WINONA LAKE – Grace College takes another stride forward in its agriculture program by introducing a new sustainable agriculture degree and its new tagline, “Grow with Grace.”
Grace’s location in northern Indiana with major ag producers in all directions allows students to learn from experts. The sustainable agriculture program will begin this fall.
“There is a movement in this nation to pursue sustainability, but the definition of sustainability in agriculture is far too subjective,” said Tobe Forshtay, a sustainable agriculture program director. “Housed in the School of Arts and Sciences, our program provides a holistic framework of sustainability in the farm-business setting with an emphasis on stewardship,” he said.
The program is built upon Grace’s five “roots” of sustainability: environmental ethics, robust economics, government policy, healthy relationships, and biblical faith.
Students will make workable connections between these five roots while getting their hands dirty with industry experts. All students enrolled in Grace’s ag program are required to complete three internships before they graduate.
“These are dynamic mentorship-style internships where students in some instances are working alongside farmers and other agricultural experts who are industry leaders in each of their respective fields,” said Forshtay. “And our coursework is directly influenced by these industry thought-leaders,” he said.
Forshtay explained that these connections with the ag community set Grace’s program apart.
Forshtay has a decade of experience in ag policy. Additionally, he spent time with the nation’s leading agricultural risk management agency and participated in Agricultural Advisory Councils to Members of Congress. Forshtay says these experiences have uniquely positioned him to network with major ag corporations within a 30-mile radius of Grace like Chore-Time Brock, Maple Leaf Farms, Louis Dreyfus Company, Bishop Farms, and Tom Farms. These companies come alongside Grace’s sustainable agriculture program to help develop the next generation of ag leaders.
This past spring, the agribusiness program launched its first four graduates into the marketplace. “They are thriving where God has planted them,” said Forshtay. “I pray that God continues to use these young men and women to effect lasting change for His glory. Although they are no longer students at Grace College, I pray that they continue to Grow with Grace.”
Learn more about Grace College’s sustainable agriculture degree at www.grace.edu/major/sustainable-agriculture-major/, or its agricultural business degree at www.grace.edu/major/agribusiness/. For further questions, contact Tobe Forshtay at [email protected] or (574) 527-8855.