As a center on the Oregon State University campus, part of our role is to offer both credit and non-credit courses that pertain to our mission and diversifies educational offerings. Below you will find examples of courses we have created and offered to our learning community.
Cities and Food: How Great Cities Are Fed
A 1929 book, “How Great Cities are Fed,” used the word foodshed for the first time. In that spirit, this course explores the layers of food systems that feed a city. How great cities are fed has evolved since 1929, and local food has re-emerged, this time as an alternative to the norm. The course combines readings, discussion, and an intensive field session using Portland, Oregon, as a laboratory to explore how local, regional, national, and international food systems feed a great city.
What is a food system, what does it look like, and how does it work? A food system includes growing, harvesting, processing, packaging, transporting, marketing, consuming, and disposal of food, which relies on labor, research, technology, public policy, and more at each step. Food system actors are interconnected through physical, market and legal relationships that give rise to food system outcomes that are often predictable, but are also governed by natural and human forces that are self-organizing, non-linear, and inherently unpredictable.
Aspects and characteristics of food systems have been linked to a wide range of environmental and social challenges, from climate change and ecosystem degradation to childhood obesity and malnutrition. By examining the elements and forces acting in the food system, we seek to envision and create a sustainable and resilient food system that provides food security from local to global.
This short course is free and open to the public. For a more in-depth study of food systems, Oregon State University College of Agricultural Sciences offers AGRI 411/511: Introduction to Food Systems both on-campus and online via OSU Ecampus.
What is a food system, what does it look like, and how does it work? This multi-disciplinary course introduces students to the complex topic of food systems, considering social, economic, and environmental influences and consequences. The course is open to upper division undergraduates and graduate students and involves guest lectures, readings, writing assignments, and a group project.
Growing Farms: Successful Whole Farm Management
This course uses a whole farm framework to integrate biological, physical, financial, and family aspects of the farm business. It is based on a successful beginning farmer training program currently offered by the OSU Extension Small Farms Program.