Sustainable Food Systems

There is no future without food, and the food systems concentration prepares students to bring a sustainability and social justice ethic into action in the food sector. Anchored in the real-world learning lab that our Vermont location provides, this program fosters an analytical and entrepreneurial approach to understanding complex food systems. As a national leader in direct-from-farm purchases, value-added agriculture, and food entrepreneurship, Vermont is the perfect location to combine passion, wisdom, and business skills to transform how we purchase and interact with food, farms, and the industrial food economy. Students will become active partners in the inspired evolution of agriculture and food production.


Tristan Toleno

"All over the country, but especially in our region, entrepreneurial farm and food ideas are being turned into impactful businesses and mission-driven organizations. Our Sustainable Food Systems concentration is built to support innovation, with a strong foundation in emergent business and leadership skills. The program supports critical inquiry into how we transform ourselves from depending on industrial food and agriculture into a resilient and sustainable food ecosystem." Learn more about Tristan and other faculty.


Emmett Dunbar

"I feel I have grown more through this program than I have in decades. My Marlboro experience was about community and a love for doing what needs to be done to raise the bar in our communities, which we go home to after the residencies. I now have the knowledge needed to increase the availability of clean food products which are produced locally and distributed regionally which would ultimately contribute to the good health of the people."


Nathaniel Brooks

"For me, deciding to launch VT Dinners was an attempt to live my values: to demonstrate what the “new story” of business can be. I’d like to believe that by acting from a place of passion (specifically my love for local food), I’ve grown as an individual and as a leader. And for that self-awareness, I thank the community I found at Marlboro. Learn about other graduates.

Course of Study

In the Sustainable Food Systems concentration area you will acquire the critical thinking and leadership skills necessary to create, innovate, and expand food-based businesses, social ventures, and nonprofits in this evolutionary industry. Through completing courses such as Foundations of Food Systems, Operations and Production Systems, and Corporate Law and Ethics, you will gain the insight and knowledge needed to support the the socially and environmentally beneficial transformation of food production in the world. See a typical course of study for a full-time student pursuing an MBA degree, with a focus in food systems, or review all management courses.

Career Outlook

Sustainable food production is becoming increasingly important in developing countries, as the majority of population growth is concentrated in the world’s poorest countries. A recently published G20 report identified building sustainable food systems as a key initiative. This translates to opportunities for entrepreneurs to work with food producers and distributors to strengthen and expand current systems, to contribute to the world’s food supply in a meaningful and purposeful manner.