Comparing Food Systems - Iowa vs California (Study USA)

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United States of America
Sunday, May 14, 2023 to Sunday, May 28, 2023
Department: 
Food Science and Human Nutrition
Type of Travel: 
Travel Course
Semester: 
Spring
Year: 
2022
Application Deadline: 
Tuesday, November 1, 2022
Program Director(s): 

Kate Gilbert

Erin Bergquist

This course will review food systems frameworks and considerations, focusing on food supply chains (production systems, distribution, processing, and retail/markets). Concepts related to systems thinking will be applied to food systems, and discussion topics will include influences such as natural resources (water), innovation and technology, demographics (labor), and economics (price of food). The pre-departure course will include tours of Iowa food production to assist in comparing and contrasting regional food systems in Iowa and California.

While traveling in California, students will visit a variety of farms and food production. Tours include wineries in Napa and Paso Robles, almond orchards and processing, Hunt's tomato processing, dairy farms and cheese production, fruit and vegetable production including a visit to Driscoll's, coffee production, and seafood fishing. Students will also have the opportunity to visit Sequoia National Park, the Santa Barbara harbor, and to choose between visiting the Monterey Aquarium or going on a whale watching tour.


Explore all that the United States of America has to offer from Coast to Coast through the new "Study USA" programs! These programs provide undergraduate students the opportunity to learn about diverse cultures, food and agriculture systems, natural resources and life sciences within the U.S. The programs will be led by faculty within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and students will earn credit for their participation. Students of any college and major are encouraged to apply for a program.