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Civic Agriculture and Food Systems Minor

The Civic Agriculture and Food Systems minor provides the opportunity for both interdisciplinary and community-based learning, as well as active engagement in and outside the classroom. Housed within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ (CALS) Office of Academic Programs, the CAFS minor embodies a commitment to developing and strengthening an economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable agriculture and food system.  

Why do it?

This interdisciplinary minor provides students with knowledge and skills to promote academic enhancement, personal growth, and civic engagement through reflection and experiential practice to address and solve ‘real-world’ problems.

  • Food security/sovereignty
  • Civic engagement/democratic participation
  • Strong local economies
  • Ecological stewardship
  • Healthy people/communities
  • Collaborative teaching and experiential learning

“This minor has strongly influenced my view on politics, interactions with others, and my career path and has influenced me to view the world in a different way. My instructors' involvement and outreach aided in making me love not only the material and assignments but also to take a lot of pride in this minor and the real world implications it has.” - Civic Agriculture and Food Systems graduate, 2022


The 18-credit Civic Agriculture and Food Systems minor has four required agriculture and life sciences courses (3 credits each).

Pathways diagram of minor

ALS 2204: Introduction to Civic Agriculture
ALS 3404: Ecological Agriculture: Theory and Practice
ALS 4204: Concepts in Community Food Systems
ALS 4214: Capstone: Civic Agriculture and Food Systems

Students select the remaining six credits from a list of cross-disciplinary College of Agriculture and Life Sciences departmental courses that complement the minor. For a complete list of elective courses, consult the Registrar checksheet (follow this link, click on 'checksheets', scroll down to Minors, and find the minor checksheet you're interested in).

Who is it for?

The minor is for students in any major interested in the minor cornerstones, particularly students looking to integrate knowledge and skills in civic agriculture and food systems into personal, civic, and professional practice.

Photo Gallery

This minor is hosted by Academic Programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Pathways Concepts

Core Concepts*
1a - Advanced/Applied Discourse
2 - Critical Thinking in the Humanities
3 - Reasoning in the Social Sciences
4 - Reasoning in the Natural Sciences
6ad - Critique and Practice in Design and the Arts
7 - Critical Analysis of Identity and Equity in the United States
*Students are guaranteed to meet at least three of the core concepts listed

Integrative Concepts
Ethical Reasoning
Intercultural and Global Awareness