Dr. Yi Wang will be teaching a new course this spring called “Hort 375-001: A Growing Dilemma: the Future of Food”. It will be offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5:30-7:00 PM in 1510 Microbial Sciences Building.
In the current world, the environmental challenges posed by agriculture and food production are huge, and they’ll only become more pressing as we try to meet the growing population worldwide. In this course, we will teach and discuss opportunities, challenges, controversies, and the future of agriculture and food production systems: such as GMO food, organic food, urban food systems, climate change and its impacts on agriculture, agricultural sustainability, etc.
The course will be offered twice per week from January 22 through April 30 (excluding spring break, obviously) and will be open to students enrolled for credits and the general public. Each week will include two 90-minute classes about a single topic (listed on the last two pages of the syllabus):
- the first class offered on Tuesday will be lectured by Dr. Wang or a guest speaker who is specialized in the topic area. During the first 15 minutes of the Tuesday class, there will be an in-class quiz that tests students’ knowledge about papers/articles assigned in that week. The April 30 class will be held only for students taking credits and Dr. Wang will lead an interactive synthesizing discussion on what have been covered during the semester as well as the future of agriculture and food;
- the second class offered on Thursday will be a panel discussion conducted by two or three panelists. The panelists are UW faculty members or extension educators who are related to agricultural production, or farmers, processors, agricultural consultants, company representatives, or state government employees who are working on related topics covered by the class.
The final exam on May 9 will include multiple-choice questions and open-ended questions.
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
• Explain how farming systems are operated and how the food we eat every day is produced.
• Identify factors that can affect the future of our food production.
• Find and evaluate sources of information regarding food production and agricultural sustainability.
• Recognize job opportunities that are available in the agricultural industry.
The Department of Horticulture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is one of the four original departments of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and was founded in 1889. Home to 12 state-supported faculty members and 25 staff members, as well as 8 federally-supported faculty members, the department serves as a home for instruction, research, and outreach activities in many aspects of horticultural science. Since the 1960s, our department has benefitted from a strong partnership with the Vegetable and Cranberry Research Unit of USDA-ARS, which provides support for the 8 federally supported faculty programs, staff, and students.
The Department provides programs that are focused on fundamental studies of plant biology, crop production, and utilization of horticultural crops. It also provides educational opportunities for the pursuit of careers in horticulture, strengthens the competitive position of Wisconsin's horticulture industry, and works to increase the use of plants for environmental improvement and as a source of personal enrichment. The work of department faculty, staff, and students has made substantial impacts in the state and nation for over 125 years.