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Sustainable Food & Agricultural Systems Associate Degree

Program Code: 100903

As a graduate of the Sustainable Food and Agriculture Systems associate degree program, you're ready for careers in sustainable gardening, field crop production, livestock operations as well as emerging areas like aquaponics. You will have the necessary knowledge to run your own successful food-related business and add value to your farm products or be qualified for employment in a variety of positions associated with sustainable agriculture, including commercial gardens, livestock operations, farmer support, and local food system efforts.

Follow Your Path

All credits from the following certificate(s) apply toward this associate degree:
• Sustainable Agriculture, 900901

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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

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Requirements for Program Entry

• Completed application.
• High school transcript or equivalent. (For a list of equivalents, go to www.nwtc.edu/gettingstarted.)
• To be admitted to this program, learners must achieve a prior cumulative high school or college grade point average of 2.6 or higher OR a satisfactory academic skills assessment score. College grade point average must be based on 15 credits or more. To learn more about starting this program, please contact an academic advisor at (920) 498-5444 or (888) 385-6982.

Program Availability

FULL TIMESummer 2018Fall 2018Spring 2019
Green Bay
Unavailable
Accepting
Unavailable

Application Checklist

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Curriculum
Students following the study plan below will complete the Sustainable Food & Ag Systems associate degree in the number of semesters shown.
FIRST SEMESTER
10-890-101 COLLEGE 101 ...Students will utilize digital tools and resources to assess, explore, practice, apply, and evaluate both employability and learning skills. By establishing NWTC cultural values as hallmarks of success in academic, career, and personal settings the course encourages reflective, personalized development of a growth mindset and emphasizes the importance of making wise choices. To maximize the return on investment, students should take this course in their first semester as it identifies key expectations (hidden rules) of higher learning and professional employment.
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.
10-090-139 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.
10-001-117 APPLIED BOTANY ...this course provides the opportunity for the learner to develop the knowledge skills process and understanding of taxonomy, plant morphology, plant physiology, reproductive processes and environmental interactions.
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.
10-606-112 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: Placement value of 1500; OR Accuplacer Rdg score greater/equal to 55 AND Sentence Skills greater/equal to 75; OR ACT Rdg score greater/equal to 16 AND Eng greater/equal to 18; OR preparatory courses-contact academic advisor at 920-498-5444)
10-804-113 COLLEGE TECHNICAL MATH 1A ...topics include solving linear equations; graphing; percent; proportions; measurement systems; computational geometry; and right triangle trigonometry. Emphasis will be on the application of skills to technical problems. (Prerequisite: A placement value of 2400; OR Accuplacer Arithmetic score greater/equal to 65 AND Reading score greater/equal to 55; OR ACT Math score greater/equal to 15 AND ACT Reading score greater/equal to 16; OR preparatory courses-contact an academic advisor 920-498-5444)
SEMESTER TOTAL
16
SECOND SEMESTER
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.
10-090-123 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.
OR
10-090-125 AQUACULTURE ...fish 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.
10-090-138 SPRING GARDEN MANAGEMENT...work 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.
10-480-101 ENERGY-INTRO RENEW & SUSTAIN ...an overview of various renewable energy technologies and sustainable design practices and their current applications. Emphasis will be placed on policies, renewable energy production, green products and jobs.
10-809-196 INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY ...the nature and variety of groups; inequality, race and ethnicity; family, population, social integration, and change; collective behavior; politics, economics, religion, education, and the effects of technology. (Prerequisite: A placement value of 6200; OR Accuplacer Rdg score greater/equal to 55 AND Sentence Skills greater/equal to 60; OR ACT Rdg score greater/equal to 16 AND English greater/equal to 15; OR prep courses-contact academic advisor at 920-498-5444)
10-090-410 TRACTOR & IMPLEMENTS: SAFETY & OPERATION...practice safe driving and operation of tractors, skid steers, and farm implements. Hook up implements, PTOs and hydraulics. Use quick attaching accessories. Follow rules of the road. Explore emergency first aid and fire extinguisher use.
SEMESTER TOTAL
15
SUMMER SEMESTER
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; and 10-090-121, Organic Gardening)
SEMESTER TOTAL
2
THIRD SEMESTER
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.
10-090-130 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.
10-101-190 ACCOUNTING-QUICKBOOKS ...an 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.
10-801-197 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)
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)
10-090-140 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.
Elective 3
SEMESTER TOTAL
18
FOURTH SEMESTER
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. (Prerequisite: Accepted into Sustainable Food & Ag Systems or Sustainable Ag certificate)
10-090-142 PERMACULTURE: EDIBLE LANDSCAPES & HOMESTEADING... explore permaculture; the creation of an edible landscape and the development of a homestead-style, self-reliant, sustainable property. Examine the use of perennial fruit & nut trees, vines & berries, "new" plants & pastures. Explore permaculture zones & placement of home-based enterprises. Review energy, relaxation, small building construction, and local community in the context of your personal landscape.
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.
10-809-172 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: A placement value of 6200; OR Accuplacer Rdg score greater/equal to 55 AND Sentence Skills greater/equal to 60; OR ACT Rdg score greater/equal to 16 AND English greater/equal to 15; OR prep courses-contact academic advisor at 920-498-5444)
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: Cumulative GPA of 2.6 or greater OR satisfactory reading and writing assessment scores OR 10-831-107, College Reading and Writing 1 with "B" or better OR Corequisite: 10-831-102, English Comp Prep)
10-090-129 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.
SEMESTER TOTAL
16
TOTAL CREDITS
67
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, but must be passed with a C or better.
. Students completing General Studies courses at NWTC must earn a "C" or better in English Composition to enroll in Technical Reporting.

Program Outcomes

• Evaluate sustainable food systems and farms
• Balance soil health
• Make business and financial decisions
• Maintain farm records
• Market sustainable, diverse products
• Grow sustainable crops
• Practice animal husbandry
• Assist in the management of 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

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Start here. Finish at a four-year.

NWTC transfer programs are offered through collaborative agreements with our four-year college and university partners. See where your associate degree credits will transfer >> EXCLUDEEND

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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.

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