Mother Nature Network, or MNN, recognized the colleges and universities for incorporating sustainability into the curriculum. MNN is an online network that promotes environmental and social responsibility.
"We're very pleased to be recognized," said Bruce Maxwell, chair of the Campus Sustainability Advisory Council at MSU and a professor of applied plant ecology. "Montana State's Sustainable Food and Bioenergy Systems program brings together coursework in plant sciences, agriculture, food and nutrition, animal science, environmental engineering and ecology, which makes it truly unique."
The program started nearly three years ago as a partnership between the College of Agriculture and the College of Education, Health and Human Development. It offers four options -- agroecology, sustainable crop production, sustainable food systems and sustainable livestock production - that each lead to a bachelor's degree in science.
Some experiential learning for students takes place at Towne's Harvest Garden, a 3-acre diversified vegetable farm located near campus. Other opportunities for students include internships with Montana producers, small farmers and other industries. Students who complete the program may choose to pursue opportunities in small-scale production, food safety, agricultural biosecurity, rural economic development, resource conservation, community food systems and health, nutrition education, or food enterprise.
Other universities with programs in the top 10 include Cornell University, Duke University, Arizona State University and Yale University.
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