AMHERST, Mass. — UMass instructor, Dr. Rachel Surls will offer her new summer online class, STOCKSCH 258 – Urban Agriculture, as part of the UMass Stockbridge School of Agriculture Sustainable Food and Farming Online Degree Program. According to Dr. Surls, urban farming has become popular in the past decade, and examples are popping up in vacant lots, parks, backyards, rooftops, and warehouses. Some urban farms are managed by non-profit organizations addressing issues such as food justice and lack of green space, while others are for-profit ventures from private mini-farms to sophisticated hydroponic start-ups.
This course looks closely at modern-day urban agriculture, including production methods as well as the social, economic, environmental, and policy dimensions of urban farming. STOCKSCH 258 will benefit anyone planning an urban farm, currently developing or scaling up their urban farm, or simply curious about urban agriculture and how its fits into the larger food and agricultural system.
Dr. Rachel Surls is the Sustainable Food Systems Advisor for UC Cooperative Extension in Los Angeles County, part of the University of California’s Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. From school gardens, to urban farms, over her 30-year career she has been involved in a wide array of programs related to food production in cities. She coordinates a team of researchers and educators who provide training, technical assistance, and resources for urban farmers in California. Rachel is a member of the leadership board of the Los Angeles Food Policy Council, and is active in its Urban Agriculture Working Group, which advocates for policies that make it easier to grow food in the city.
STOCKSCH 258 – Urban Agriculture is a 3-credit college level class and maybe used to satisfy the degree requirements for the UMass Sustainable Food and Farming 15-credit Certificate, the 60-credit Associate of Science and/or the 120-credit Bachelor of Science degree programs. Credits may also be transferred to other colleges or universities. The UMass Stockbridge School of Agriculture Sustainable Food and Farming program is the only online program in the U.S. that offers 40 online classes that may be taken either individually or toward completion of one of these three fully online degrees.
In addition to Urban Agriculture, summer classes include courses such as Sustainable Agriculture, as well as Community Food Systems, and Professional Development in Sustainable Food and Farming. Summer classes begin on May 20, 2019 and registration is now open. For information on the 12 online classes offered this summer at UMass Amherst, please see: https://onlinesustfoodfarm.com/.
–UMass Stockbridge School of Agriculture
For more articles out of New England, click here.