Approaching food holistically

June 17, 2024

Food Systems students present their capstone projects

Food Systems students pose with Julie Grossman

LOUISA SMITH, AGRICULTURAL COMMUNICATION & MARKETING, BS '25

This spring, students in FDSY 4101 Holistic Approaches to Improving Food System Sustainability—a core course for the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems major—presented their capstone projects at a Community Engagement Showcase. The projects were completed in partnership with local schools and organizations supporting sustainable food systems. Hosted by the Department of Horticultural Science, the showcase was many students’ final presentation before graduation.

Students present their project

“Food systems are intricate networks connecting food production to consumers,” said Julie Grossman, CFANS Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs and instructor of the course. “They encompass much more than agriculture, including cultural influences on our food choices and individuals' ability to access their preferred foods. These systems are fascinating because they blend the science of agriculture with the social dimensions of food consumption.”

Based on their interests, students collaborated with a variety of local organizations who work to connect the community to their food including Big River Farms, Great River School, Roosevelt High School, and Rice Street Gardens

“Students engaged in work that supports organizations and schools striving to improve food access, education, and cultural relevance, especially for those who may face challenges in fully participating in the food system, such as people of color, immigrants, and youth,” said Grossman.

Food Systems Capstone Projects

Big River Farms: Community Engagement Project

Ruth Kinyon and Anders Peterson

Rice Street Gardens: Cultivating a Thriving Community

William Pradel

Rice Street Gardens: Community Engaged Learning

Caleb Nollenberger

Great River School

Abigail Thompson-Witt and Lydia Beggs

Roosevelt Culinary Arts Program

Alexie Dietz

Roosevelt Culinary Arts Program

Rose Prins