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473 - The Future of Food and Agriculture

Core/Elective: Elective
Credits: 0.5
Quarter Taught: Fall


This class will investigate the future of food systems including changes in production, transportation, processing and consumption of food. It will focus on upcoming challenges and opportunities in the world of food and agriculture and the role of economics, policy, technology and climate impact.  Growing and changing consumer demand, supply chain disruptions (including COVID-19 impact), modifications in farming practices and more will shape the future of foodAdditionally, instructor will address the Increased focus on sustainability, the influence of investors and the impact of market disruptors 


Course Objectives:

Students will build knowledge on the multitude of stakeholders in today’s food industry, disrupting forces in the food supply chain, and what changes we can expect in the future:

  • The Challenges to the Global Food System: Students will learn about the global food systems and how they are changing to meet increased population, shifting consumer diets and constrained food supply due to climate change, trade disruptions and disease. They will be able to determine the key factors that will impact our ability to feed the world. 
  • Public Policy and Social Impact: Upon reviewing the key food regulatory authorities as well as the impact of NGO’s on public policy and food access, the students will understand the complex interplay between government, NGO, industry and advocacy on the food system. An analysis of global policy issues such as food security, nutrition and health, international trade, farm economics and social equity will be discussed. 
  • Food and Agricultural Technology: Sustainable food production is the focus of innovators and entrepreneurs in food and Agtech. Students will learn on how different technologies such as plant-based proteins, vertical farming and gene editing offer better food production capabilities but also may create unexpected consequences for food access and affordability. 
  • Food Production and Supply Stress Points: Students will learn about the global food industry giants, their quest for efficiency and low cost and how the supply chain systems were disrupted during the pandemic. A discussion on the future food systems architecture will highlight the changes needed in our food systems. 
  • Investments & Innovation in Food and Agriculture: Venture Capital, incubators and accelerators have introduced new levels of innovation into farming and food manufacturing. Students will determine how new companies can attract capital and the successes and failures of new investments