Feb. 17-18 — POULTNEY — Green Mountain College welcomes Philip Howard, visiting scholar for the college’s M.S. in Sustainable Food Systems (MSFS) winter residency Feb. 17-19. Howard will present a pair of free public programs: “Is Food Diversity an Illusion?” on Wednesday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m.in Ackley Hall; and “Concentration and Power in the Food System” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18 in The Gorge (Withey Hall).
“Students in this online program come from all over the country. They complete their studies online and in their own communities,” said Robin Currey, Director of the MSFS program. “The annual residency gives students a chance to have face-to-face time with their cohorts and faculty mentors. It’s also a way to introduce nationally-recognized leaders and thinkers in food systems to Vermont.”
Phil Howard is an associate professor in the Department of Community Sustainability at Michigan State University where he focuses on “mapping” trends that help illustrate the rapid evolution of food systems. His new book “Concentration and Power in the Food System: Who Controls What We Eat?” explores how mergers and acquisitions in the industry have placed 40 percent or more of the market in the hands of four major companies. Howard demonstrates how a handful of corporations dominating markets can drive up prices for consumers, reduce innovation and result in negative environmental and human health impacts.
Howard holds a Ph.D in Rural Sociology from the University of Missouri. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, GOOD, The Ecologist, and Mother Earth News. He is president of the Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society from 2015 to 2016, and is a member of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems.
The two-year, online MSFS degree program at GMC prepares future leaders in the growing movement for sustainable and local foods. It emphasizes an interdisciplinary understanding of sustainable agricultural production and knowledge of economic, ecological and social forces that impact food systems.