Minnesota State College Southeast
A Technical & Community College

Sustainable Food and Farming

Agriculture that feeds your pocketbook, your planet, and your soul


If you're seeking a personally fulfilling career with sustainability in mind, consider Sustainable Food and Farming at Minnesota State College Southeast in Winona.

In Southeast Minnesota and nearby Wisconsin, tall limestone bluffs rise above the Mississippi River while creeks and rivers wind their way through steep valleys. This fragile landscape demands special care when used for agriculture, posing unique challenges and opportunities for farmers. That's why Winona, MN, is an exceptional location for studying sustainability.

The Sustainable Food and Farming program at MSC Southeast is a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree. Course work revolves around four main areas: general education, small business skills, agriculture technical science, and agriculture trade skills.

In Sustainable Food and Farming, the "triple bottom line" of economic prosperity, social responsibility, and environmental stewardship are valued equally:

  • Economic prosperity: Business and marketing classes will prepare you for managing a small business enterprise or farm successfully. Practical, hands-on training in maintenance and use of farm equipment is part of the curriculum.
  • Social responsibility: Learn how the production of natural and organic agricultural products can meet the growing public demand for healthy, whole foods, farm-to-table marketing, and local products.
  • Environmental stewardship: Understand agricultural systems that utilize biodiversity, restoration, and permaculture design while preventing water contamination and soil loss.

Your studies conclude with practical experience working on a farm or other agricultural/food production setting, where you will be involved in all aspects of operations, from business planning to physical labor. Expect to get your hands dirty even as you learn from an established mentor what it takes to succeed in running a sustainability based farm!

Apply now for admission to Minnesota State College Southeast!

Major Offerings

  • Farm Maintenance Certificate (CERT) View Classes
    Winona/Red Wing - 16 cr
  • Sustainable Food and Farming (AAS) View Classes
    Winona/Red Wing - 60 cr

Download the Program Plan

Outcomes & Opportunities

Program Learning Outcomes

Sustainable Food and Farming AAS graduates will be able to:

  • Demonstrate safe and effective use of a variety of agricultural equipment
  • Incorporate principles of soil science, crop science, and animal science into an agricultural system
  • Design small-scale diversified farming systems which account for long-term, short-term, and seasonal production
  • Implement integrated farming practices that promote healthy soil, ecologically sound nutrient management, and sustainability
  • Develop a sound business plan for a family farm or small-scale agricultural operation
  • Understand the economic, social, and environmental impacts of agricultural practices in Southeast Minnesota

Sustainable Food and Farming Job Placement: TBD

View placement information for all majors

Career Opportunities

  • Farm owner or manager
  • Direct marketing of natural, locally grown foods
  • Small business management
  • Natural resources manager

Transfer Credits

Expand your opportunities. Learn how your credits can transfer to other colleges and universities.

College Articulated Transfer Agreements: Specific agreements between MSC Southeast and other institutions to accept transfer credits.
Minnesota Transfer: Transfer information provided by Minnesota State colleges and universities, Minnesota private colleges, and the University of Minnesota.
Transferology: A nationwide network to assist students in determining which courses will transfer.

Highlights & Instructors

Program Highlights

  • Developed in cooperation with national and regional experts in the field of Sustainable Agriculture
  • Teaches practical, hands-on skills such as welding, electronics, and truck driving
  • Includes marketing and business planning as an integral part of the curriculum
  • Practicum in the field provides teaches critical thinking and problem solving in the agricultural setting


Elizabeth (Liz) Micheel

  • B.S. Biology, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
  • M.S. Biology, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Liz Micheel has been with MSC Southeast since fall 2010. In 2009, Liz left her seasonal position as a wildland firefighter in Idaho to begin a career as a teacher. Now a permanent faculty member at the college, Liz continues to do wildland firefighting in the summer and prescribed burning locally in the spring. She is active in Sustain Winona and is involved in the area equine community as a Therapeutic Riding Instructor. Liz enjoys spending time on her hobby farm with her goats, chickens, horses, and of course, her family.

© 2019 Minnesota State College Southeast

RED WING CAMPUS | 308 Pioneer Road | Red Wing, MN 55066 | 651-385-6300
WINONA CAMPUS | 1250 Homer Road | Winona, MN 55987 | 507-453-2700

Minnesota State College Southeast is an affirmative action/equal opportunity educator and employer. ADA accessible. MSC Southeast is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in employment and education opportunity. No person shall be discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment, personnel practices, or access to and participation in, programs, services, and activities with regard to race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, disability, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, or sexual orientation. In addition, discrimination in employment base on membership or activity in a local commission as defined by law is prohibited.


Minnnesota State Logo

Minnesota State College Southeast
A member of Minnesota State

This document is available in alternative formats to individuals with disabilities by calling 877-853-8324 or 507-453-2700.