Farm, Food, and Environmental Policy in California

Students walking by pastures with beef cows while talking to the tour leader.

About

This course is available every other year and offers students the opportunity to travel beyond the corn and soybean fields of central Illinois to explore the breadth and complexity of agriculture systems and issues related to the industry in the United States.

Through this class students learn about agricultural policy issues from the perspective of key interests in a region whose crop mix, resource pressures and political challenges are in significant contrast to those in the Midwest. As part of this course, students travel to California to meet with farm, food, and environmental leaders who are deeply involved in shaping policy that impacts the agriculture industry. Students are able to draw comparisons to issues Midwest agribusinesses are facing and complete the course with a better understanding of the role they can play in shaping how these issues resolve.

Student expectations

This experiential learning course is designed for sophomores, juniors, or seniors interested in analyzing the linkages of food and wine production, business management, policymaking and the environment. Previous class experience in micro and macro-economic theory, commodity marketing, finance, public policy and/or law is advantageous as this class seeks to connect what they have learned to careers students might pursue after graduation. 

Preparation, participation, and promptness are key tenants in this course. Attendance in paramount in this course. Students are expected to prepare questions and discussion topics so they can participate in conversations with guest speakers and industry professionals. 

Apply

Students wishing to enter the course are asked to submit a brief statement of their interest in the class and their expectations of what they hope to get out of their participation. To learn more, visit the university’s course explorer.