Course Number
Course Name
Course Description
Course Credits
SFS21000
Small Farms Experience

This is the first course of two designed to help students gain an understanding of what is needed to establish a productive small farm enterprise. There will be short field trips to local small farming enterprises. Classes will also be taught by guest lecturers and local farmers who have been successful at establishing small farming enterprises. Students in the class will be responsible for working on the Purdue Student Farm to gain practical experience on the topics and concepts being taught in the class. Typically offered Spring.

Number of Credits:  3
SFS21100
Small Farm Experience II

This course is a continuation of SFS 21000 and is designed to help students gain an understanding of what is needed to establish a productive small farm enterprise. There will be short field trips to local small farming enterprises. Classes will also be taught by guest lecturers and local farmers who have been successful at establishing small farming enterprises. Students in the class will be responsible for working on the Purdue Student Farm to gain practical experience on the topics and concepts being taught in the class. Typically offered Fall.

Number of Credits:  3
SFS30100
Agroecology

This course introduces students to the application of ecological concepts to food production systems and farm management. We will consider species interactions, nutrient and water cycles, regenerative practices, alternative approaches to agriculture, and ecosystem services provided to and by agro-ecosystems. Typically offered Spring. ​

Number of Credits:  3
SFS30200
Principles of Sustainability

Principles of sustainability is an experiential (discussion/debate) course that delivers an expansive overview of the principles of sustainability as they relate to energy and resources, communities, and agriculture. Students will learn to understand and analyze different food and farming systems and how they relate to environmental, economic and social sustainability. Typically offered Fall. ​

Number of Credits:  3
SFS31100
Aquaponics

There has been significant renewed interest in the investigation of integrated fish-food plant systems. Such systems have a long and rich history, particularly in Asia, and our impending food crisis has kindled an interest in developing aquaponic systems in western countries. Many growers are turning to controlled environment and hydroponic production methods to produce high-value crops in tight quarters. High input costs can, however, be a limitation. High value food plants and fish can be a natural marriage. The waste disposal problem of the fish can become the nutrient supply to the plants. Typically offered Fall. ​

Number of Credits:  1
SFS31200
Urban Agriculture

​Urban agriculture has the potential to address a range of social, economic and environmental issues including food insecurity, energy conservation, and human health and well-being. During this 5-week course, students will learn about the forces driving urban agriculture as well as the political and biophysical factors constraining it by reading articles, reviewing case studies, and visiting urban farms, vertical farm factories, food pantries, and local food advocacy groups. At the end of this course, students will apply the knowledge they’ve gained by developing a plan to increase urban agriculture in the greater Lafayette metropolitan area. Typically offered Fall.​

Number of Credits:  1
SFS31300
Farm to Fork

This course will investigate the culinary opportunities of local and seasonal foods and the horticultural demands of producing and marketing them. Dr. Hallett will represent the “farm”, giving students a brief overview of the production of local and seasonal foods in Indiana. The “farm” will harvest produce at the student farm and deliver it to the “fork” -- Chef Ambarish Lulay – who will work his culinary magic in the teaching kitchens in the HTM department. The focus, from both “sides” of the course will be the importance of niche marketing for farmers and chefs. This course is going to be tasty and fun! Typically offered Fall. ​

Number of Credits:  1
SFS31400
Comparative Livestock Production Systems

This course will compare and contrast the various livestock and poultry systems in the United States. The course will begin with in depth analysis of the history and structure of prevalent or conventional livestock and poultry production systems followed by a similar analysis of the various alternative production systems currently in use in the US, including organic, grass-fed, and pasture-raised among others. A heavy focus will be placed on critically evaluating the pros and cons of each system, regulations of both conventional and process-verified systems and potential differences in products resulting from different management and processing systems. Typically offered Spring. ​

Number of Credits:  1
SFS31500
Energy and Resource Systems

​The goal of this class is to encourage students to think of human systems, including food and farming, energy, economic and political systems in the ways that ecologists think of ecological systems. How does energy flow through these systems and how do resources flow or recycle through and throughout these systems? What are the weaknesses of human systems that could be mitigated by mimicking natural systems? Issues of efficiency, sustainability and resilience will be investigated in the context of vegetation succession, fire cycles, ecological tipping points and adaptive cycles. Typically offered Spring. ​

Number of Credits:  1
SFS31600
Decisions Through Systems Analysis

​This class introduces students to the basic rationale, concepts and mechanics of systems analysis. After an introduction to the concepts, students go through examples of integrated research carried out with systems analysis that has been used for decision making on both enterprise and broader scales. These examples also illustrate such things as the importance of data, metrics and the validity of information to be used in a systems analysis. Finally, students will set up their own systems decision framework for a problem of their interest. Typically offered Spring. ​

Number of Credits:  1
SFS35000
Summer Farm Internship

The summer internship will give students the opportunity to spend ten weeks on a farming enterprise, either at the Purdue University student farm, or at another farm in the region. A number of types of internships will be considered, and these might include internships not on farms, but on other farm-related businesses. We will assess these internships on a case​-by case basis. The majority of the time spent by students is expected to be farm management work under the supervision of the host farmer. A list of requirements of both intern and host farmer will ensure that interns are engaged in enriching internship activities and not just exploited as laborers. Curricular activities will also be presented at farm visits, workshops and tours. Typically offered Summer.​

SFS35100
SFS Capstone Project

The SFS Capstone Project is a directed-learning course that will require students to prepare and present a sustainability analysis of a farm enterprise, most likely the enterprise at which they conduct their required summer internship, and this may be an internship approved at an operation other than a farm. Students will be required to analyze and enterprise taking into account its economic, environmental and social sustainability, and its broader role in sustaining the local and regional economy, environment and community. The analysis will be prepared as a paper and a presentation that will be given to the undergraduates of the SFS program at an SFS program meeting. The paper and the presentation will be prepared in consultation with a faculty mentor from the SFS program committee and will be graded by the faculty mentor. Typically offered Fall, Spring, and Summer. ​

Number of Credits:  1

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