Focus on Food Policy and Protection

This program is now being offered as the Integrated Food Systems Leadership Program (IFSL). Visit their website for more information, inquiries, or applications. 

IFSL: Creating the leaders of tomorrow

 The Integrated Food Systems Leadership (IFSL) program will develop leaders with robust knowledge, competencies, and “Know-How” about food system interrelationships within the global food supply.

The IFSL program is specifically designed for working professionals affiliated with any aspect of the food system – production, policy, safety, and business. It is ideal for aspiring or new leaders seeking to increase their leadership, expand their food system perspective, take on additional responsibility, and improve effectiveness in their organization. The program focuses on developing leadership and critical thinking skills using a food systems approach to enhance collaboration across disciplines the farm-to-fork food system.

Advantages of the Integrated Food Systems Leadership Program

Efficient. Earn your University of Minnesota Regent’s Certificate in 13 months with limited time on campus at the University of Minnesota.

Flexible. Primarily online curriculum gives you the ability to complete your studies while still working full-time.

Networking. Work across disciplines with classmates and instructors whose backgrounds span industry, academia, government agencies, and inter-governmental organizations.

Personal. Each cohort consists of 20-30 students resulting in an intimate educational experience. The diversity of student backgrounds in each cohort provides a rich learning environment.

Collaboration. Enhance your ability to collaborate effectively across disciplines including production, processing, supply chain, regulation, policy, food safety, food security, product development, business and marketing, consumer demands, and communication.

Program Format

The program is delivered in a learning cohort model that blends online and on-campus coursework. All students start the program together and progress through the same curriculum, providing opportunities to learn and work together. Most of the coursework is online; students spend 8 days (two sessions) on campus over 13 months.


Applications to the IFSL program are accepted on a rolling basis. New cohorts start each May.

Food Systems Leadership Certificate

Food systems encompass all processes and policies around food from farm to fork. Commodity organizations, food companies, and government agencies want employees whose disciplinary expertise is matched by a broad understanding of food systems and critical skills for working in interdisciplinary teams dealing with complex challenges. 

The Food Systems Leadership Certificate was designed by CAHFS in 2010 to give participants the broad food systems understanding that employers want. The certificate was made up of three week-long intensive sessions focusing on the production, policy and protection of food. Courses were taught by an interdisciplinary team of faculty from the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Humphrey School of Public Affairs and the School of Public Health. 

Focus on Food Policy and Protection


Deb Freedman