Home Volume 2, Issue 3 Sustainable Agriculture Undergraduate Degree Programs: A Land-Grant University Mission

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Sustainable Agriculture Undergraduate Degree Programs:

A Land-Grant University Mission

by Krista L. Jacobsena,*, Kim L. Niewolnyb, Michelle S. Schroeder-Morenoc, Mark Van Hornd, Alison H. Harmone, Yolanda H. Chen Fanslowf, Mark A. Williamsg, and Damian Parrh

http://dx.doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2012.023.004, pp. 13–26

 

Abstract

There has been considerable growth in the number undergraduate degree programs in sustainable agriculture (SA) in universities and colleges across the country in the past 25 years. As a subset of this national trend, land-grant universities (LGUs) are emerging as catalysts in innovative SA program development, in part due to the LGU tripartite mission of education, extension, and research. This mission compels LGUs to develop undergraduate degree offerings to engage student, faculty, and community stakeholders who are increasingly interested in SA. In this article, which is an outcome of a gathering of faculty, staff and students from SA programs at LGUs at a workshop prior to the 4th National Sustainable Agriculture Education Association Conference in August 2011, we discuss the justification for SA programming at LGUs, the emergence of SA major and minor degrees at 11 LGUs to date, the common successes and challenges of current SA programs, strategies for improving existing SA programming, and systematic approaches for expanding SA education impact across institutional lines. We also introduce several additional topic-based articles that resulted from workshop dialogue that appear in this issue of the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, including civic engagement efforts in SA education through community-university partnerships, a critical documentation of the implicit inclusion of values into SA education, and efforts to internationalize SA curriculum.

 

Keywords: experiential education, Higher Education Challenge Grant, interdisciplinary education, land-grant universities, sustainable agriculture education


Note: This paper is the introductory paper of four submitted by Sustainable Agriculture Education Association (SAEA) members at land-grant universities who met in August 2011 prior to the National SAEA Conference in Lexington, Kentucky, to discuss the state of sustainable agriculture programs at their institutions.

 

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 a,* Corresponding author: Krista L. Jacobsen, N-310C Agricultural Sciences North, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546 USA; +1-859-257-3921; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 b 282 Litton Reaves Hall, Department of Agricultural and Extension Education, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061 USA; + 1-540-231-5784; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

c 2406 Williams Hall, Department of Crop Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695 USA; +1-919-513-0085; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

d Agricultural Sustainability Institute, 143 Robbins Hall, University of California, Davis, CA 95616 USA; +1-530-752-7645; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

e 201A Romney Gym, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717-3360; +1-406-994-6338; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

f Jeffords Hall, 63 Carrigan Drive, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405 USA; +1-802-656-9828; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

g N-322D Agricultural Sciences North, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546 USA; +1-859-257-2638; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

h http://sustainableaged.org/ ; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

http://sustainableaged.org/; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
 

Banner photos include a Cape Cod cranberry bog; a cranberry “screen house” used to grade fresh cranberries; farmland near Lake Placid, NY, in the Adirondack Mountains; Montmorency cherry trees on the Mission Peninsula of northern Michigan; the historic Round Barn in the South Mountain Apple Belt of Adams County, Pennsylvania; the “Sea of Grapes” district of the Lake Erie Concord Grape Belt, near Erie, Penn; a field of cabbages near Shortsville, NY, home to one of the world’s largest sauerkraut factories. All photos copyright by Duncan Hilchey.

 

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