SBM Sustainable Food and Farming
Bachelor of Science
Turn your passion for locally-sourced foods into a career that matters
Are you a locavore? Do you visit the farmers market on weekends and wonder what it takes to make a living doing what you love? Now’s the time to find out. Unity College is offering you the opportunity to learn how to take your passion for locally-sourced food and turn it into a fulfilling career.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost?
Your online education should be affordable and manageable. Our team of distance education concierges will work with you through the admissions process to help you plan and pay for your degree. Learn more about the costs here.
How fast can I finish?
It depends on whether you have credits earned from other institutions, whether you plan on taking one or two classes per term, and if you take a term off. Our distance education concierges and academic advisors are here to help you plan and stick to your educational goals. Talk to us today!
- How many credits can I transfer?
What courses will I be taking?
For course requirements, browse our Sustainable Business Management SUFA Concentration Checksheet or view our full course catalog for a better look into your program. Then apply online for free to get started.
- Do you have information that I can download?
Earn Your Degree
A world awaits
Median average salary for General Manager
Projected 10-year growth rate for a General Manager
Median average salary for a Operations Manager
Median average salary for General Manager
Projected 10-year growth rate for a General Manager
Median average salary for a Operations Manager
Source: Burning Glass Technologies. “Labor Insight™ Real-Time Labor Market Information Tool.” Updated March 11, 2020.
Through Unity College’s B.S. in Sustainable Business Management: Sustainable Food and Farming, you’ll learn how to apply sustainable business concepts to agriculture, food systems, food production, and farm-to-table enterprises, without compromise.
Sustainable Food and Farming Concentration Highlights:
- Learn the practical and professional business skills needed to understand and run your own sustainable food business.
- Taught by business professionals who have real-world experience in sustainable farming practices.
- Relevant courses such as: Farm to Table: Exploring Food Production Systems, Sustainable Farm Management, and Production Systems: Permaculture, Greenhouses, Irrigation, and Ecological Design.
- It’s taught 100% online from America’s Environmental College, a fully-accredited institution of higher learning.
- Learn from the experts in sustainability. For us, sustainability isn’t just an add-on. We’ve been educating environmental professionals for over 50 years.
Sustainable Business Management Degree Highlights:
- One-on-one academic and professional advising Our world-class faculty and trained staff strive to make your professional and academic goals a reality.
- Unity College is an accredited institution by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
- Learn traditional business skills and become a leader in the sustainability movement by studying with leaders in sustainable business practices from across the country.
- Study when and where you want and finish your degree while still working full-time.
- Get professional skills training by doing an additional concentration in Emergency Disaster Management, Environmental GIS, or Wildlife Ecology.
- Make professional connections with leaders in your field.
- Get job placement assistance through our career development department.
- Eight start dates per year
- Easily transition into one of our M.S. in Professional Science degreesor our Sustainable Master of Business (MBA).
Careers and Outcomes
Follow your curiosity.
Realize your potential.
Seek out knowledge.
Learn from leaders.
Sustainable Business Management Degree requirements:
A minimum of 120 earned credit hours, 30 credits earned at Unity, and an overall cumulative GPA of 2.0. For all degree requirements, download the Sustainable Business Management SUFA Concentration Checksheet or the Unity College Distance Education Course Catalog.
Sustainable Food and Farming Courses:
SUFA 201 Farm to Table: Exploring Food Production Systems
This course will explore organic food production systems using the three pillars of sustainability—economic, environmental, and social justice. Topics will focus on small-scale organic production but will compare and contrast it to other production systems. Discussions will cover the scientific and cultural underpinnings of sustainable and organic food production to develop the critical thinking and observation skills necessary to grow food using ecologically informed methods. Students will explore the farm management and business skills necessary to operate a small-scale farm. The focus will be on farm and business planning, crop physiology, storage techniques, seed-saving practices, and cover crops. Students will learn record-keeping practices, alternative crop-production systems, techniques for adding value to farm products, hand-tool use and maintenance and farm equipment safety.
SUFA 203 Sustainable Farm Management
Students in this course will study environmentally and socially sustainable enterprises to learn about management strategies for running a farming or food-based operation. Discussion will include farm management strategies, such as lean management strategies for farm operations and food establishments. We will also discuss business opportunities within all aspects of the greater food system. How does organic certification, Food Safety Moderation Act (FSMA) and other government regulatory requirements affect a business model? What infrastructure is needed? What is the role of County Extension, conservation districts, and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS)? Students will also study social purpose corporations and other forms of business ownership. Students will study the parts of a business plan, competitive business model, and a solid strategic plan. They will consider marketing, accounting, human resources, and strategic planning. Students will learn how to estimate taxes, do break-even analysis, calculate payroll costs and prepare pro forma financial statements.
SUFA 301 Production Systems: Permaculture, Greenhouses, Irrigation, and Ecological Design
In this course, students will learn quantitative and hands-on skills needed to measure, calculate, and work with sun and shade patterns, greenhouses, solar energy systems, passive solar structures, water-capture and irrigation systems, soil tests and plant nutrients, composting systems, seeding rates, planting densities, and yields for annual crops, cold storage, and natural building materials. Students will understand practical math skills appropriate to sustainable farming systems and ecological design. Topics include soil science, nutrient management, and crop botany, introduction to animal husbandry, successional crop planning, season extension, and the principles and practice of composting. Students will work together to design a food production system that takes into account solar energy, water management, irrigation design, disease, and weed and insect pest management.
Sample Sustainable Business Management Courses:
EVPC 305 Building a Better World: Ethical Decision-Making
Ethical decision making is essential for leadership, and since most decisions leaders make have an ethical dimension, the ability to discern the ethical implications requires a set of skills that are informed by ethical philosophy. This course provides students with strategies, tools, and techniques to make ethical decisions by considering the ethical issue and the people involved, develop a strategy, and implement the most ethical action possible. Through the use of case studies, students will develop their ethical awareness, learn to distinguish difficult decisions from real ethical dilemmas, and practice deliberating effectively about a variety of ethical issues drawn from social and professional contexts.
EVPC 401 Transformational Leadership
In this course, students explore strategies needed to become effective instruments of change. Students will examine themselves as leaders, learn how to create meaningful relationships as a leader, and understand the role of leadership within complex systems. By using case studies from a variety of organizational contexts such as business, government, non-profit, community, and education, students explore concepts of organization behavior and culture, consensus building, and project management to lead effective change towards environmental sustainability. This course is designed to empower and prepare students to become leaders in any profession.
COMM 303 Communicating to Stakeholders
This course teaches students how to communicate real-world issues and problems for a just end. Students will learn how different modes of communication such as storytelling can be used as an effective way to communicate an organization’s mission and builds empathy for its cause. Students will learn how to craft values-based communications to persuade stakeholders to support for social justice issues such as sustainability, environmental law, and wildlife conservation. Students will learn concepts and skills to build public support for their organization’s mission, strategic initiatives, and fund-raising activities. This course will develop skills in written, visual, and oral communication.
COMM 401 Using Social Media in a Global World
Not only do marketers use social media to communicate with their customers but also as a way to better understand their customers. This course teaches students how to use social media as a global branding and marketing tool, exposes learners to the analytic methods that can be used to convert social media data to marketing insights, and shows learners how social media data can be used to provide insights into market structure and consumers’ perceptions of the brand.
ENVS 101 Sustainable Solutions to Globalization
This course is designed to enhance literacy skills needed to understand major environmental issues facing the world in the 21st century. This and other core courses at Unity are designed to address prominent issues during your education at Unity Online. These are issues that will affect your chosen career, your future lifestyle, and the lives of your family and future generations. What are the most pressing environmental issues of our time? What do we need to know to address them? The course tackles these questions from variety of disciplines to provide the bigger picture and put our environmental challenges in a global context.
ENVS 201 The Warming Planet: Understanding Climate Change
Climate change is one of the most urgent and complicated issues we face today. This course explores the science of climate change by teaching students how the climate system works, what factors cause climate to change, how climate has changed in the past, how scientists use models, observations, technology, and theory to make predictions about future climate; and the possible consequences of climate change for our planet. Finally, students will explore the connection between human activity and the current warming trend and consider some of the potential social, economic, political, and environmental consequences of climate change.
ECON 301 Macroeconomics for Ecological Sustainability
This course introduces students to the economics of sustainable development, focusing on the policies and constraints to promoting economic growth and development. Students will learn to apply fundamental economic principles to development, environmental, and natural resource issues. Subjects could include benefit-cost analysis, policy design, ecological economics, market failure, externalities, non-market valuation techniques, and cost-effective policy instruments.
FINC 301 Environmental Accounting
Environmental accounting is increasingly being used in business and government to support the development of sustainable global solutions and government policy. Students in this course will learn how environmental accounting can show how different sectors of the economy affect the environment and how environmental policy affects the economy. The course will cover what environmental accounting is and why is it useful to business, how can environmental accounting help decision-making, what are key policy questions in relation to accounting, and what are the practical considerations professionals need to address to make environmental accounting an enduring reality for business and governments around the world.
FINC 401 Financing a Sustainable World
Since business plays an important role in developing environmental financial solutions for future generations, this course considers how the tools of finance can address environmental challenges and how market processes can be used to ensure long-term sustainability. Students will learn an overview of business financial management, with an emphasis on financial statement analysis, management of cash flow, risk and return, and sources of finance. Upon completion, students will be able to interpret and apply principles of financial management to develop sustainable business solutions.
MGMT 201 Understanding the Sustainable Business Landscape
This course introduces students to business with a focus on an organization’s environmental and social impact. Students will learn about the basics in corporate social responsibility, supply-change management, finance, and non-financial reporting and accounting. Students will obtain knowledge about how small businesses and corporations integrate corporate social responsibility models in order to identify new markets and opportunities, communicate with their stakeholders, compete in a global marketplace, and address social and environmental sustainability expectations and requirements.
MGMT 301 Creating a Healthy Hive: Starting Your Own Sustainable Business
Are you interested in starting your own business? Do you want to grow your current business? In this 5-week experience, you will work with Roxanne Quimby, founder of Burt’s Bees, and Sarah Lozanova, a sought-after sustainable business consultant, to be inspired and engaged in finding ways to jumpstart your own business. Ms. Quimby will be available for several live call-in Q&A sessions throughout the course, and will award start-up grants to the business plans that have the most promise!
MGMT 403 Global Supply Chain Operations: Greening Your Business
In this course, students will learn how to integrate global logistic, purchasing, operations and market channel strategies. The course covers the fundamentals and logistics of network management, consisting of network suppliers, manufacturers, warehouses, distribution centers, wholesalers, and retailers. This course develops the student’s understanding of the design, control, and operation of supply chains through the lens of sustainability management.
MKTG 301 Environmental Marketing and Branding
As businesses become more aware of the need to be sustainable, being green will be the future, and professionals need to help companies with marketing sustainable business practices. This course covers an overview of concepts and techniques related to marketing opportunities, strategies, communication, and effective marketing campaigns within the context of sustainability. Through case studies, students will analyze marketing strategies, plans, and decisions. Students will also explore why environmental marketing is a key aspect in business today.
EVPC 490 Transdisciplinary Capstone
The Capstone course is the culminating course for students in Unity College bachelor’s degrees. In this course, students will develop a project that deals with a real issue and produce a final artifact reporting the project’s findings. During this process, students will demonstrate and apply learning from their degree program and their ability to communicate to a broad audience. The course will also cover other important topics that support a student’s career development and goals. All projects will be workforce-related products that students can use for their current or pitch to a future employer.