Sustainable Agriculture

Program Description

SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE AND FOOD SYSTEMS SHORT TERM CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION:

The Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Short Term Certificate of Completion is designed for both aspiring farmers and community leaders interested in learning how to work in a regional food system in the areas of advocacy, education, production, and nonprofit service. Students who complete the certificate program will gain foundational knowledge and skills to work on a farm or operate their own farm business. The program will also benefit those seeking careers in local and community food systems.

Sustainable Agriculture - GRBD 150
(Offered Online Fall Quarter)

This course focuses on the principles of sustainable agriculture for animal, crop, and garden production. Students will find out how to make a farm, homestead, or garden a reality or to make current agricultural endeavors more sustainable, efficient, and profitable. 

  • Basic farm and garden production techniques
  • Market gardens, food forests, and livestock management
  • Farm planning and managing 
  • Organic, holistic, permaculture, biodynamic, and agroforestry practices

Introduction to Food Systems - GRBD 151 
(Offered Online Winter Quarter)

Students will explore food production and consumption by analyzing the resource cycles and movement of food from seed to table. 

  • History of agriculture
  • Industrial agriculture challenges
  • Food policy, justice, and health
  • Community-based solutions

Community and Backyard Farming Systems - GRBD 152 
(Offered Online Spring Quarter)

This course investigates community and home-scale food production with a focus on micro-farming, permaculture, and urban homesteading. Students will plan and design small-scale food systems that mimic natural ecosystems. 

  • Resiliency and diversity of garden farming
  • Edible forests, ecosystem design, and animal husbandry
  • Mini orchards, season extensions, and food self-reliance
  • Intensive planting strategies.

For more information about this program, please contact Jennifer Santry at jsantry@pencol.edu.

Job Opportunities in Sustainable Agriculture

It’s more than gardening and farming… Students who complete this certificate program are working toward careers in local food and green businesses, urban agriculture, permaculture, herbal medicine, and related jobs in farm-based education, healthy food access, public policy, community development, and advocacy. Many students who have completed similar certificate programs have good jobs working at the intersection of community food, social justice and policy: coordinating school gardens, gleaning programs, community cooking, urban farming, mobile markets, and food banks. Here are a few good resources for job ideas and opportunities in Sustainable Agriculture:

Finding Good Work in Sustainable Food and Farming  - https://stockbridge.cns.umass.edu/SFF-good-work

Washington Food System Directory - https://sites.google.com/a/wafood.org/wa-food-system-directory/

Food Nonprofits Making a Difference - http://www.foodpolitic.com/food-nonprofits-making-a-difference/ 

Positions in Sustainable Agriculture Education - http://sustainableaged.org/resources/job-listings/