The Sustainable Food Systems Certificate is designed for individuals working to develop local food systems in their areas. It is meant to provide a meaningful background on the structural reasons we have the food system we do today and why changing that system is difficult. It is also meant to provide practical ideas and guidance to create changes in our communities.


The five online, self-paced, courses that make up the full Sustainable Food Systems Certificate may also be taken individually. Click on the course name to view more information or register.

  1. Introduction to Local Food Systems in the U.S.
  2. Sustainable Farming and Urban Agriculture
  3. Between Farm and Table
  4. Food Justice
  5. Food Systems – Policy and Trends


In contrast to programs focused primarily on theoretical models, this certificate program showcases the expertise of practitioners with a balance of scientific knowledge and real-world experience. For example, while the proposed primary subject matter expert holds a PhD in sustainability education and regenerative agriculture, she is also an active organic farmer who employs a variety of permaculture design techniques and practices.



Course Developer


Clare Hintz is a certified permaculture design instructor.  She owns Elsewhere Farm, an organic farm focusing on perennial crops near the Apostle Islands.  During the quieter months of winter in northern Wisconsin, Clare teaches sustainable agriculture courses at local colleges near her farm.  She holds a B.A. Degree in Biology and Writing, an M.S. Degree in Science in Sustainable Systems and a Ph.D. in sustainability education and regenerative agriculture.


Elsewhere Farm features perennial fruits and nuts along with diversified produce, herbs and flowers, selling to a local CSA and general store. Seasoned in sustainability, Clare employs a variety of permaculture design techniques and practices as well as a winter greenhouse and hoop houses to extend the growing season.



The Certificate will contribute to the ongoing transformation of food systems by:

  • Equipping practitioners with timely, relevant information about:
    • current food issues, e.g., hunger in America, food waste, and food hubs
    • sustainable farming and urban agriculture practices
    • regional value chains
    • food justice
    • food system policy trends
  • Fostering and encouraging collaboration and peer-to-peer connection among participants
  • Bolstering the credentials of participants who may wish to be better-positioned for emerging leadership opportunities in the food movement


Notes: Though the Certificate is designed to be asynchronous and self-paced, it can be taken as a cohort with groups from one region. In either case, the assignments and forum are meant to be networking opportunities for those taking the certificate to link with others working on similar issues around the country.


Course Access: You access information for the course will be included on your receipt you will receive via email.


Target Audience/Level: People interested in community food systems from beginners to those already engaged with the work.


Moderated Discussion Forum: Some forums are made up of assignments where learners are asked to complete an activity and then post a summary or reaction to their experience. Others contain a discussion prompt, where learners are asked to answer a discussion question and have the ability to respond to others' posts as well.


Required Materials: This course does not require any additional purchases of supplementary materials.


Successful Completion Requirement for Certificate: Learners must complete readings, contribute to discussion forums, complete assignments, and complete quizzes at the end of each module (there is no minimum score requirement).


Refund Policy

If an attendee is unable to attend a training, email at least 5 business days prior to the first day of the training. The attendee can choose to either 1) switch their registration to the next scheduled training (if applicable), or 2) receive a full refund minus 10% processing fee.

No refunds will be granted for cancellations made within 4 business days prior to the first day of the training.

Training Cancellation Policy

The CED reserves the right to cancel any training or program not meeting minimum enrollment requirements. If the CED reschedules a training, registered participants will be contacted with the new scheduled date. If participants are not able to attend the new date, email within 5 business days of the new date to receive a full refund minus a 10% processing fee.

Additional Details

Enroll Now - Select a bundle to enroll in


Each Module is $495.00, those who register for the entire SFSC Certificate will receive a price break. This is a completely online, self-paced certificate.

Certificate Price
SFSC Certificate : $1,995.00
Deadline to Start Last Course
760 Days After Registration