Food for the Future
For students passionate about cooking, sustainable farming, the agricultural economy, and the whole ecosystem of food. An understanding of regional food systems can improve our access to healthy, locally grown food while promoting economic development, regenerative agriculture, and community well-being. From the field to the kitchen, this program uses a systems thinking framework to explore our regional food system, including: historic and cultural food values; milling, processing, and baking grains; new farmers and food entrepreneur viability; and small-scale vegetable and livestock production. As we tackle each topic, we will discuss key changes that could make our regional food system—tracing every step from the farm to the market--more sustainable and more equitable. In addition, we will experience the power of cooking and eating together to impact social, cultural, economic, and environmental change.
This program emphasizes experiential learning through virtual field trips to local farms, food processors and distributors, as well as hands-on cooking and baking at your homes and ours, great opportunities for using locally sourced ingredients. Guest lectures on a range of topics from nutrition science to food justice will provide students with opportunities to develop professional relationships across disciplines at Tufts University and beyond. Students will be exposed to a variety of career pathways in the food system. For the final project, groups of students will present their vision of a future regional food system that is sustainable and just.
- Explore the regional food system from place to plate
- Discover what it takes to sustainably produce local, nutritious, vegetables, grains, and livestock and get them from the field to the market.
- Use an interdisciplinary lens to investigate food system sustainability from cultural, social, economic, and environmental perspectives.
- Learn about the range of professions and disciplines that engage with the food system from soil scientists to cultural anthropologists.
- Demonstrate interdisciplinary knowledge of linkages and interactions across the food supply chain
- Awareness of the intersection between food insecurity, access, and nutrition in our local communities.
- A proposed regional food vision to improve food system sustainability and community health and well-being, developed as a final group project.
- Make informed decisions about professional and academic pursuits with a holistic understanding of food systems sustainability and nutrition science.
Note: this page represents our best expectations for the program we will deliver this summer, but due to the ever-evolving situation, is subject to change. We will update this page as new information becomes available.
Not for you? Check out one of our other programs.
Meet Your Program Staff
Timothy Griffin is the Program Director of Food for the Future. He is an Associate Professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University. At the Friedman School, he is Division Chair - Agriculture, Food and the Environment, and teaches classes on U.S. agriculture, agricultural science and policy, and the linkage between food system domains. In 2018, he was named as the inaugural recipient of a professorship in Nutrition, Agriculture, and Sustainable Food Systems. He also provides leadership for the Tufts Food Lab, which has as its mission to link agriculture, nutrition, and culinary arts. His current research focuses on assessment of sustainability across environmental, social and economic metrics, regional food systems, and climate change impacts on agriculture.
Jennifer Hashley is Director of the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, a beginning farmer training program that assists limited-resource individuals to begin small-scale commercial agriculture in Massachusetts as a way to preserve farmland and to expand consumer access to locally-grown foods. Jennifer is also a vegetable and livestock farmer and raises chickens, eggs, pork, sheep, grass-fed beef, and specialty vegetables and fruit in Lincoln, MA. Jennifer holds a Master’s in Agricultural Policy from Tufts and a BS in Environmental Science from Indiana University. She serves on the Boards of The Urban Farming Institute, The Carrot Project, and regularly advises on regional food systems initiatives. She works to promote diverse economically-viable and sustainable farms with secure land tenure thriving throughout New England.
Kevin Cody, Ph.D manages the Farmer Training Team at New Entry and provides year-round technical assistance and training to small-scale beginning farmers, both on and off the field. He oversees curriculum development and strategic partnerships with local and regional agricultural organizations and educational institutions. Kevin manages the statewide Beginning Farmer Network of Massachusetts and conducts intake and case management and technical assistance for participants in New Entry programs and services. Kevin is trained in the FSMA Produce Safety Rule and is a Trainer for Cornell University’s Produce Safety Alliance. Kevin earned a PhD and MA in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Prior to New Entry, he served as Executive Director for the Northern Colorado Food Cluster and taught environmental and sustainability studies as an Adjunct Faculty and Faculty Instructor at Northern Colorado University where he established a student organic farm.
Wendy Hebb is Program Administrator for Tufts Food Lab, which has a curriculum focuses on small grain nutrition, processing, flavors, access, and advantages and disadvantages of scale. Prior to joining Tufts, Wendy was the program director for the Washington State University Bread Lab where she developed regional and national network to advise, communicate and sustain Bread Lab research and outreach. Wendy holds a BA in Creative Writing.
Our program begins with a virtual orientation and welcome event on Sunday at 5:00pm. During this required orientation, we will review the overall program schedule, discuss policies and safety, and answer questions. Staff will be on-hand to address any issues.
This program will combine virtually engaging course meetings and guest lectures with a variety of opportunities for experiential learning in order to provide students with an understanding of food and food systems.
Virtual Field Trips
- On the North Shore: Small-scale vegetable and grain production highlights critical links in the supply and the precarious economic viability of farmers in the regional food system. Urban agriculture and youth empowerment training in agriculture is integrated into conversations about food justice and access in low-income communities.
- One Mighty Mill
- New Entry at Moraine Farm
- In Boston: The urban epicenter of the region highlights efforts to support new food entrepreneurs in a shared commercial kitchen. Trips to the Terminal Market and Boston Food Bank reveal challenges related to hunger, malnutrition, and regional food supply chains.
- Commonwealth Kitchen
- Red's Best seafood
- Metro West: In addition to vegetables and grains, protein and dairy add to the nutritional diversity of our plates and the diversity of regional farms. Trips to a mixed livestock operation, a hunger relief farm, and high-tech dairy farm will include discussion of nutrition, farm viability, and consumer access.
- Codman Community Farms
On the last day of the program, students will participate in a virtual closing ceremony that will give them the chance to share the work they've completed and reflect on the program experience. Family and friends will be invited to join to celebrate the students' accomplishments!
Please note: the below is a sample schedule based on information at this time, considering an individual student attending the program scheduling independent work / recorded sessions in particular time slots. The schedule is subject to change as we continue to evolve the program and speaker list to be as meaningful as possible for our students and will look different for students choosing to attend live or independent work / recorded sessions differently. All times are in EASTERN TIME (please see "Attending from Outside the Eastern Time Zone" section below for concerns regarding those not in ET).Because this is a virtual program, meals will not be provided for students even if a meal is stated on the schedule - this is for demonstration only. Activities may occur during meal times.
If you live on the West Coast or internationally, you may be wondering how you will be able to participate in a program that has both in-person and virtual options. Please know that Tufts sees a diversity of geographical perspectives as not just beneficial but essential to a twenty-first century education. We have been working hard with our staff to ensure all students who are offered a spot in our programs will be able to attend - whether in live, streamed, or recorded sessions. We will be updating this section with program-specific accommodations as we seek improved ways to suit our students' needs and have a better sense of the geographic distribution of our students.
A critical part of this experience is engaging with the content material, faculty and peers as much as possible. Certain materials may be required to facilitate your engagement with the program. Additional materials for this program will include:
- Certain food items required for interactive cooking demonstrations and the capstone project
- Other materials TBD at the discretion of the Program Director
Besides this and the technology requirements listed under "Technical Needs & Support" below, no materials will be necessary for participation in this program. We will, however, be mailing you some fun Tufts Pre-College Programs swag and your Certificate of Completion at the end of the program.
Note: if you live internationally, we are not responsible if the materials we mail are delayed (which we will try to avoid) or held in customs.
Tufts Pre-College Programs staff is developing a series of virtual social activities throughout the program so that students can meet each other across programs and so that students from all time zones can participate. Some examples of potential activities include:
- Morning Meetups: start (or end) your day by catching-up with your classmates and classroom assistants about current events, last night's late night show, recent lectures or events over breakfast!
- Lunch & Learns: join your peers from around the world to discuss an interesting topic in a staff-led discussion. Can't attend live? No problem, we'll post recordings so you can view them later!
- Trivia Night: Unwind with your classmates and some friendly competition.
- Wellness Courses: To get you moving and feeling your best, attend at-home guided meditation, yoga, or other workout classes.
- Game Club: Create teams and play games like Monopoly, Settlers of Catan, Chess, and more. Teams will make moves when on their own time and games will play out over the course of the program or summer.
And more! Look out for a social events calendar that may include a virtual talent show, dance party, cooking classes, photo challenges, scavenger hunts, 'quarenTHEME' spirit days, museum tours, and more!
Most programs will offer independent study time for students in a shared (and monitored) virtual "Common Rooms" "Studio Spaces" or "Study Rooms" that will allow students to work in the company of their peers, sharing questions and chatting.
Many programs are also planning their own program-specific activities, often thematically relevant to the program content itself. Look out for these activities in the program description above and in the information provided after you enroll!
Tufts Virtual Campus
We endeavor to make each moment of the student experience at Tufts memorable for our students. Tufts Virtual Campus brings new meaning to this as we strive to recreate the critical learning and social environment students expect from Tufts University through digital tools. Tufts Virtual campus exists on a series of software platforms to which students will have full access during their program. In particular, the following two platforms will be used for the majority of our activities:
- Zoom: allows students to connect for lectures, webinars, breakout sessions, one-on-one mentoring, phone calls, chat sessions ... and more!
- Canvas: provides a collaborative space for course content, assignments, and grading. Many programs will host course material (syllabus, readings, review questions, etc.) on a Canvas course site.
Tufts Virtual Campus programs are being designed to provide high-quality, flexible, and interactive experiences to our students. We are carefully designing them to have the same academic rigor and expectations for teaching, studying, and achievement as their on-campus counterparts. The benefits of learning in a virtual environment include giving students greater freedom to interact with course content (lectures, presentations, discussions, forums, etc.) on a schedule that works for them, using a wider network of resources to achieve educational goals.
Tufts University is not only a leading institution of higher education and academic research, but it is leading the nation in terms of higher education's response to our public health crisis.
To ensure the safety of our Pre-College students, we are closely monitoring the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis, and following local, state, and federal guidance as it pertains to our Pre-College programming.
After careful consideration we, at Tufts University, have decided that Summer 2021 Pre-College Programs, with the exception of Courses at Tufts for High Schoolers*, will be conducted online through our virtual campus.
*Courses at Tufts for High Schoolers: As of today, planned in-person courses will still be held on campus during Summer 2021. Virtual options are also available. Updated information regarding course modalities will be posted here as it becomes available.
For more information about Tufts' response and action planning regarding COVID-19: Please visit Tufts University's COVID-19 homepage.
Students are required to attend all elements of the program schedule and any expected absences must be communicated to program staff in advance. Tufts takes the safety of its students very seriously, even in the virtual environment. Students who enroll will receive more information about our virtual safety protocols.
Tufts makes reasonable efforts to secure background checks and to provide Title IX training to every staff person responsible for students in its Pre-College Programs.
Students will need access to the following in order to participate in this program:
- Computer: either a Mac or PC with the following
- Mac - running at least OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard)
- PC - running Windows 7/8/10. Users on Windows 10 will have to download the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.
- Smart Phone: any phone capable of accessing social media platforms like Instagram
- Internet Access: A reliable, high-speed (cable or broadband) internet connection is required. Students are expected to log into Zoom and Canvas and to check email daily, and will need regular and reliable access to the internet.
- If you do not have reliable access to internet, programs may have internet hotspots available for students with demonstrated financial need. While this cannot be guaranteed, and supplies may be limited, please check with your program for availability.
- Web Camera: either integrated into your computer or external, set-up and working
- Web Browser: one of the following browsers updated for the latest updates:
- Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Edge, and Safari.
- Software*: programs capable of
*software may vary by program
We will provide you will access to other software that is required for your program for the duration of your program. As long as you have technology that meets the above requirements, you should have no trouble accessing the software. Depending on the program, this software may include Zoom and Canvas.
Trial Run: Getting Connected
Most programs will send software in advance with instructions to complete a trial-run before the program begins. We will also use orientation time to ensure everyone is connected and comfortable!
Accessing Tufts Email
Critical university emails will go to your Tufts email address. You can access your Tufts email through a web‐based email reader used to manage your Tufts email. It includes calendar and contact management tools as well. You must read Tufts University email, since this is the primary way that the university will send you information about registration and payment. Access Tufts Exchange via this link. You can also set up your Tufts email to forward to your personal email account using these instructions.
First, please try contacting the Pre-College staff at 617-627-2926.
If they cannot answer your question, they will pass you along to our technical support team who is available 24x7 to students who are actively enrolled in a program.
Application & Policies
|Application Opens||Deadline: Application||Deadline: Payment||Deadline: Enrollment Forms|
|December 1||June 1 or when program fills||May 15*||June 15|
*Applications submitted after the payment deadline will require payment in full on admission to hold their seat.
- Entering high school grades 10-12 *or* a Spring 2021 high school graduate
Both domestic and international students are welcome to apply to and attend our pre-college programs.
Non-Native English Speakers
If you indicate that English is not your primary language, you will be asked to submit evidence of English Language proficiency. Please see our "How to Apply" page for details.
Step 1: Complete an Online Application (opens December 1, 2020)
The online application will ask you for the following information:
- Basic personal information, including parents/guardians and emergency contact (if you are under 18, we will contact a parent for permission to enroll)
- Contact information for 1 individual to submit a Letter of Recommendation - this individual can be a teacher, counselor, or mentor. We will contact this individual on your behalf
- Test scores - optional, unless you must submit scores as evidence of English proficiency
- Warrants and signatures
If you need to log back into this application after starting, click here: return to my application.
Step 2: Upload Your High School Transcript
During your application process, you will be asked to provide us with contact information for an official from your high school. They will receive an email with further instructions to upload your transcript.
Step 3: Parental Consent and Letter of Recommendation
As a part of your application, you will be asked to provide contact information for both a parent/guardian and a recommender. Once you submit your application, our systems will automatically email the parent/guardian and recommender you listed in the application with instructions for how to fill out the online permission or recommendation form.
Please note your application will not be considered submitted and review of your application will not begin until the materials from Step 2 and Step 3 have been received by Tufts Pre-College Programs.
Pre-College Admissions Decision
Once an applicant has submitted an application and all required admissions documents are received, the applicant will be considered for admission by the Tufts Pre-College Programs review committee for the specific program(s) to which they applied.
Decisions are made on a rolling basis and students will typically receive an official email informing them of their admissions status within 10 business days of Tufts receiving all required materials.
If you do not receive your email within two weeks of all materials being submitted, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-627-2926.
Disclaimer: This program is not related to Tufts University Undergraduate Admissions. Participation in this program does not result in admission to a Tufts University degree program. Tufts reserves the right to admit as requested, to deny admission, or to offer provisional admission. The program will not provide feedback to applicants if admission is denied.
Admitted students must do the following prior to the start of the program:
- Submit a deposit to hold your seat; this program requires a deposit within 10 business days of the date on which the admissions decision was posted
- Pay your balance in full prior to the stated deadline
- Complete all enrollment forms and/or follow-up requests prior to the stated deadline
Should the above not be completed prior to the stated deadlines, the student will be automatically withdrawn from the program.
Program Fees - Summer 2021
Virtual Program Fee: $3,800
- Includes: all program activities, materials and supplies and daily activities.
- Excludes: anything not explicitly stated above.
Non-Refundable Program Deposit: $550, applied to the Program Fee
- A pre-payment on program fees is required to reserve space in the program within 10 business days of admission to the program
- This deposit will be applied toward program fees and is not an additional fee
- The balance of payment for program fees is due upon notification of charges, and no later than May 15
- This deposit is non-refundable in the event of withdrawal from the program
Other Key Financial Policies
Availability of Awards
Tufts Pre-College Programs are committed to aiding students from all backgrounds. Although we have only limited financial aid available, we do our best to distribute the funds to students for whom it can make the greatest difference in their ability to attend.
Financial Aid awards are made on a rolling basis to students with demonstrated need. We aim to provide enough aid to eligible students that they are able to successfully enroll and participate in the program. Seasonal aid awards are as follows:
- Fall: we currently do not offer aid for the Fall term
- Spring: we currently do not offer aid for the Spring term
- Summer: we will typically distribute awards monthly beginning in February and will continue until the enrollment deadline or until aid is fully distributed
- International students are not eligible for financial aid at this time. Families should expect to contribute to the remaining portion of the program cost as well as other expenses like travel, books, etc.
- We currently do not offer aid for students participating in our Leadership for Social Change Intensive
- Complete the Admissions Application for the pre-college program you would like to attend.
- During the application process, you will be asked to indicate whether you are interested in being considered for financial aid.
- After submission, you will have the option of completing a financial aid application in your student portal
- We will review your financial aid application. Your financial aid application will be considered for the next monthly aid award(s).
- If you receive an award,
- You will be notified by email of the amount of the award
- You will have 10 days (including weekends and holidays) to accept the award by completing your Financial Aid Award Form and submitting your deposit
- Tufts Pre-College Programs will then credit your student account with the amount of financial aid you received
- Please note: Your enrollment in the program is still contingent on payment of any remaining balance after the award is applied to your account, and on receiving your enrollment forms
- If you do not receive an award you will be notified via email
Please see the policies section of this website for a complete list of applicable policies.