A group of students tend a community garden plot.

Sustainable Food Systems

Explore the interconnected processes of food production and the environment for ag business, conservation and more.

Sustainable Food Systems – B.S. in Sustainable Food & Bioenergy Systems, Sustainable Food Systems Emphasis

In the Sustainable Food Systems program at Montana State, students focus on the interconnected relationships between production, food policy, food security and health in order to make informed decisions and solutions to complex problems in the food industry. Sustainable Food Systems students develop important skills through hands-on experience in service-based learning internships, organic farming, culinary fundamentals and management, training on research methods and carrying out research projects in surrounding communities.

The Sustainable Food & Bioenergy Systems major offers three additional Option Within the Major: Agroecology, Sustainable Crop Production and Sustainable Livestock Production.


Local business Farmented Foods, which ferments imperfect vegetables to prevent food waste, was founded by Vanessa Bakken ’17 Marketing and Vanessa Walsten ’18 Sustainable Food & Bioenergy Systems during an interdisciplinary farm-to-market class.


An illustration of a microscope in profile.

Montana’s Research Leader
Montana State is the largest research enterprise in the state and consistently breaks MSU records for annual research expenditures, reaching $200 million for the first time in 2022.

An illustration of a sheaf of wheat.

Towne’s Harvest Garden
At Montana State, students have the opportunity to work at the Towne’s Harvest Garden, a three-acre diversified vegetable and educational research farm exploring community-supported agriculture.

An illustration of a geyser mid-eruption.

University of the Yellowstone™
Montana State students make the surrounding Yellowstone ecosystem their classroom, laboratory and playground.



Career Resources

Within their first year of graduation, more than 96% of Montana State graduates are employed, continuing their education or not seeking employment, and career guidance website Zippia consistently ranks MSU as the #1 school in the state where alumni are most likely to land jobs.

Career Coaching & Professional Skills Studio

Professional career coaches help students with their career exploration, employer networking opportunities and job or internship searches. They also critique resumes and help students practice job interviews. Additionally, the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success offers free workshops for students to develop the professional communication and collaboration skills that are highly sought after by employers.


Sustainable Food Systems students at Montana State University go into careers such as:

  • Community Nutrition
  • Public Health
  • Food & Nutrition Policy
  • Food Enterprise
  • Community Supported Agriculture

To explore more career possibilities, the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success has a variety of tools available , including self-assessment and working with career coaches.