Cal Poly Receives California 100 Grant for Agricultural Research

The Cal Poly College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES) has received a California 100 research award, the university announced in a press release.

The award consists of a $90,000 grant and technical assistance from the Institute for the Future. This offers nearly two dozen students the opportunity to participate in research on California’s food systems, according to AnnMarie Cornejo, communications specialist for CAFES.

Anastasia Telesetsky, a professor in the Department of Natural Resource Management and Environmental Sciences, leads the research at Cal Poly alongside Catherine Kleier, associate dean of CAFES.

“The product of the work on this particular grant is a book that will cover the facts, origin and trends of food systems here in California,” Telesetsky said. “We will use this as a basis for recommending policies by looking at a few future scenarios.”

Anastasia Telesetsky, professor in the Department of Natural Resource Management and Environmental Sciences. AnnMarie Cornejo | Courtesy

Issues they will tackle include water shortages and rising temperatures, Telesetsky said. The research will be completed by summer 2022.

California 100 executive director Karthick Ramakrishnan said he was thrilled to have Cal Poly as a partner, as their “contributions will be invaluable to [California 100’s] research and develop a vision and strategy for [the] long-term success of the state by the end of [the] initiative.”

Cal Poly is one of 18 institutions collaborating with California 100, which includes schools in the University of California system and Stanford University. Cal Poly is the only university in the California State University system selected to join the initiative.

“It was competitive,” Telesetsky said. “There were a number of groups that submitted proposals, and we were lucky here at Cal Poly to be selected.”

According to Ramakrishnan, Cal Poly CAFES’ proposal aligns with California 100’s vision to understand food systems and agriculture in California, as well as what the future would look like if the necessary steps are not taken.

“Agriculture and food systems are an important part of our state’s success,” Ramakrishnan said. “Cal Poly SLO is a leading expert in this area and harnessing the talent of one of Cal State’s leading universities will be important in advancing the work of our initiative.”

Correction, April 13: This article has been updated to correct Karthick Ramakrishnanthe pronouns.

Lana T. Arthur