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Sustainable Agriculture Is Focus
Of New Degree Pending at CMN

 

A new degree program pending at the College of Menominee Nation (CMN) brings western science and indigenous knowledge together for students interested in the broad field of sustainable agriculture. The addition to CMN’s list of baccalaureate programs reflects growing concerns in tribal and general-population communities about food availability, safety and sovereignty.

 

The approach to the Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Agriculture is uniquely CMN’s, with a foundation built on the College’s long-standing themes of environmental, cultural, community, and economic sustainability.

 

"We’ve been integrating these themes across the curriculum since Day One," says Chief Academic Officer Diana Morris. "They are part of the Menominee tribe’s theoretical model of sustainability, which is best known in relation to forestry practices, but encompasses all aspects of community life. It’s a model that guides CMN’s value system and operational approach."

 

Joining CMN faculty members and a team of community advisors in planning the B.S. degree has been Christopher Caldwell, director of the College’s Sustainable Development Institute (SDI). With Menominee sustainability practices at its core, the Institute houses many of the College’s student internship, applied research, and community outreach programs, and facilitates exchanges with U.S. and international indigenous and mainstream scholars and activists. SDI’s continuing support of the degree program will build on relationships and programming for cultural perspectives and introduction of topical areas such as agroforestry and agricultural products known to American Indian and other indigenous communities.

 

Structurally, the degree is built on general education requirements with students choosing two upper-level tracks from among four options: plant production, animal production, business administration or public administration. Positions open to graduates may include programs such as food sovereignty, agriculture, agribusiness and environmental concerns in tribal communities, private industry, or with government and non-governmental agencies and organizations.

 

The College of Menominee Nation is a federally recognized 1994 Land Grant tribal college accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (www.hlcommission.org) as a baccalaureate-level institution. Chartered by the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, the College opened in January 1993. It serves students from a 52-acre rural campus in Keshena on the Menominee reservation and an urban location in metropolitan Green Bay.