The path toward healing the planet begins in Minnesota

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Protect and sustain agriculture, food, and water

The University operates in a geographical landscape that serves as a microcosm of our world. Campuses located on America’s greatest lake, greatest river, and greatest prairie, as well as in urban centers, enable firsthand research into some of the planet’s biggest challenges: water availability, agriculture and food, energy efficiency, and climate change.

This effort creates a “living laboratory” that invites the larger community—businesses and policymakers, researchers and teachers, farmers and consumers, children and families—to join in finding scientific and social solutions.

The road ahead

We envision these outcomes from our leadership in sustainability:

Minimize the impact of climate change

Promote sustainable growth in agroforestry (the integration of trees and shrubs into farming)

Increase food safety and security

Protect natural resources such as water, soil, and biodiversity


  • Students on fence with farm background
    The Pfarr brothers credit their farming background with giving them an appreciation for hard work.
  • Milk bottles on an assembly line
    Scientists from the U are using nanotechnology to improve food safety.
  • Rebecca Leighton
    A public health grad student has established the U's first food pantry specifically for students.
  • Blue Heron on Lake Superior
    The first-ever comprehensive study of Lake Superior will help tomorrow's scientists better understand climate change.
  • Students harvesting vegetables
    With their hands in the soil, U of M students learn about food, farming, and sustainability.