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Ecological Food & Farming Systems Graduate Specialization


Program History

The Ecological Food and Farming Systems (EFFS) program is the culmination of more than 10 years of conversation and collaboration between Michigan State University faculty, staff and students passionate about sustainable agriculture and food systems. The Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems (SAFS) undergraduate sister program also emerged from this same process.

In 2008, the SAFS and EFFS education program proposal was awarded a Quality Fund Grant by the Provost to "enhance academic quality and demonstrably benefit students at MSU". The academic programs for the SAFS undergraduate specialization and EFFS graduate specialization were developed over the 2008-2009 academic year, and approved in Spring of 2009. The specializations were initiated in Fall 2009. In 2015, the SAFS program became a minor as the university phased out the interdepartmental "specialization" designation.

The programs are provided with ongoing annual financial support that is directed towards student travel, marketing and program support needs, and faculty development opportunities.

Though the home for the programs is in the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, the courses developed for the program are interdisciplinary and are cross-listed with several other departments including Entomology, Horticulture, Animal Sciences, Sociology, Agriculture Food and Resource Economics, and Community Sustainability.

Electives include options from multiple departments in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the College of Social Sciences, and the College of Arts and Humanities.

Contact the Director for more information about EFFS.

Affiliated Faculty

The following faculty teach, research, or otherwise contribute to the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems mission at MSU. If you are looking for a potential graduate advisor, you might start here!

Agrobio Sciences

Animal Science




Human Nutrition

Plant, Soil & Microbial Sciences

Socioeconomic Sciences

Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics

Community Sustainability