As a product of, and now a faculty member in, a land-grant university, I am a firm adherent of our mission to help the students and residents of our state create knowledge that improves their lives while contributing to the common good. The key tenet of my teaching philosophy tries to exemplify this mission by helping students (and communities across the state) develop the knowledge and wisdom they need to decide what kind of food and agriculture they want to participate in as part of a democratic society.
As a teacher, I try to facilitate and guide learning, wherever and however it occurs, both in the classroom and outside of it, through participation and co-learning.The food and agriculture system is a wicked problem, which means issues of sustainability are grounded in scientific principles, but also require negotiating moral and ethical dilemmas embedded within agriculture and food system practices.
As a member of the faculty at a land-grant university, I also believe it is our responsibility to celebrate and develop ordinary people as civic, economic and cultural products in a way that builds on scientific knowledge and knowledge from practical experience. To me promoting co-learning and participatory learning is rooted in our collective lifelong quest to seek wisdom in understanding our lives, above and beyond the accumulation of information or knowledge.
At the University of Missouri, I teach undergraduate sustainable agriculture and food system classes and a graduate course in food systems. You can find more information on AFNR 2215, Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Agriculture, AFNR 3215, Community Food Systems and AFNR 3315, The Science and Practice of Sustainable Agriculture here. I also teach the graduate course Agriculture, Food and Community. I have guest lectured in classes from animal science to nutrition to peace studies.