This program give students the knowledge and skill necessary to meet the many agricultural and environmental challenges facing food production in the 21st century. Students emerge at the forefront of this critical subject and will be prepared to grow food themselves or contribute to the country and the world as innovative problem-solvers and catalysts for positive change in this new paradigm of food production. In addition to practical agricultural curriculum, the program includes courses in sociology to assist students in understanding the cultural and community aspects of sustainable food production. Students have a hands-on, experience-based learning opportunity as well as theory/lecture/book-based learning, so have a very well-rounded education and graduate with both skills and understanding to begin their own sustainable food-production based business or contribute effectively to existing ventures.
The M State administration has decided to "suspend" this program at the end of this, its third year because it's not making the college money yet (except for the community and publicity it's been building) and because graduates who begin their own entrepreneurial businessess don't fit into the college's traditional "hired into an office job" goal model.
To the President, Vice-President, CAO and Chancellor of Minnesota State Community and Technical College-Fergus Falls,
Please reinstate the Sustainable Food Production program at M State. This program is important to the community and the country to teach students to think critically as they produce, sell and consume food and other goods. To suspend it or offer only "customized classes" to large groups makes it difficult or impossible for individual students to commit to a program in which they're not guaranteed all the classes, which work synergystically together. We feel that the decision to suspend the program is short-changing the community primarily, as well as the college. We understand that college funding is being cut. This program is not expensive to run, and as a community college, such a community-building program is a gem; please don't throw it out with the trash. Reinstate the Sustainable Food Production program!