Clearly, we can do a better job of sustainably satisfying human food needs. As environmental stewards, how do we feed a growing global population — anticipated to top 9.5 billion by 2050 — in ways that are just, sustainable, and ecologically sensitive?
As a Sustainable Food Systems major at Sterling College, you will grapple with this question while working and studying in the three living laboratories of our Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems: the Sterling College Farm, Forest, and Kitchen, experiencing the challenges and rewards of participating in a values-driven, place-based food system.
Through field trips and intensive coursework, you will have the opportunity to connect with some of Vermont’s renowned food producers and learn what it takes to craft fine value-added food products, build successful food businesses, and breathe new life into time-honored foodways of artisanal cheesemaking, charcuterie, and lacto fermentation. You will also interact with inspiring leaders of mission-driven food justice organizations in the increasingly vibrant social enterprise and not-for-profit sectors of Vermont’s food system. You will get an unvarnished look at the policy-making process through dialog with food system advocates and lawmakers.
The Sustainable Food Systems curriculum provides the tools for shaping a more resilient food future, preparing you to advocate for better food policy, improve food access and security, enhance public health, innovate as a food entrepreneur, and nourish self and community.
The Real Food Challenge surveyed more than 160 colleges and universities around the country and confirmed Sterling College as the top college in the nation for serving food that’s local, sustainable, humane, and fair-trade. The Sterling College Kitchen practices values-driven cooking and serves creative, conservation-centered cuisine. Sustainable Food Systems majors have the opportunity to augment their study by working in an unique food service program that sources food intentionally, operates with care for its producers and workers, and strives to educate and delight diners
Sterling’s farm was one of the first college farms in the country. At 130 acres, the Sterling College Farm represents a vital part of Sterling life, offering opportunities to care for crops, conduct research, eat, manage livestock, and experience the joy of growing organic food for the people you care about at Sterling.
As a Sustainable Food Systems major, you will be studying under the auspices of the Sterling College Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems. The center not only oversees key academic programs at Sterling College, it also brings in visiting scholars, conducts Sterling’s food production energy audit, sponsors farm-related programs for veterans, conducts seed trials, and furthers the national dialogue about sustainable agriculture.