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Overview

The program is designed for people who are independent learners and are working or hoping to work as professionals or volunteers in local food system development.

Seneca's online Sustainable Local Food certificate program explores the practices, principles and philosophies involved in local food system development and takes a systems approach to sustainable food and farming. Students will explore regional food initiatives taking place across Canada, as well as international best practices. The program encourages students to apply their theoretical learning to practical applications through online networking and research that is relevant to their own local community.

Food System Ecology

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the program will have the necessary skills and knowledge to secure employment within the expanding local food industry, including opportunities in the following areas:

  • Farm organizations, both conventional and organic, including jobs as: farm and horticultural workers, small farm managers, greenhouse operators and seed company employees
  • Businesses, including food processors, distributors, retailers, restaurants and industry associations, including jobs as: farmer's market managers, produce sales, food service operators and purchasing agents
  • Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working on food issues, including jobs in: education centres, training programs, community gardens, food banks and shared kitchens, international economic development agencies
  • Government at all levels, including provincial agriculture, food ministries and natural resources ministries, international trade organizations, municipal public health and policy departments.

Entry Requirements

Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or mature student status.


Filter Classes: In Class     Online     Correspondence     Hybrid     Availability   


Curriculum

(6 Courses, all online)

SLF110
Field to Fork Intro. Global/Local Food Systems
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This course explores how we build sustainable local and global food systems. Students will explore food's circular journey from farm fields to food processing plants, to grocery stores, farmers' markets, restaurants, dinner tables and back via composters and landfills. Topics include biotechnology, organic farming, globalization, climate change, peak oil, water scarcity, food security, obesity, hunger, and the global food price crisis.




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SLF111
Food Systems Trends and Policy in Canada
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The production and consumption of food are at the core of many local and global issues. World hunger, malnutrition. genetically modified seeds, access to markets for new farmers and human nutrition are just a few of the issues that are prevalent in today's society. Policies have a major impact on all of the dimensions of these issues. Although policies have attempted to address various food issues, there is a broad consensus that food policy lacks effectiveness on several fronts.
This course will introduce you to the various elements, concepts and key issues in the field of Food Policy. It will help you understand the complexity of formulating and implementing policies as well as gain the practical skills to critically analyze food policies and programs. This will be accomplished by examining various Canadian and international food policies and programs.




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SLF112
Understand. Sustainable Farming: Principl.& Pract.
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Prerequisite(s):

SLF110 - Field to Fork: Introduction to Local and Global Food Systems

This course provides an overview of sustainable agriculture and how it is practised in Canada, by exploring the ecological, economic, and social justice principles of sustainable farming. Students will critically examine organic farming, food justice certification, and genetically engineered crops. Topics also include the tools and strategies that non-profit organizations, governments and businesses can draw on to embrace agricultural sustainability. Students are encouraged to choose readings and assignments that reflect their own interests.




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SLF113
Between Farm/Table: Local Food Business/Co-ops
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This online course explores the plethora of local food enterprises emerging across Canada. These enterprises include innovative models such as co-operatives, non-profit partnerships and social enterprise models. We will also look at how more conventional businesses, such as grocery store retailers, restaurants and processors, are incorporating local food options.
Throughout the course modules, you investigate the what, how and why of local food business and infrastructure. We will do this through multiple methods: exploring definitions and models; the historical and socio-economic context; and the mandate and business development of these enterprises within local food systems. Not only that, but you will complete creative and useful assignments on the development of food businesses in your area.
From field to factory to storage room to fork, this subject traces what is necessary to create a strong, vibrant, socially just (and profitable!) local food system.




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SLF114
Food Security / Food Justice
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Study the causes and consequences of urban and rural food insecurity across Canada. Examine short-term measures (foodbanks, meal programs, charitable services) and long-term food justice solutions (education, equitable incomes, affordability and accessibility of healthy food). Get practical experience doing research or field work for a food security organization in your region.




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SLF115
Urban Agr./Com.Gardens/Food Secure Cities
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This course examines the current practice of urban agriculture in Canada. How do community gardens, and farms contribute to community building and create food security? This course examines local laws and policies in your region.




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Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students are able to:

  • Define the foundations of a sustainable food system, both locally and globally, and related production technologies and systems.
  • Explore the challenges related to changing food systems on political, social, economic and ecological levels.
  • Discuss the impact of food policy, policy council models and food charters.
  • Assess causes and consequences of food insecurity in Canada and both short and long term solutions.
  • Explore various approaches to urban agriculture, their challenges and impacts.
  • Compare traditional and emerging food businesses and infrastructure.

Credit for Prior Learning

Prior Learning Assessment

Earn college credits for what you already know!
Prior Learning Assessment is a method of assessing and recognizing learning that is equal to college level learning, but has been gained outside a traditional classroom (through work experience, volunteering, outside study, etc.). If you can prove that the knowledge you have gained meets the outcomes of a Seneca course, then credit will be awarded.

How does the PLA process work?
Prior Learning is demonstrated through a "challenge" process. The process measures learning through a variety of methods which may include tests, portfolio assessment, interviews, demonstrations, essays, and work samples. The method used will be determined in consultation with a Program Coordinator.
For more information and to determine if you are eligible for PLA, please call the Program Coordinator.

The process may take from 6 to 8 weeks.

Note: Not all courses can be challenged. For more information go to PLA website or contact your Program Coordinator.

Transfer Credit (Advanced Standing)

Many students who enter Seneca College will have earned academic credits in post-secondary educational institutions which they may be able to apply toward completion of a Seneca College program.

Requests for Transfer Credit must be for a specific course and must be accompanied by an official transcript and course outline. A minimum grade of "C" (60 percent) is generally required for a course to be considered for Transfer Credit.

Download a Transfer Credit Request form. An official copy of your transcript and applicable detailed course outlines should be attached and submitted. Please note it may take 4 to 6 weeks for a Transfer Credit decision.

More Information

Please visit the Degree and Credit Transfer Office.

Graduation/Convocation

When you meet all program requirements and become eligible for a certificate, diploma or degree, you must inform the Registrar by completing a Graduation Application form, and paying the graduation and alumni fee. Forms are available at the Registration Office or can be downloaded from the convocation website below. Certificates, diplomas, and applied degrees are issued twice a year in the Fall (October) and Spring (June). Graduation Application forms must be received no later than July 31 (for Fall Convocation), November 30/ March 31 (for Spring Convocation). Convocation information is mailed out approximately six weeks prior to the ceremony date.

For further information, please contact the Convocation Office at the Markham Campus at 416-491-5050 ext. 77461 or visit Convocation website.

Minimum Performance for Graduation

Students will only be eligible to graduate with a Seneca College certificate or diploma if they have maintained an overall good standing in their current program of study. Students in degree programs will be eligible to graduate when they have obtained an average of C (2.5 GPA) in courses in the main field of study, and an average of C (2.0 GPA) in all other courses.

Program Contacts

Ariane Favereau Broughton
Program Assistant
Ariane.Favereau-Broughton@senecacollege.ca
416-491-5050 ext.22663


Sharon Estok
Academic Program Manager
Sharon.Estok@senecacollege.ca
416-491-5050 ext.22515