Friday, July 29, 2016

Dates announced for the Sustainable Urban Ag Certificate Program

In 2008, for the first time in recorded history, the world's population became primarily urban. Some urban areas are growing at twice the rate of rural areas. While DC is not growing as rapidly, its population continues to increase. This trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. CAUSES is uniquely positioned as a world-leader in the Urban Ag movement through our Research, Academic, and Outreach programs. In response, we launched a non-credit bearing certificate program in Sustainable Agriculture in 2014. 

The Sustainable Urban Agriculture Certificate, which begins September 12, 2016, consists of three classes (1 prerequisite course + (Option 1 or Option 2). The program offers two different options:

  • Option 1: Urban Agriculture Techniques
  • Option 2: Business Principles in Urban Agriculture

Classes meet twice per week in the evenings or once on the weekend. A certificate of completion will be issued at the successful completion of each class. 

To receive a certificate in Sustainable Urban Agriculture, participants will pay a one-time fee of $200. If a participant wishes to take individual classes, the cost is $60 per class. Payment must be made at the time of the first class, by check to the University of the District of Columbia.

Continue reading for a description of the classes.

Principles of Sustainable Urban Agriculture  (prerequisite for both options)    

This course will provide students with a comprehensive overview of the principles and practices of sustainable urban agriculture in our local and global communities. Students will be introduced to the economic, environmental, social impacts of sustainable agriculture. Upon completion, students will be able to identify and apply the principles of sustainable agriculture as they relate to basic production practices.

Option 1: Urban Agriculture Techniques

High Efficiency Bio-Intensive Methods for Food and Nutritional Security

This course covers high efficiency growing and production methods for urban growers. The course will be conducted at the Muirkirk Research Farm located at 12001 Old Baltimore Pike, Beltsville, MD. This course is one day in length.

Urban Agriculture: Innovations                                           

This course covers innovative technologies and techniques used for urban farming systems. Technologies include the Flo-Vex® aeration device, hydroponics, renewable energy & conservation, and aquaponics. Upon completion, students should be able to identify and recommend innovative technologies and techniques for urban farming systems.

Option 2: Business in Urban Agriculture

Business Principles of Sustainable Agriculture

This course is a specialized section of Introduction to Entrepreneurship that focuses on sustainable agriculture. The course will cover the basic economic and business principles regarding small-scale business enterprises connected to agriculture, with a particular focus on sustainable agriculture in Washington, DC. With a focus on the creation of a business plan, topics include researching and evaluating resources, planning, marketing, cultivating money resources, and understanding key concepts in law, budgeting, financial statements, and business documentation.

Sustainable Site Planning and Design                      

This session helps develop a comprehensive understanding of urban agriculture as it relates to site selection, site planning and physical design.  You will be taught what you need to know to select, build and physically maintain an urban farm site for both horizontal and vertical farming.  Construction of hoop houses will be discussed and sustainable energy applications on urban farms will be explored as well.

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