Sustainable Food Systems

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There has been a growing interest in sustainable food production (farming and agriculture). Illinois and surrounding areas have seen a rise in the number of local food options and it is clearly a growing employment opportunity for students. The Sustainable Food Systems emphasis represents an expansion/continuation of the already offered Certificate of Undergraduate Study in Sustainable Food Systems that witnesses the effort at NIU to offer the opportunity to our students to engage in studies related to agriculture. This effort emerges from the leading role that NIU plays in the predominantly agricultural area within which the institution and many of its students are located. Many local resources contribute to the success of this emphasis:

  • Master Gardeners classes offered through the U of I Extension Office
  • Gardener’s Pathway workshop held at Kishwaukee College
  • DeKalb County Community Gardens volunteer base

The emphasis in Sustainable Food Systems consists of courses that provide engaged learning opportunities and enable practical application of knowledge. The interdisciplinary nature of the emphasis prepares students to understand and engage in finding solutions for the variety of issues they might face working in sustainable food systems; and with the opportunity to gain insights and expertise into the different ways that food is produced and how it is integrated into diverse cultural contexts and communities. Both this knowledge and the associated experiences will provide the student with a solid foundation for work in sustainable food and farming.