Sustainable Food and Bioenergy Systems Major - Sustainable Food Systems Option

Toddler PointingHand weight with apple and measuring tapeWoman focused laying on lawnBasket of TomatoesSnowboarder in air grabbing the tail of the snowboardTeens smiling at a table

This program is a unique interdisciplinary curriculum between the Department of Health and Human Development, the Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences, and the Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology designed for students interested in the interconnected processes of crop production, processing, distribution, and utilization for food and bioenergy uses.

Sustainable Food & Bioenergy Systems
TownesHarvest Garden

The degree focuses on ecologically sound, socially just, and economically viable farming methods, food and health, and other food and bioenergy system-related issues. Students work closely with faculty to gain hands-on experience in practical applications, and in specific, self-selected focus areas through internships with Montana industries. The degree plan is intended to encompass a wide range of food- and bioenergy-related areas in order to prepare students for career opportunities in agricultural business, public health and community food security, natural resource conservation, bioenergy production industries, marketing, distribution, and local food systems. Graduates will be capable of addressing interdisciplinary food and farming system problems such as food safety, agricultural biosecurity, rural economic decline and poverty, obesity, loss of indigenous foods, and bioenergy-related issues.

Sustainable Food Systems Option

The sustainable food systems option draws from both the physical and social sciences in the areas of food and nutrition, family and consumer sciences, plant sciences, environmental sciences, ecology, sociology, and political science.  Emphasis in this option is on health and consumer issues related to food production and food systems.  Students gain hands-on experience in culinary fundamentals and management, organic gardening, and independent research projects.  Internships are designed to provide experience with food processing, food cooperative management, alternative food distribution systems, and small business operations.  Having a better understanding of the interconnections among food production, food policy, food security and health, helps prepare graduates capable of addressing interdisciplinary food system problems such as obesity, food insecurity and poverty, food safety, and loss of indigenous foods, among others.

Career Opportunities

Graduates from this option are prepared for careers in community nutrition,  community food security, public health, Extension education, food and nutrition policy and education, food enterprise, culinary arts and management, community supported agriculture, food processing, food marketing, retailing and distribution.   

Curriculum