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Sustainable Food & Agricultural Systems Program Code 100903

Associate Degree

Offered at the Green Bay campus. For information: (920) 498-5444. Toll-free: (888) 385-6982.

This program is fully eligible for financial aid.

The Sustainable Food & Agriculture Systems program prepares learners with the entrepreneurial and technical skills necessary to manage a profitable, environmentally sound agricultural business. Students will learn the fundamentals of sustainable agriculture focusing on crop production, animal management and farm business. Emphasis is placed on practical entrepreneurial and field training experiences. Graduates are qualified for employment in a variety of positions associated with sustainable agriculture, including commercial gardens and livestock operations, wholesale and retail management as well as food distribution and logistics.

Employment Potential

A graduate of the program will have the potential for employment in the following areas:

. Farmer

. Gardener

. Crop production specialist

. Farm-to-school program leader

. Livestock operations manager

. Sustainable Agriculture wholesale and retail management

. Feed/Animal Health Sales/Consulting

. Certifying agency inspector

The following certificates/technical diplomas may be applied toward this program:

. 900901, Sustainable Agriculture Certificate

Study Abroad Opportunities

The International Studies staff continually seeks opportunities for students to travel abroad for educational experiences that may be offered in association with program courses. To find out more about which of your program courses may offer an opportunity during this academic year, contact your academic advisor.

Program Outcomes

. Evaluate sustainable food system and farm.
. Balance soil health.
. Make business and financial decisions.
. Maintain farm records.
. Market sustainable product.
. Grow sustainable crops.
. Practice animal husbandry.
. Manage farm operations.
. Innovate in value-added food and logistics.
. Fill out organic certification paperwork and comply with standards.
. Use effective oral and written communication skills.
. Utilize problem solving skills.
. Perform safe work practices.

Requirements for Program Entry

. Completed application.
. High school transcript or equivalent. (For a list of equivalents, go to
. As a requirement for program entry, an Academic Skills Assessment (Compass) with appropriate benchmark scores is necessary. Program Benchmarks are Pre-Algebra: 27; Reading: 70; Writing Skills: 74. Students not meeting these benchmarks or the equivalent will be required to establish an individualized academic plan. Students may have the opportunity to enroll in selected program core courses while completing their individualized plan. Upon completion of the plan, students will be eligible for all program courses. However, higher test scores will lead to greater success in core program courses. To learn more about these assessments and program benchmark scores, please contact a counselor at (920) 498-5444 or (888) 385-6982.


Students following the study plan below will complete the Sustainable Food & Ag Systems associate degree in the number of semesters shown.


10-090-111 Sustainable Ag: Issues & Pract
10-090-117 World Food & Agriculture
10-090-118 Beekeeping & Pollinators
10-090-119 Cheese Making & Fermentation
10-090-139 Org Soils, Nutrients, Compost
10-606-112 Computer Apps for Technicians
* 10-801-136 English Composition 1
10-804-123 Math w Business Apps
**10-890-101 College 101

10-090-120 Organic Livestock Practices
10-090-121 Organic Gardening
10-090-122 Fruits, Nuts, Berries
10-090-123 Organic Poultry Management
10-090-124 Aquaponics
10-090-125 Aquaculture
10-090-138 Spring Garden Mgmt
10-090-140 Value Added Foods
10-806-112 Principles of Sustainability
10-809-103 Think Critically & Creatively

10-090-127 Summer Ag Internship

10-090-103 Organic Field Crops
10-090-141 Artisan Meats: Humane Harvest
10-090-128 Managed Grazing
10-090-129 Food Systems; Food Quality
10-090-130 Herbs & Health
10-090-137 Fall Garden Mgmt
10-101-190 Accounting-QuickBooks
10-104-101 Selling Principles
10-801-197 Technical Reporting

10-090-134 Sustainable Ag & Food Business
10-090-135 Edible Landscape, Permaculture
10-090-136 Small Farm Machinery & Equip
10-809-172 Intro to Diversity Studies
10-809-198 Intro to Psychology


Curriculum Note
**The credit for 10-890-101, College 101 is an institutional requirement for graduation. Consequently, it is not part of the program credit requirements.
*Students completing General Studies courses at NWTC must earn a "C" or better in English Composition to enroll in Technical Reporting.


These courses provide an opportunity for students to develop the knowledge, skills, and understanding required for employment in this field.

10-090-103 ORGANIC FIELD CROPS ... Evaluate organic practices for fertilizing, planting, weed and pest control in corn, soybeans and small grains. Create an organic transition plan, qualify for certification. Evaluate yields, markets, rotations, and cover crops.

10-090-111 SUSTAINABLE AG: ISSUES & PRACTICES ...use critical thinking skills to compare organic and sustainable agricultural practices with industrial agriculture. Explore food production issues including antibiotics, herbicides, hormones, GMOs, animal welfare, crop yields, nutrients, and pollution.

10-090-117 WORLD FOOD & AGRICULTURE ...explore the climate, soils, and food of other ecosystems and cultures around the world. Examine the relationships between people and the diversity of their land, food, animals and local traditions.

10-090-118 BEEKEEPING & POLLINATORS ...bees pollinate our crops and orchards; they are an environmental quality indicator species and they provide honey. Explore beekeeping using onsite hives; explore pollinators and habitats, and network with local beekeepers.

10-090-119 CHEESE MAKING & FERMENTATION ...practice the basics of cheese making and fermentation of beverages & food in this hands-on course. Eat what you make. Value the taste, nutrition, and quality of hand-crafted foods.

10-090-120 ORGANIC LIVESTOCK PRACTICES ...students learn how organic farmers manage livestock successfully. Principles covered include organic health care, strategies for reproduction, feeding, housing, and young stock. Review rules and organic certification standards.

10-090-121 ORGANIC GARDENING ...whether gardening on a small scale or using commercial greenhouses and fields, plan seedings, control pests, diseases, and weeds, all using best organic practices. Review rules and organic certification standards.

10-090-122 FRUITS, NUTS, BERRIES ...explore practices used by sustainable, organic and conventional farmers of these crops. Discussion of what works, costs, and how one can grow a saleable product and run a viable enterprise.

10-090-123 ORGANIC POULTRY MANAGEMENT...explore a variety of poultry for backyards or commercial enterprises. Topics include biology, health, feeding, eggs, housing options, processing plans and budgets. Compare organic and conventional management and business opportunities.

10-090-124 AQUAPONICS ...investigate hydroponic plant growing operations; designs, suitable plant species, maintenance, costs, efficiencies and yields. Evaluate potential programs in a sustainable context. Plan a system that fits your budget and goals.

10-090-125 AQUACULTURE farming, the most suitable species, different system setups and best practices. Develop a budget, explore markets and trends, analyze benefits and obstacles in this business.

10-090-127 SUMMER AG INTERNSHIP... Gain hands-on skills and experience with a mentor farmer or gardener by working at their site or in the NWTC garden. Set goals and report to an NWTC instructor. (Prerequisites: 10-090-111, Sustainable Ag: Issues and Practices; 10-090-139, Organic Soils, Nutrients, Composting; 10-090-120, Organic Livestock Practices; 10-090-121, Organic Gardening)

10-090-128 MANAGED GRAZING ... examine pasture plants and livestock in a rotational grazing system. Build a fence. Evaluate watering systems, fertilizers, yields and environmental impacts. Meet experienced graziers. Create a grazing plan and budget.

10-090-129 FOOD: FOOD SYSTEMS; FOOD QUALITY... compare traditional food systems (heirloom breeds, grass-fed beef) with modern production, processing, additives, packaging, transportation, marketing, price, distribution and fast food. Evaluate how these factors influence individual and societal health.

10-090-130 HERBS & HEALTH... explore various herbs; their unique properties, role in history, medicine, food and other traditional uses. Examine growing practices, harvest, and preservation. Make organic preparations; i.e., tea, infusions, tinctures, and salves.

10-090-134 SUSTAINABLE AG & FOOD BUSINESS ...define your goals. Research expenses and potential income for a small food-related enterprise. Outline a budget. Compare markets. Develop a brand identity. Review financial terminology. Draft a business plan.

10-090-135 EDIBLE LANDSCAPE, PERMACULTURE an edible landscape for your homestead, no matter its size or location. Use permaculture concepts of zones, layers, energy flow, water features, perennial plants, beauty, recycling, compost, and self-sufficiency.

10-090-136 SMALL FARM MACHINERY & EQUIPMENT... Evaluate equipment, machinery and tractors needed for a small farm. Troubleshoot small engines; hook up PTOs, hydraulics, plows. Calibrate seeders and fertilizer spreaders, drive a skid steer, and try welding.

10-090-137 FALL GARDEN MANAGEMENT...use GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) to harvest, clean and bring produce to markets. Use season-extending hoop house, compost vegetative residue, sow cover crops, and prepare the garden for next year. (Prerequisite: 10-090-121, Organic Gardening)

10-090-138 SPRING GARDEN in the greenhouse and high tunnel to seed and grow transplants. Prepare the garden soil, build fertility, sow seed, transplant, and cultivate. Use organic practices, gain hands-on skills.

10-090-139 ORG SOILS, NUTRIENTS, COMPOST... Healthy soil is the foundation of sustainable farming and gardening. Build robust soil through organic matter, cultivating beneficial microorganisms, and nutrient cycling. Explore composting techniques and organic fertilizer sources.

10-090-140 VALUE ADDED FOODS... Food preservation and value-added processing. Explore the rich variety of food preservation methods. Discover how to turn the bounty from your garden, orchard and land into foods you can sell at a premium because you have added value through minimal, safe, processing methods and unique recipes.

10-090-141 ARTISAN MEATS: HUMANE HARVEST... topics include humane butchering, carcass yields, sausage-making, smoking and packaging. Compare professional techniques to home-based skills. Review rules, regulations and sanitary practices. Determine produce mix, costs and income potential.

10-101-190 ACCOUNTING-QUICKBOOKS introductory course in using QuickBooks to create vendor/employee accounts, invoices, budgets, profit/loss statements, balance sheets, A/R, A/P, journals, graphs.

10-104-101 SELLING PRINCIPLES ...selling as a career; success factors in selling; personality development; product knowledge; and the sales process involving preparation, approach, presentation-demonstration, handling objections, and closing the sale successfully.

10-606-112 COMPUTER APPLICATIONS FOR TECHNICIANS...basics of a computer system, computer terminology, the Microsoft Windows environment, file management, Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel.

10-801-136 ENGLISH COMPOSITION 1 ...learners develop knowledge/skills in planning, organizing, writing, editing. Students will also analyze audience/purpose, use elements of research, format documents using standard guidelines, and develop critical reading skills. (Prerequisite: Compass Writing Skills=74 AND Compass Reading=70 OR ACT-English =18 AND ACT Reading =15 OR 10-831-103, Intro to College Writing or 10-838-105, Intro to Reading and Study Skills with "C" or better OR equivalent) 3 cr.

10-804-123 MATH W BUSINESS APPS ...real numbers; basic operations; proportions/one variable; percents, simple/compound interest; annuity; apply math concepts to purchasing/buying process, selling process; and basic statistics with business/consumer applications. (Prerequisites: Compass Pre-Algebra=27 or ACT-Math score=15 or 10-834-109, Pre Algebra AND Compass-Reading=70 or ACT-Reading=15 or 10-838-105, Intro to Reading & Study Skills with "C" or better OR equivalent) 3 cr.

10-890-101 COLLEGE 101 ...develops tools and strategies that support success in college. Focuses on study skills, college resources, goal setting, time management, and learning styles. Introduces concepts for self assessing learning and completing an Exit Assessment that provides evidence that learning took place. Students should take this course prior to or during the first semester of their programs. 1 cr.

10-806-112 PRINCIPLES OF SUSTAINABILITY ...prepares the student to develop sustainable literacy, analyze the interconnections among the physical and biological sciences and environmental systems, summarize the effects of sustainability on health and well-being, analyze connections among social, economic, and environmental systems, employ energy conservation strategies to reduce the use of fossil fuels, investigate alternative energy options, evaluate options to current waste disposal and recycling in the U.S., and analyze approaches used by your community to promote and implement sustainability. (Prerequisite: Compass Reading=70 OR ACT-Reading =15 OR 10-838-105, Intro to Reading and Study Skills with "C" or better or equivalent) 3 cr.

10-809-103 THINKING CRITICALLY & CREATIVELY ...instruction in realistic/practical methods of thinking, including decision making, problem solving, analyzing ideas, troubleshooting, argumentation, persuasion, creativity, setting goals/objectives. Students apply strategies/tools in a variety of situations. (Prerequisite: Compass Writing Skills=60 AND Compass Reading=70 OR ACT-English =16 AND ACT Reading =15 OR 10-838-105, Intro to Reading & Study Skills or 10-831-103, Intro to College Writing w/ a "C" or better OR equivalent) 3 cr.

10-801-197 TECHNICAL REPORTING ...principles of report writing and correspondence, proposals, feasibility reports, progress reports, investigation reports, evaluation reports, meeting reports, memos, and correspondence. (Prerequisite: 10-801-136, English Composition I OR 10-801-195, Written Communication with “C” or better) 3 cr.

10-809-172 INTRO TO DIVERSITY STUDIES...basic American values of justice and equality by teaching vocabulary, history of immigration/conquest, transcultural communication, legal liability, multicultural majority/minority relations, ageism, sexism, gender, sexual orientation, the disabled/ADA. (Prerequisite: Compass Writing Skills=60 AND Compass Reading=70 OR ACT-English =16 AND ACT Reading =15 OR 10-838-105, Intro to Reading & Study Skills or 10-831-103, Intro to College Writing w/ a "C" or better OR equivalent) 3 cr.

10-809-198 INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY ...survey of theoretical foundations of human behavior such as sensation and perception, motivation, emotions, learning, personality, psychological disorders, therapy, stress, and human diversity in personal, social and vocational settings. (Prerequisite: Compass Writing Skills=60 AND Compass Reading=70 OR ACT-English =16 AND ACT Reading =15 OR 10-838-105, Intro to Reading & Study Skills or 10-831-103, Intro to College Writing w/ a "C" or better OR equivalent) 3 cr.

Sustainable Food Video