• Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior
• Freshmen eligible only with instructor's consent.
• 2.0 cumulative GPA
• Good academic and disciplinary standing


Agriculture, Animal Science, Dairy Science, Agricultural and Applied Economics, Food Systems, Nutritional Science, Soil Science, Sustainable Development, Public Health

Classroom Language




Program Duration

Summer: Mid May - Early June

Application Deadline(s)

TermApplication Deadline
Summer 2018  12/1/2017
Extended Deadline: 3/2/2018

Future durations will be posted at a later date.

Questions about this program?
Contact a Peer Advisor!

Mexico, Multiple
UW Sustainable Development, Food Systems and Animal Agriculture

Overview | Academics | Cost | Location | Life Abroad | Student Voices | Apply

The UW Sustainable Development, Food Systems and Animal Agriculture program is offered by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) in partnership with IAP.

During the 2-week field program, students will visit a wide range of agricultural producers, see their products, analyze the economic, environmental and social dimension of their production system, and understand their respective roles in contributing to food security in a country where extreme wealth and poverty coexists but remain blind to each other. Site visits include:

  • Visits to subsistence farmers with small (1-10 animals) herds of cows, sheep and/or goats. Students will see how livestock fill a local need and discuss the importance of small-scale agricultural production in relation to providing animal protein and calories to rural communities who, for the most part, cannot afford commercially available products.
  • Visits to large scale agricultural production sites where “factory-type” farms produce inexpensive products that are shipped all over the country, filling the needs of the more affluent urban populations.
  • Explore the hidden costs and benefits of both small and large-scale agricultural systems in relation to carbon footprint, immigration, building infrastructure, setting government policy, contribution to human nutrition and health, and alleviating rural and urban poverty.
  • Understand the need for both small and large-scale systems in feeding a diverse population, and respect the contribution each makes in enhancing food security.

There is no language requirement for this course, however having some knowledge of Spanish will be helpful to participants.

Learning Objectives

We have overall Goals and Expectations for Study Abroad Participants, covering the personal, academic and professional aspects of study abroad. Additionally on this program, you can:
  • Become fully aware of the multi-dimensional aspect of dairy production and how it intersects with: poverty alleviation, gender issues, household income, human health and environmental stewardship
  • Gain first-hand experience with the biophysical, social, and economic diversity of food production systems that serve distinct populations
  • Interact with smallholders who are part of the livestock revolution in the context of Mexican social, environmental and agricultural development.
  • Interview university professors involved in agricultural development research in Mexico ranging from those working with subsistence farmers (resource-poor, rural populations) to those involved in industrial-scale production systems (resource intensive, urban populations).
  • Understand the historic, social, economic and political forces that shape changes in agriculture and determine the food supply, food security and ultimately human health.
  • Gain an awareness of the increased interdependence of agricultural industries around the world and how that affects local food supply.
  • Produce scholarly documents (portfolio entries) to posted on a website open to the public to document their multi-dimensional learning.