This course will examine local food and farming systems in Boulder County emphasizing issues involving sustainable and organic agriculture in the context of environmental impacts. By having local producers of food, local agriculture, along with its infrastructure, is benefited. Money is kept in the community, agricultural land is preserved, energy devoted to long distance transportation of food is reduced, and the consumer gets the highest quality produce available.
The goal of the class is to bring more agricultural literacy to sustainability professionals. Having a better understanding of these systems will enable professionals to make more informed decisions and to better implement sustainable food practices. The class will begin by describing what is involved with small to medium scale organic agriculture along the urban fringe. These farming systems are complex and participants will get a glimpse of the many steps and processes that farmers must go through. The course will take students from early spring through the fall covering all essential aspects including; business considerations, equipment, land preparation, cultivation and most importantly the marketing of products. Next, the class will cover how business or governmental entities can become involved with local farmers.
Topics include: starting a farmers market; how stores and institutions can procure local food and work with farmers; insurance and legal obstacles, best management practices, and organic certification. An institutional buyer and a local grocery store representative will be on-hand to discuss how they are working with local growers. Local food and agricultural policies are important for farmers in urban areas as most federal agricultural policy does not address local issues. The participants will be able to discuss existing policies and what additional ones need to be implemented. For example, the use of GMOs on open space land in Boulder County is currently being discussed. Finally, the issue of food waste from farm gate to consumer will be discussed. The reduction in food waste can make a huge impact by saving water and other resources.
LOCAL FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL SYSTEMS
10 Contact Hours
FALL: Friday, October 28, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
University of Colorado, Boulder campus
Early bird discount of 20% available through September 28, 2011
Instructor John McKenzie VIEW BIO