New open online course: Explore how farmers produce food sustainably

Date: 23rd September 2019

The School of Agriculture, Policy and Development at Reading University is set to launch a FREE, online programme called: "Explore how farmers produce food sustainably ", starting 23rd September 2019, to give consumers a better understanding of EU farming systems and primary food production processes.

Relevant to citizens of all ages who are interested in gaining an understanding on EU farming,it can be particularly useful to professionals working in a role related to the food industry but have no background in agriculture. Everyone is welcome to join for general interest purposes.

Dr Simona Grasso who is leading the programme said: "We are working with colleagues from University of Reading, University of Hohenheim, Koppert and John Deere to develop a variety of learning materials and activities that introduce participants to basic principles of arable crop, horticulture, and animal production.

This course will enable learners to gain a better understanding of processes used by farmers and primary producers which we hope will lead to increased empathy with the challenges farmers face and consumers will feel more personally invested in the food choices they make. This course will also increase awareness on innovative technologies to enhance sustainability.

Simona continued: "By the end of the course students should expect to be able to explain the importance of primary products within the global food supply chain networks and describe the nature and diversity of farming systems across the EU and the routine farming operations."

EIT Food MOOC Farmers b


Topics covered:

Week 1 - What is 'sustainability' and why is it important when producing food?

Week 2 - The challenges of feeding a growing population

Week 3 - How can we farm livestock sustainably and responsibly?

The University of Reading has extensive experience of designing, developing and producing successful Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC). The University has a dedicated MOOC development team and has created 19 MOOCS and 1 Small Private Online Course (SPOC) for the FutureLearn Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). These courses have been taken by over 880,000 learners from 190 different countries since 2013. The University of Reading also undertakes high quality research across the food chain from primary production, processing, food nutrition and into consumer behaviour and marketing. These research outputs will provide case studies and other educational material for the Open Online Course (OOC).

This course is funded by EIT Food and forms part of a range of novel educational activities including workshops, summer schools and online educational programmes for a wide audience including students, entrepreneurs and food professionals. See more here:

To find out more or to register visit:

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