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If you would like to be put on the distribution list to receive a Center 'update' announcement 1-2 times per month regarding events and activities in sustainable agriculture happening at Cal Poly and on the Central Coast, click here or email the Center For Sustainability with the word "subscribe" in the subject. Please use the same address to notify the Center of any pertinent announcements!

For detailed listings of other events, opportunities and resources for sustainable agriculture at Cal Poly and on the Central Coast, please visit recent postings on our Announcements page!
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From the Center for Sustainability

To view our most recent announcements, please go to our ANNOUNCEMENTS PAGE

 

STATE OF ORGANIC PANEL HIGHLIGHTS TRENDS IN THE ORGANIC INDUSTRY


Pictured left to right: Tonya Antle, Rachel Molatore, Tom Chapman, Bob Borda

March 2017 - We were very privileged to host an outstanding panel discussion on the state of the organic industry at Cal Poly on March 2.

Tonya Antle (Organic Produce Network) told the amazing story of how the modern organic produce industry began in California, her personal journey with organic, and the innovation being fostered by the Organic Produce Network. Rachel Molatore (Taylor Farms) described the growth in the organic industry and the current consumer trends driving that growth. Tom Chapman (Clif Bar & USDA National Organic Standards Board) described how the NOSB works to define what organic means and how Clif Bar is working to address the challenges of organic growers. Bob Borda (Cal-Organic/ Grimmway Farms) outlined the ethos of the Grimmway brand and how their production practices reflect those values. To learn more about how our panelists have and are continuing to pave the way for the organic industry, please visit: http://cfs.calpoly.edu/organic2017.html

 

WALTER ROBB RETURNS TO CAL POLY

Walter RobbOctober 2016 - Cal Poly students, faculty and staff had a great visit with Walter Robb, one of the country's top entrepreneurs and business leaders of the food and agriculture industry. Read more about Mr. Robb's visit to Cal Poly in the SLO Tribune: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/business/article108152122.html
To view a short Mustang TV video news piece about the event, please go to: https://youtu.be/JDOg_xMFRZI

About Mr. Robb: With inspiration from Robert Rodale, E.F. Schumacher and Francis Moore Lappé ("Diet for a Small Planet"), Walter Robb borrowed $10,000 in 1976 to transform an old auto garage in Weaverville, California, into his own natural foods store, Mountain Marketplace. Since then, Robb experienced a long and varied entrepreneurial journey from retailer to farmer to consultant before being named co-CEO of Whole Foods Market in 2010. He is passionate about building healthy communities as well as responsible and successful businesses. To read more about Walter Robb, please visit his blog: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/blog/walter-robbs-blog

 

SLOW MONEY'S WOODY TASCH HELPS FEATURE LOCAL FOOD ENTREPRENEURS

Woody Tasch

The visionary founder and chairman of Slow Money, Woody Tasch, returned to San Luis Obispo in October to highlight the work of the local chapter of Slow Money supporting artisan and sustainable food and farm businesses. Mr. Tasch, Jeff Wade, founder of the Slow Money SLO chapter, and Center director Hunter Francis were featured on the KCBX radio program Central Coast Voices on October 6th: http://kcbx.org/post/supporting-small-food-and-farm-businesses

To read a Recap from Woody's Visit to San Luis Obispo by Jeff Wade, please go to: http://slowmoneyslo.org/. A video recording of Mr. Tasch's talk at Cal Poly is available at: https://youtu.be/_2d1aRiOg0U

Tasch was guest speaker at a fundraiser co-hosted by Cal Poly’s Center for Sustainability and Slow Money SLO: “Celebrating SLO County Sustainable Food Entrepreneurs” on Friday, October 7 at the beautiful Niner Wine Estates in Paso Robles. Links to featured local food businesses can be found at: SLO Food Celebration. On Thursday, October 6th, Tasch spoke on the Cal Poly campus from 11 am - 12 noon in Chumash Auditorium, and was the featured speaker for a free public panel discussion on “Growing Small Food and Farm Businesses” at the SLO Guild Hall as part of the Center's Sustainable Ag Lecture Series.

 

MULTI-SPECIES GRAZING PILOT PROJECT AT CHEDA RANCH

Many thanks to the Harold J. Miossi Charitable Trust for their support of our multi-species grazing pilot project at Cal Poly. We're excited about the work Beth Reynolds is doing with Animal Sciences students at Cheda Ranch!



CDFA Deputy Secretary Jenny Lester Moffitt Talks Climate Smart Ag & Healthy Soils


May 2016 - The Center for Sustainability was honored to host Deputy Secretary Lester Moffitt at Cal Poly to discuss current and upcoming CDFA initiatives supporting Climate Smart Agriculture, including the Healthy Soils Initiative.

To download a copy of Ms. Lester Moffitt's presentation (3.4 MB PDF), please CLICK HERE


To view view video and presentations from our Climate Smart Agriculture panel discussion that featured Dr. Jeff Creque of the Carbon Cycle Institute, Renata Brillinger of the California Climate and Agriculture Network, and Dr. Jean-Pierre Wolff owner of Wolff Vineayards, please go to our Climate Smart Agriculture page.

 

CENTER TO CO-HOST NATIONAL SAEA CONFERENCE AT UCSC

The Sustainable Agriculture Education Association (SAEA) National Conference takes place July 29-31, 2016 at UC Santa Cruz, co-sponsored by the Cal Poly Center for Sustainability and other leading California agricultural colleges/organizations. The conference highlights educational ideas/networking for sustainability in agriculture through higher ed and training programs. Don't wait to register, as spots will fill up fast! Registration cost includes lodging and meals for all three days, and are heavily discounted thanks to major support from the UC Office of the President, Global Food Initiative. For more information and to register, please go to: http://sustainableaged.org/conferences/2016-santa-cruz-ca/conference-registration/


CENTER TO DEVELOP NEW SOIL HEALTH RESOURCES THANKS TO SARE FUNDING

March 2016 - Grant funding from the USDA's Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program has recently been awarded to the Center for Sustainability for the development of new resources relevant to fostering improved soil health, water quality and carbon sequestration strategies in production agriculture. We are very excited to be starting work on this project in fall 2016!

 

CENTER TO EXPAND CAMPUS FARM ACTIVITIES IN 2016 THANKS TO MIOSSI TRUST

January 2016 - The Center for Sustainability has been awarded a generous gift from the Harold J. Miossi Charitable Trust to expand research and educational opportunities in the areas of soil health and composting, organic farming systems, and managed grazing systems. The donation will enable the center to support infrastructure improvements at the Cal Poly Compost Unit, the Cal Poly Organic Farm, and a pilot multi-species grazing program on the campus farm. Special focus will be placed on how these topics foster resilient agro-ecosystems and relate to the climate change mitigation and adaptation potential of agricultural production strategies.... (Read More)


CENTRAL COAST FOODSHED GUIDE NOW AVAILABLE

Central Coast Foodshed Guide

May 2015 - The Central Coast Foodshed Guide highlights the key issues in our food system and provides updates from and links to our local food system organizations. The Guide is a project of the Center for Sustainability's Sustainable Stewards internship program. This updated version was compiled by our wonderful intern Cauri Hammer, with thanks to the many local organizations who participated in her assessment of current activities working to shape a vibrant regional food system.

To download a PDF copy of the Guide, please click on the cover image to the left or click here.


KAREN ROSS AND LEADING FIGURES IN FOOD AND AG SPEAK AT CAL POLY

Karen RossMay 8, 2015 - We were privileged to have California Secretary of Agriculture Karen Ross, former Secretary A.G. Kawamura, and many leaders in the food and agriculture sectors here at Cal Poly to discuss current initiatives on better health, thriving communities, and resilient food systems. Many thanks to all the participants of our Resilient Food Systems Conference!

Links to YouTube videos of our amazing speakers are now available at the
RFS Conference Program website.


SOIL HEALTH WORKSHOP ADDRESSES INNOVATIVE METHODS FOR ASSESSMENT

Soil Health Cal Poly

May 15, 2015 - The Horizons in Soil Health workshop presented new methods in quantitative assessments including those for microbial activity, soil organic matter, salinity and nutrient status. Experts from across the country addressed key issues relevant to nutrient and water management, as well as managing for crop yield and economic factors.

Information from the meeting's presenters are now available. For links to presentation slides, please go to the Horizons in Soil Health website by clicking here.

 

GRANGE TOUR COMES TO SAN LUIS OBISPO

March 19, 2015 - All are invited to this exciting reunion of new & veteran farmers!
After visiting more than 15 Granges along the coast of California, Greenhorns’ “Grange Future” tour, a traveling exhibit about the history and future of the Grange idea, will arrive in SLO County to celebrate the history and contemporary revival of the Grange movement. (Read more)

 

CSU APPROVES STATE-WIDE SUSTAINABLE FOOD POLICY

May 2014 - As the state of California struggles with record droughts and wildfires, today the California State University Board of Trustees, including Governor Jerry Brown, approved a long-awaited sustainable food policy will govern the more than $100 million spent on food across the 23-campus system. Under the new policy, each campus will have until 2020 to ensure that at least 20% of all food spending goes to farms and food businesses that meet Real Food Challenge... (Read More)

 

2ND CAL POLY COMPOST TRAINING AND PROJECT COMPLETED THANKS TO MIOSSI FUND

Pest Conference
Professional Compost Training at the Cal Poly Compost Unit

May 2014 - Thanks to a generous gift from the Harold J. Miossi Charitable Trust, the Center for Sustainability has successfully expanded the Cal Poly Compost Project to include additional offerings of the Professional Compost Training and a networking symposium of leaders in the field. The donation also allowed the center to offer community-based training related to compost and nutrient cycling, and student internship training. The next professional training is scheduled for spring 2016, to be led by an interdisciplinary team of experts from Cal Poly, the Maine Compost School, and industry leaders from across the West Coast.

 

SUSTAINABLE STEWARD HELPS IN WHITE HOUSE ORGANIC GARDEN

Eric BoydMembers of the Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training program help First Lady Michele Obama in the White House organic garden. (from L to R): Mike Hanes, VSAT alum, Colin Archipley, VSAT Founder, First Lady Michelle Obama, Eric Boyd, VSAT soil instruction,  and Karen Archipley, VSAT Co-founder.

Eric Boyd, a former Center for Sustainability Sustainable Steward and 2012 Cal Poly graduate with a major in Soil Science, was in Washington DC with the Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training (VSAT) program.  Eric is a veteran of the United States Army where he served five years as a Calvary scout.  He was deployed twice to Iraq, and received a Purple Heart for wounds received during his first tour.

While there, the VSAT team were invited to help plant the White House organic garden with Michelle Obama on Thursday April 4, 2012 (see photo left). The next day, the group met with USDA Secretary, Tom Vilsack; White House Domestic Policy Council Rural Affairs Senior Policy Advisor Doug McKalip, and other policy makers, and visited four senate offices to promote the VSAT program that helps transition veterans into agriculture and create effective strategies to do so.  (Read More)

 


COMPOST TEA SYSTEM ADDED TO COMPOST PROJECT AT CAL POLY

Pest Conference
Ralph Crevoshay and Michael Alms preparing compost tea

Growing Solutions' Compost Tea System100 is the most recent addition to an exciting composting system in place at Cal Poly's College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES). The composting system uses Sonoma Valley Worm Farm's (SWVF) Continuous Flow VermiComposter designed by SVWF President Jack Chambers. The VermiComposter's Continuous Flow-through technology produces a high-grade vermicompost excellent for making vermicompost tea... (Read More)