Calling all students! Are you interested in learning about food systems, sustainability, community engagement, changes in food systems, food accessibility or other related topic areas? Two exciting courses are being offering in spring 2018 at University Park: AGECO 197: Growing Food, Leaders and Community and CED 497, section 002: Special Topics- Changing Food Systems.

Both 3-credit courses are open to all Penn State students in all academic colleges, and enrollment is open now.

Summer intern, Sydney Downham proudly holding some freshly-harvested fingerling potatoes. Photo: Leslie Pillen

AGECO 197 is a new course being offering by the Student Farm in the spring in partnership with the Penn State Center Philadelphia. The course, taught by Student Farm director Leslie Pillen is 3 credits and is offered on Wednesdays from 2:30-5:30. The purpose of the course is to provide training for students who will work with the Student Farm or Penn State Center Philly as an intern for summer 2018. Topics covered include: sustainable food production, Community Supported Agriculture, leadership development, volunteer management, community engagement, individual/group teaching and more! Over spring break, the course will travel to Philadelphia to visit urban farms. Applications are being accepted now, learn more about the course here.

Students visiting an urban farm in spring 2017. Photo: Leslie Pillen

Is today’s food and agricultural system badly broken or only in need of a tune-up? Who can and should “fix” it? How is food systems change being pursued? CED 497 will examine these questions, along with investigating the impacts and drivers of recent efforts to change the food and agricultural system. Professor of Rural Sociology, Dr. Clare Hinrichs will teach this course, which meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:35-2:15. As part of this course, students will complete an experiential project where they will engage with either a community, non-profit, public sector or business organization that is working on some facet of food systems change. To learn more about this course, visit the university bulletin or view the course on LionPath.