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Food Systems and Technology

Program Highlights

 

Degree Option

Bachelor of Technology (BT)

 

As global food systems grow and change, so does the demand for educated professionals who understand the dynamic processes and policies that impact how the world’s food gets from farm to plate.

Students in the program will learn about food systems here and abroad and about the technologies that are critical to food production, processing and distribution. As their education progresses, it will become clear to these students that the design of a food system directly and profoundly affects a population’s diet, disease incidence, economic development, business viability, air and water quality, and management of resources.

The Food Systems & Technology program is comprised of four academic cores:

  • Sustainability
  • Food policy and law
  • Food production and science
  • Food business management

At each stage, students get hands-on experience in a number of SUNY Cobleskill’s unique learning environments, including our livestock and dairy facilities, greenhouses, alternate energy labs and culinary venues.

As they progress through the program’s four educational cores, students can choose from a wide variety of classes in Culinary Arts, Animal Science, Agronomy, Horticulture, and Agricultural Engineering. They also have annual, for-credit travel opportunities, both internationally and domestically.

Some of the courses offered in the program are:

  • Introduction to Food Systems
  • Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics
  • Vegetable Production
  • Food Science I & II
  • Food Processing Technology and Engineering
  • Managing the Multicultural Workforce
  • Spanish Language for Industry
  • Value-Added Production and Marketing
  • Fruit Science
  • Dairy Fermentation and Processing Technology
  • Commodity Supply and Marketing
  • Food System Regulation
  • Agricultural and Environmental Policy
  • Introduction to Sustainability

Employers look for our students first because they know that graduates from SUNY Cobleskill have significant practical agricultural experience from a program that values industry partnerships and market-relevant education.

Recent graduates are now employed at a variety of organizations including:

  • United States Department of Agriculture
    • Ag Marketing Service
    • Food Safety & Inspection Service
    • Foreign Ag Service
  • NY State Department of Ag & Markets
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension
  • Growmark FS
  • Helena Chemical
  • Nationwide Agribusiness
  • Farm Credit East
  • A variety of non-profit organizations focused on food security, rural development and farm viability
  • A variety of large food manufacturers
  • A variety of crop, livestock and dairy farm businesses
  • A variety of small, diversified food retailers

Each year, the Ag Business and Food Systems program areas embark on a faculty-led "Field Studies" domestic or international trip. Past destinations have included Germany, China, Costa Rica, Ireland, Hungary, California and the American Mid West. Participating students and faculty visit farms, agribusinesses, cultural and historical sites and urban centers to enhance their worldview and get a sense of how food and agricultural systems operate globally. Through the Ag Business Club, students have additional travel opportunities through the year to national conferences, meetings and competitions.

Food Systems & Technology students are required to complete 600-hour internship experiences, typically in their last or next-to-last semester. Internships are credit-bearing (12 credits) and often lead to full-time employment.

Here are some recent examples of internships that students in the Food Systems & Technology program have undertaken:

Chris Duffy headshotChris Duffy
DeLaval, New Zealand

DeLaval is a world leader in the dairy farming industry, offering automatic and conventional milking systems, cooling and feeding systems, effluent and housing systems and farm management support systems. Chris was tapped as an intern for DeLaval in New Zealand, where he had the opportunity to work with dairy farmers to set up, evaluate and troubleshoot robotic milking systems. Because of his impressive internship abroad, Chris was hired by DeLaval in Argyle, NY, in 2015.

 

 

Meghan Tanner headshotMeghan Tanner
Virginia Cooperative Extension, Stanardsville, VA

Meghan’s internship with Cooperative Extension in Virginia focused on development and coordination of educational opportunities for 4-H youth, and marketing of Extension programs to agricultural audiences and beyond. Meghan currently works for Cooperative Extension in Connecticut and is pursuing a Master’s degree in Agricultural Education at Virginia Tech.

 

 

 

Tom Latzkowski headshotTom Latzkowski
AJ Trucco, Vineland, NJ

AJ Trucco is one of the largest fruit importers in the United States, and Tom was tasked with heading up warehouse operations and quality control during his internship. Subsequently, Tom was hired by AJ Trucco to manage their New Jersey distribution facility.

  

 

 

Matthew Pinckney headshotMatthew Pinckney
Helena Chemical, Hatfield, MA

Matt’s internship at Helena Chemical was a diversified sales and service position that has since turned into fulltime employment. Helena is one of the nation’s foremost agricultural and specialty formulators and distributors. Helena’s commercial offerings include crop protection products, fertilizer, application services, financial services and precision agriculture software.

Graduates of the program are well-prepared for graduate study in Agricultural Economics, Agricultural Education, Food Systems Management, Business Administration, Sustainability and Agricultural Sciences. The Center for Career Development on campus can assist students with finding and applying to graduate programs.

Jason R. Evans, Ph.D. 
Dr. Evans received a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from West Virginia University and has served on SUNY Cobleskill’s faculty since 2009. His teaching interests include agricultural economics, food systems, agricultural policy, environmental issues and operations management. Dr. Evans advises several student organizations on campus and has been instrumental in developing a number of grant opportunities and new programs at the College.

Sophie T. Winter, Ph.D.
A native of southern France, Dr. Winter joined the Agricultural Business Management team at SUNY Cobleskill in 2014. She received a Masters degree in Agribusiness from Illinois State University and a Ph.D. in Business Administration from Arizona State. Her teaching interests include food systems, marketing, small business development and entrepreneurship. Dr. Winter is faculty advisor for the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA), a student organization that competes nationally each year in marketing plan competitions.

David Yanisko
David is a graduate of the University of Rochester (BS Geology), Johnson and Wales University in Denver, CO (AAS Culinary Arts) and SUNY Oswego (MsEd in Career and Technical Education). Dave has 14 years of experience as a chef in a la carte and private event dining in Philadelphia and resort areas of Southern New Jersey. He is heavily influenced by and classically trained in French brigade/contemporary restaurants. He has also served as the culinary advisor/coach of student competitions such as Chaine de Rotiseurs “Le Jeune Chef Competition,” San Pellegrino “Almost Famous Chef Competition” and the NY Beef Council Competition.

Rita Pineyero
Faculty bio coming soon!