OAC Introduces Alternative Agricultures Course


The Ontario Agricultural College is offering a new, multi-disciplinary course in the winter semester called “Alternative Agricultures: Perspectives on the Local Food Movement.”

Initiated by OAC graduate students with the support of the dean and associate dean (external), the course is intended to fill a gap in the agriculture curriculum and meet the ever-growing need for consideration of food systems within their larger social and ecological frameworks.

The course will cover biodiversity loss, food security and sovereignty, alternative agricultures, consumer trends, agri-tourism and the local food movement, organic systems, and the role of the media and private lobbyists, among other things. It’s aimed at third- and fourth-year undergraduate students who are studying agriculture, economics, international development, sociology, environmental science, business and other related courses.

Students will study the linkages among land, food and community through the examination of the social, economic, environmental and political aspects of both the mainstream and emerging trends in the food system. Students will evaluate globalization, agri-business and climate change, prospects for sustainable food production, the health of human communities, emerging trends such as the local food movement and urban agriculture, and the inter-relationships among all sectors in the food system.

There will also be research and collaborative group projects involving campus and community groups.

Enrollment will be capped at 40 students, and the course will be held on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Course registration is now open.

For more information, email Émanuèle Lapierre-Fortin at elapierr@uoguelph.ca.