The Sustainable Food Systems Certificate offers a practical, hands-on learning experience in the rapidly growing field of small-scale local and urban agriculture. Students will learn to grow, harvest and market sustainably grown produce. This Certificate is geared toward individuals who have an interest in growing healthy and nutritious food, based on organic, sustainable methods and possess a strong desire to engage both mind and body while working in an outdoor environment.
NOTE: Entry into this certificate track requires being placed onto a wait list that determines when there are sufficient students to start.
BIOL 1110 This course emphasizes the fundamental concepts of ecology as it pertains to the impact of humans on their environment. It addresses the demands placed on the biosphere by the exploitation of natural resources and energy, the creation of pollution and the disposal of waste. This course is interdisciplinary, combining concepts from the natural and physical sciences (e.g. biology, chemistry, geology, physics) with the social sciences (e.g. economics, politics, ethics, history) to present an understanding of how wise stewardship of earth's resources can result in the long-term sustainability of our shared environment.
Meets MnTC Goal 3 and MnTC Goal 10
ENTR 1170 Students taking this course will learn what it takes to own, operate, and grow a small business successfully. The student will learn the personal traits and characteristics necessary to succeed in the fast-paced small business environment. This course will also examine the various ways small business can start. Some of these ways include starting a business from scratch, buying an existing business, or buying a franchise. Various case studies will be examined as to why some businesses fail, while other succeed. In addition, the student will identify their individual strengths and weaknesses and will learn which of these areas help or hinder the success of small business ownership. Although there is no way to 100% "failure-proof" a business, the student will learn the three main secrets to launching a small business successfully.
LAHT 1000 This course covers the study of biology of higher plants, including morphology, physiology, and taxonomy. Emphasis is placed on knowledge relevant to landscape horticulture. Prerequisites: None
LAHT 1010 This course covers the study of the fundamentals of soil and their use in horticulture. The course is an overview of the physical, chemical, and biological properties of soils, their classification and management, and soil fertility. Prerequisites: None
LAHT 1205 This course covers the overview of the biology, identification, and control of weeds, insects, infectious and non-infectious diseases common to the landscapes of Minnesota. A review of MN laws and regulations covering pesticide applications will be covered.
LAHT 1315 This course covers the maintenance of the landscape, including trees, shrubs, annual and
perennial beds. Lawn care will not be covered in this class. Proper cultural practices, including plant
replacement, pruning, fertilization, plant support systems, plant protection, and damage repair will
LAHT - 1700: Introduction to Sustainable Food Systems
LAHT 1700 This course explores agricultural systems from early history through current practices and beyond with an emphasis on emergent trends in urban agriculture and local food production. Students will gain an historical perspective in the development of agricultural systems, the socioeconomic influences driving our modern day food systems and its impact on human health and the environment. The emphasis of this course will be on the exploration and investigation of current methodologies in urban agriculture through research of case studies allowing students the opportunity to sharpen research skills while focusing on areas of particular interest.
LAHT - 1740: Infrastructure for Sustainable Food Systems
LAHT 1740 This course introduces students to the multitude of manmade and natural structures essential to the successful production of food crops including soil building and bed preparation, raised beds, trellising and other means of plant support, water catchment and irrigation systems, structures for season extension and protection from garden predators. Through hands-on exercises and projects, students will learn about the materials, tools and techniques used in their construction and upkeep.
LAHT 1830 This course is designed to introduce various topics of Agroecology including traditional and organic farming, plant and animal production, energy, pest management, specialized and controlled environment agriculture and sustainable practices. Prerequisites: None. Recommended: LAHT1000 and LAHT1010
LAHT - 2020: Permaculture Based Food Systems Design
LAHT 2020 This course explores Permaculture - based design principles and their application to the small-scale homestead or
urban farm. Through research and hands-on design studio exercises students will learn how to design small scale food
systems in urban environments that mimic the resiliency and abundance of natural ecosystems. Students will learn
techniques for gathering and organizing critical site information in preparation of the site analysis, program
development and a successful design solution. Information and skills learned in this course will be synthesized in a final
design project for the student's own homestead or urban farm. Prerequisites: None. Suggested: LAHT 1600: Landscape Design I
LAHT 2040 This course is designed to introduce students to sustainable practices in food crop production including the
identification of both annual and perennial species suitable for growing in the upper mid-west, propagation techniques,
cultural requirements, harvesting and storage techniques and procedures and regulations involved in bringing food
crops to market. Through both lecture and hands-on experiences in the campus greenhouse and farm, students will
plan their own garden layout, create crop production calendars, and propagate the crops they plan to grow on the
campus farm. Students participating in the on-campus internship will also have the opportunity to see their
crop production plans through to harvest and sale.