primary agricultural and food policy tool of the federal government. It impacts international trade, environmental conservation, food safety, and the well-being of rural communities. It can also be controversial. In Course 5, Food Systems Policy and Trends, join the growing numbers of Americans who are examining the U.S. Farm Bill more closely. Find out what is leading to practical changes in United States agriculture and food policy, and discover what is new on the horizon that will shape the pace and direction of food system policy change in the United States industrial food system and emerging regional food systems.

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Sustainable Management Certificate

Online, self-paced, available anytime
$459 (2.5 CEUs; 25 hours)
Individual Courses: $99 each (3-5 hours each)

Individuals who are interested in advancing their understanding of sustainable management; managers and supervisors in business and industry; and entrepreneurs will benefit from this course.

Sustainability refers to the use of ecosystems and their resources in a manner that satisfies current needs without compromising the needs or options of future generations. A sustainable business is one that generates profits for its owners, protects the environment, and improves the lives of the people with whom it interacts.

Courses that lead to the Certificate:


This program covers several key topics, including:

  • The reasons for sustainability’s increase in popularity
  • The connection between the environment and sustainability
  • The business case for embracing sustainable management within an organization
  • The role government regulation plays in sustainability efforts
  • Some criticisms of corporate sustainability
  • Applying sustainable management principles in the workplace
  • Applying the Triple Bottom Line (TBL) concept and its three pillars of “People, Planet and Profits” in organizations
  • Recognizing and implementing best practices for measuring sustainable management efforts


Register for the full certificate.

Click on a course name above to register for individual courses.

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Last modified on 06/19/17 03:21pm