Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 72.61
Liaison Jack Byrne
Submission Date May 1, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Middlebury College
IN-2: Innovation 2

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Jack Byrne
Director of Sustainability Integration
Environmental Affair
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Title or keywords related to the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Middlebury FoodWorks Internship Program

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:

The FoodWorks internship program provides a meaningful consulting experience for Middlebury students interested in food studies and a credit bearing course component integrated into the consulting component. The internship takes place in two locations: Louisville, KY and Vermont. 26 students participate in the 9-week long paid program with housing. Students work in city and state government, business and retail, publishing and marketing, non-profits, and on farms. Issues being addressed include microenterprise and economic development; education, health, and nutrition; food production, processing, and distribution; food access, safety and security; food equity and social justice; sustainable agriculture; and food policy. The FoodWorks program has played a significant role in helping the City of Louisville, KY figure out how to transform its defunct tobacco infrastructure into an economic revitalization effort based on diverse local food production, marketing and distribution.

A brief description of any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation (if not reported above):

The program has 19 learning objectives. Primary learning objectives include:
1. Understand what is meant by a local food system, its goals, and its relationship to food, nutrition and agriculture.
2. Understand broadly the rationale behind local or regional food systems development and its connections to strengthening regional economy, reduced energy use, increased access to nutritious foods, recirculation of dollars into local community, agro-biodiversity, and community development and other potential advantages of local food systems.
3. Understand roles of multiple stakeholders within a given community whose work contributes to the viability of a region’s agricultural economy (non-profits, produce retailers, farmer’s markets, restaurants, growers, public and private institutions, etc)
4. Understand common definitions of sustainable agriculture, regarding: social, economic and environmental sustainability in the food and agriculture system, community food security, economic viability of small-scale agriculture and  regional food systems.

Overall, students reported an increase in knowledge. The overall 'prior to' level of knowledge rating (on a 5-point scale) was 2.81; the average as a result of the internship rating increased to 4.15. The survey items with the greatest difference pre/post among interns at both sites were:
1. “understand the tensions between short-term stop gaps (e.g., food banks) and long-term food justice solutions (e.g., education, affordability and accessibility of healthy food)” (2.77 to 4.31 VT and 1.50 to 4.50 KY) and
2. “view local food businesses and infrastructure as a way to understand the relationship to the local economic development model” (2.46 to 4.23 VT and 2.00 to 4.00 KY).

Three graduated students have found full time employment in food systems (policy, nutrition and health, and urban agriculture/youth programs) as a result of their internships.

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
Which of the following STARS subcategories does the innovation most closely relate to? (Select all that apply up to a maximum of five):
Yes or No
Curriculum Yes
Research Yes
Campus Engagement Yes
Public Engagement Yes
Air & Climate No
Buildings No
Dining Services Yes
Energy No
Grounds No
Purchasing No
Transportation No
Waste No
Water No
Coordination, Planning & Governance No
Diversity & Affordability Yes
Health, Wellbeing & Work No
Investment No

Other topic(s) that the innovation relates to that are not listed above:

The website URL where information about the innovation is available:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.