Our food choices are important and complex. Not only do our choices affect us as individuals, helping to shape our personal health and well-being, but our choices also impact our collective environmental and societal health and well-being, influencing the use of resources such as water and oil and social issues like marketing and labor.
By considering the impacts of our food choices on individual, environmental, and social health, we gain a clearer picture of the complexities and implications inherent in making food choices. We also discover the ability we have as individuals and communities to shape a food system that supports a broad vision of health and values encompassing not only our individual well-being, but also the health and welfare of others and our environment.
The program offers both a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree. The Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems program offers a flexible curriculum to students seeking to acquire integrated knowledge and experiences related to modern agricultural and food systems and/or preparing for varied careers in these fields. It draws upon the diverse course offerings by the three academic departments in the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture and the Thompson School of Applied Science as well as those from other colleges at UNH.
Integrating UNH's strengths in sustainable agriculture, hospitality management, and nutrition, the new Dual Major in EcoGastronomy -- the first of its kind in US higher education! -- offers a unique academic program emphasizing the interdisciplinary, international, and experiential knowledge that connects all three fields. And as a dual major, the program provides a complement to any primary major. The program is a unique partnership between the Whittemore School of Business & Economics and the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture, in collaboration with the Sustainability Institute.
In recognition of the many benefits vibrant agriculture affords New Hampshire, the UNH Local Harvest Initiative raises awareness and educates students, staff, and community members about our local agricultural landscape and its role in sustaining our physical and economical health and well-being, now and in the future. This initiative includes increasing local food served on campus (such as cage-free eggs, local honey, and produce from local farms), hosting the award-winning Local Harvest Dinner, and supporting the UNH Compost Program. In addition, UNH Dining has renovated the campus Dairy Bar to a "Local-Sustainable-Fresh" eatery, which includes serving local and regional foods, recycling and composting waste, using biodegradable containers, and more.
The UNH Organic Dairy Research Farm, the first of its kind at a land-grant university, provides research to New England farmers and training to UNH students. The farm is part of UNH's commitment to sustainability and the renaissance of food and agriculture in New Hampshire. It is complemented by related UNH research, including research in dairy nutrition.
Food Solutions New England (FSNE) is a regional, collaborative network dedicated around a single goal: to transition the New England food system into a resilient driver of healthy food, sustainable farming and fishing, and thriving communities. Our shared commitment to food system sustainability flows from a core set of principles that understand equity, public health, and ecological integrity as necessary conditions of sustainability that must be approached in an integrated way. Since 2010, FSNE has been convening a mix of philanthropic funders, nonprofit organizations and networks, businesses, academic institutions, and government agencies engaged in local, state, and regional efforts to build a common agenda around food system sustainability.
The New Hampshire Food Alliance brings together the many diverse organizations, businesses, and individuals working to strengthen the food system across NH. By collaborating and learning from each other, we share knowledge and resources, reduce redundancy, and achieve greater collective impact throughout the state.
Thousands of school children -- over half the K-12 schools in the state -- enjoy eating and learning about the benefits of locally grown products throught the New Hampshire Farm to School Program.
The program is designed to connect local farms and farm products to New Hampshire classrooms and cafeterias by integrating agricultural production, school food procurement, and school curriculum.
Founded in 2003, the student-run Organic Garden Club (OGC) was voted UNH’s Student Organization of the Year in 2007. The OGC maintains a two-acre site on a 30-acre, USDA certified organic parcel of land on the UNH Durham campus - the first certified organic land on campus. The OGC grows a variety of produce, which it sells to UNH Dining and at a weekly farm stand on campus (Wednesdays July through September from 11 AM –2 PM in Murkland Courtyard). The OGC also helps to host a free monthly Durham community dinner at the Waysmeet Center.
Every year, we engage in a variety of activities related to its FAS Intiative which are not captured under a specific project. These include co-sponsoring various events, collaborating with partners on emerging projects, presenting at meetings and conferences, and more. Some recent include:
- collaborating with partners to host events on campus;
- co-sponsoring conferences, including the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG) conferences
- presenting at conferences and meetings including the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG) conferences and the 4th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference;
- serving on committees including the Northeast Regional Farm to School Steering Committee and the Organic Dairy Research Farm Executive Committee.