UC Santa Cruz receives $10M for food and ag workforce development

Seedlings growing in rows.

UC Santa Cruz has received a $10 million grant from the United States Department of Agriculture to cultivate a diverse workforce in food and agriculture.

Partner institutions on the project include California State University, Monterey Bay; Hartnell College; and the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association.

The project will be led by Stacy Philpott, UC Santa Cruz professor of environmental studies and recipient of a 2022 CITRIS at UC Santa Cruz campus seed award. Becca Fenwick, director of the CITRIS Initiative for Drone Education and Research, will serve as a co-director.

The project will provide comprehensive education, experiential training and leadership opportunities in its aim to support a variety of students with interests to pursue careers in food and agriculture.

“This grant will allow us to supersize our efforts to provide students with experiential learning possibilities, mentoring and coaching, and with substantial financial resources, all while bringing a significant focus on justice and equity in the food system,” Philpott said.