Sterling College to Launch Farm-to-Table Food Studies Program in Summer 2011

January 26th, 2011 by Alice

Another NFHERN member is making news–read below for the details of a unique and vital program scheduled to launch this summer!

Craftsbury Common, VT – Sterling College, a small, year-round liberal arts college in northern Vermont, will inaugurate a new academic program in farm-to-table food studies in summer 2011. “Vermont’s Table: Farming, Cooking, and the Rural Experience” combines hands-on culinary training using locally sourced vegetables and meatswith in-depth examinations of Vermont’s most innovative farms, cheesemakers, and agricultural businesses.

Sterling College Hands disk

Sterling College is a founding member of the Northern Forest Higher Education Resource Network (NFHERN).

Sterling College is fortunate to be situated in one of the nation’s leading hot-spots for sustainable food economy. The North-east Kingdom of Vermont has received national acclaim for its entrepreneurial initiative and the diversity of successful food-related businesses. “Vermont’s Table” exposes college-level students and adult learners to the inner workings of this vibrant local food economy.

Environmental studies form the core of Sterling’s curriculum, and the addition of a semester program in food studies under-scores the link between healthy food and a healthy environment. Sustainable agriculture is one of six areas of study at Sterling, and participants in the food studies program will work alongside and shadow agriculture students on Sterling’s diversified organic farm.

The inaugural program will be held in two 5-week sessions during Sterling’s summer semester. Students are encouraged to attend both sessions, but can apply for only one. Courses include Whole Farm Thinking and Farm-Scale Production of Value-Added Products, in addition to seminars in Food Writing and Food Entrepreneurism and a field study in Vermont Food Systems.

“We have an awesome lineup of hands-on-the-cheese-press, toes-in-the-soil, and eye-on-the-books activities in the works,” said Anne Obelnicki, Sterling’s Sustainable Food Systems Coordinator and lead faculty for the culinary program. “Sterling is surrounded and supported by so many amazing regional resources – in terms of people, businesses, ecology, and landscape. It’s going to be a dynamic and engaging semester.”

The new program and most of its 12 students will be centered in Houston House, at the south end of the college’s campus, a former 19th Century Inn with its own kitchen and dining area. The curriculum benefits from advice from food writer Marian Burros, a trustee of Sterling College, and Marion Nestle, professor of food studies at New York University, among others.

More Info: http://www.sterlingcollege.edu/culinary-program.html

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Second Annual Meeting of the NFHERN

May 10th, 2010 by CfRP

NFHERN Second Annual Meeting

Please join us for this gathering of academic, community, and private sector leaders to explore the role of higher education in the vitality of rural communities from the Adirondacks to Nova Scotia. This two day event will focus upon two themes: Connections and Curriculum. The ‘Connections’ discussion will explore strategies for higher education institutions to play an active role in regional development initiatives such as the Northern Borders Commission and the Sustainable Economies Initiative. A key feature of the ‘Curriculum’ discussion will be the Northern Forest Studies Program, a distributed undergraduate education program developed by Sterling College in partnership with the Northern Forest Higher Education Resource Network.

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