Sustainable Ag Curriculum


Whose Food, Whose Land? Conversation on Global Food Sovereignty

Date: November 12, 2019, 7-8:30pm
Location: DeLuca Forum, Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, UW-Madison

Green Lands Blue Waters Conference

Date: November 19-20, 2019
Location: Graduate Hotel, Minneapolis

Savanna Institute’s Perennial Farm Gathering

Date: December 6-7, 2019
Location: Sinsinawa Mound Center, Dubuque, IA

more events


The Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers: Keeping the Dream of Farming Alive

As older farmers retire, fewer young farmers are stepping in to take their place. The number of beginning farmers dropped 20 percent in the last five-year census period, and the average US farmer now tops 58 years of age. more

CIAS Mini-Grants Support Graduate Student Research in Sustainable Agriculture

CIAS supports innovative graduate student research addressing the challenges faced by small- and medium-sized farms and food businesses. Awarded annually, our competitive mini-grants aid students as they initiate their research in sustainable agriculture and food systems. more


Announcing the 2019 Market Farm Madness Champion!

Hoophouse is your 2019 Market Farm Madness champion! They withstood high winds, late snow storms and controversy over cost share payments to win the tournament. more

more madness

Wisconsin College and University Programs and Projects in Sustainable Agriculture

Posted April 2009

Wisconsin’s colleges and universities offer a variety of classes and programs in sustainable agriculture, from practical skills taught at the technical colleges to a graduate degree in Agroecology at UW-Madison.  In addition, student groups at a number of colleges offer non-formal opportunities for learning about and promoting sustainable agriculture.

This list provides a brief summary of sustainable agriculture education opportunities at Wisconsin colleges and universities.

If you wish to add or update a listing, please e-mail the information to Cris Carusi:

2-year colleges

Blackhawk Technical College, Monroe
Contact: Dustin Williams, 608-329-8210,

Brief description: The new Agribusiness Specialist Program 1-year Technical Diploma includes a 1-credit “Contemporary Issues in Sustainability” course.

Chippewa Valley Technical College, Eau Claire
Contacts: Susan Frame, Horticulture, 715-858-1841,
Brad Sirianni, Farm Business, 715-579-5834,
Dwight Swenson, Agriculture, 715-833-6490,

Brief description: The college does not offer a separate sustainable agriculture degree, but sustainable agriculture concepts have been incorporated into the Agri-science Technician Associate Degree program, the Landscape, Plant and Turf Management Associate Degree program, and the Farm Business and Production Management Technical Diploma program. In addition, CVTC cooperates with UW-River Falls in their sustainable agriculture courses and events.

Madison Area Technical College, Madison
Contacts: David Shonkwiler, Dean, 608-246-6801,
Scott Trautman, Organic Farmer and instructor,
Samuel Pratsch, PhD candidate and instructor,

Brief description: MATC offers a stand-alone, 3-credit organic farming course taught by an organic farmer and a PhD candidate studying sustainable agriculture. In addition, courses in the Farm Business and Production Management Technical Diploma program incorporate sustainable practices.

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Green Bay
Contact: Valerie Dantoin Adamski, 920-498-5568,

Brief Description: NWTC is developing an eight-credit certificate program in organic agriculture. In addition, the college provides non-degree professional development opportunities in sustainable agriculture and local, organic and sustainable foods.

UW-Fox Valley, Menasha
Contacts: Joy Perry, Biology, 920-832-2653,
Gregory Peter, Sociology, 920-832-2655,

Brief description: UW Fox Valley’s experiential learning opportunities provide students opportunities to get involved in local and organic food events and resource preparation, community garden projects, and school food and waste management, as well as a number of non-agricultural sustainability projects.

UW-Marathon County, Wausau
Contacts: Paul Whitaker, Biology, 715-261-6284,
Kat Becker, Sociology,

Brief description: A new interdisciplinary course on “Social and Scientific Aspects of Organic Agriculture” will be offered in fall 2010, live at UW Marathon County and via compressed video at UW Fox Valley in Menasha.

Western Technical College, La Crosse
Contacts: Tracy Harper, 608-789-6256,
Warren Pickar, 608-785-9185,

Brief description: WTC incorporates aspects of sustainability in its Associate Degree programs in Agribusiness and Science Technology and Landscape Horticulture. In addition, plans are in development to create a 12-credit Technical Diploma in Sustainable Agriculture.

4-year colleges

Lawrence University, a four-year private liberal arts college in Appleton, WI, offers a course in sustainable agriculture most years.
Contact: Jeff Clark,

Brief Description: This course addresses the state of modern agriculture in the United States and the world. Through readings and discussions, we will identify social, economic, and environmental problems with current systems of agriculture, and explore viable solutions to these problems. In addition, the course will include hands-on instruction in soil science, horticulture and market gardening, using our own 1/4-acre garden as a learning laboratory.

UW-River Falls, College of Agriculture Foods and Environmental Science
Sustainable Agriculture Option, River Falls
Contacts: Juliet Tomkins, 715-425-3176,
William Anderson,

Brief description: UW-River Falls offers a sustainable agriculture option within its BS degree in Crop and Soil Science. New courses developed for the program address environmental sustainability, organic agriculture, rural sociology, integrated pest management, sustainable agriculture law and sustainable animal production. The program includes experiential learning opportunities, as well as traditional course work. The faculty hope to make a sustainable agriculture minor available to students in the near future.

UW-Stevens Point, Global Environmental Management Education Center (GEM), Stevens Point
Contact: John Sheffy,

Brief description: The GEM program on Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry offers a “Farmer Incubator” class, which provides opportunities for students to learn through farm visits, internships, and hands-on projects, as well as classroom learning.

UW-Eau Claire, Economics Department, Chippewa Valley Center for Economic Research and Development (CVCERD)
Contact: Dr. Eric Jamelske, Associate Professor of Economics,

Wisconsin Local Foods Project description: In western Wisconsin, there is a strong push to develop a more robust local/regional food system for economic development, as well as for environmental and health reasons. The CVCERD has recently partnered with UW-Extension Baron/Chippewa Counties to conduct an applied local food research project. This project will document the degree to which local food is produced and consumed in western Wisconsin. This research will also contribute to existing efforts aimed at increasing local food purchasing and consumption in the region and state. Overall, this project will provide basic data and information as well as analysis and outreach to support and tie together these efforts.


Brief description: The Foodlums are a UW-Eau Claire student organization serving both the university and the broader Eau Claire community. Our organization sponsors events such as public lectures, creates service learning opportunities for UW-Eau Claire students, maintains a campus garden, and raises awareness of sustainable and local food.


F.H. King Students for Sustainable Agriculture
Contact: Rosa Kosub, Administrative Director,

Brief description: F.H. King Students for Sustainable Agriculture is a registered student organization focused on establishing the connection between the land, food and community on the UW-Madison campus and the surrounding community. The organization has a one acre student run farm where volunteers and interested students gain hands-on experience in small scale sustainable agriculture. Each growing season F.H. King runs a demonstration Produce Program, similar to a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. F.H. King also holds free educational workshops and events for the UW-Madison campus community. For more information on how to get involved, send an inquiry to

Graduate Programs

UW-Madison Agroecology Program, Madison
Contact: Chris Elholm, 608-890-1456,

Brief description: The UW-Madison Agroecology Program offers a Masters of Science graduate degree to those who wish to train for the increasingly multifunctional, integrated, inclusive, and socially and environmentally significant enterprise of agriculture. Through multidisciplinary core courses, a broad selection of disciplinary courses and individual research or public practice projects, students gain the framework and skills to become the researchers, facilitators and practitioners who will lead in addressing biophysically and socially integrated issues that are emerging in agriculture.

UW-River Falls Sustainable Community Development Masters Program
Contact: Dr. Tim Buttles, 715-425-3555, or Dr. Kelly Cain, 715-425-3479,, at the St. Croix Institute for Sustainable Community Development

Brief Description: UWRF offers an experientially-based, holistic, systems-thinking approach to integrate economic, social justice, and ecologic principles, applied for the benefit of long-term community health and sustainability. The Natural Step model is used throughout the program as a primary framework and touchstone for guiding the development of values, principles and practices applied to specific circumstances and needs of the community(or communities) of your choice. This flexible program may be custom designed to fit your interests and needs in local food systems, energy independence, community arts, or whatever fits your professional aspirations. Those who complete the graduate program will earn a master of science degree in agricultural education.

See also the national listing of educational and training opportunities in sustainable agriculture produced by the Alternative Farming Systems Information Center. There is also a regional list compiled by Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES).