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.
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, email@example.com
Brad Sirianni, Farm Business, 715-579-5834, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dwight Swenson, Agriculture, 715-833-6490, email@example.com
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
Scott Trautman, Organic Farmer and instructor, STrautman@matcmadison.edu
Samuel Pratsch, PhD candidate and instructor, email@example.com
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.
Brief Description: Northeast Wis Tech College in Green Bay offers a full suite of coursework designed to help you launch your career in small, diversified farming, commercial gardening, and food systems work. Complete an associate degree, earn a certificate, or take a single course. Check out the offerings here.
- Courses created by expert farmers
- Professional instructors who are also working farmers
- Earn a credential that shows your expertise to lenders and customers
- Learn how to start a farm or test the feasibility of your micro-enterprise idea
- Courses range from Beekeeping to Cheesemaking to Herbs & Health and over 20 more selections. Courses in Food & Ag Business and Permaculture are capstone courses in which you design your farm or food business.
- About a fourth of our graduates start their own farm, a fourth go on to work in the food system, a fourth work for another farmers and a fourth go on for a 4-year degree. Get started staking the first steps in making your dreams into a reality.
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.
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.
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.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
William Anderson, email@example.com
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, John.Sheffy@uwsp.edu
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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 email@example.com.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr. Kelly Cain, 715-425-3479, email@example.com, 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).