Applied Local Food System


Sustainable Solutions for Community Growth.

The Applied Local Food System (ALFS) minor at Butler is a cross-disciplinary program where students, instructors, internship host sites, and community members learn through collaboration. As a cohort, ALFS students apply their learnings to create innovative solutions to local food system challenges by improving equity, environmental function, ecosystem services, and economic viability. This minor enables students to contribute to the enhancement and construction of resiliency and equity within the larger global food system.

Program Information


To receive an ALFS degree or concentration designation, students must complete at least four classes at 3-credit hours (in one case, 2-credit hours), for a minimum of 11-12 credits and a year-long Applied Local Food Systems Solutions Experience for 8-credit hours. One of the four classes—ENV405: Food Systems and Metabolic Rift—is required for all students completing the ALFS degree. The remaining courses can be replaced with alternate food-focused courses on campus such as those listed below or by permission from the program director. We anticipate additional courses being added to the alternate course list through the NSF-funded program and the faculty-staff learning community currently underway. Sample courses in this program include:

  • ENV 340 – (In)Justice in Food Systems 
  • ENV 300 – Sustainability Practicum: Food Waste
  • EVN 345 – Agroecology 
  • ENV 405 – Food Systems and Metabolic Rift

See all Applied Local Food system curriculum information

The Butler Advantage

Students completing this minor will:

Describe, critically analyze, and evaluate historical, current, and potential future factors, themes, and concepts related to the social, political, economic, environmental, and cultural issues of local and global food systems.

Analyze and critically assess relationships between place, culture, and food systems to elucidate issues of power and social justice that drive food inequities.

Identify, question, and take responsibility for their personal and professional roles in the local, regional, and global food systems.

Apply conceptual, theoretical, and applied food systems concepts and knowledge to designing solutions to real-world local food system challenges in Indianapolis.

Develop and practice workforce skills such as oral and written communication, working with diverse groups of people, team work, project management, leadership, etc.

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