Santa Clara University

Food & Agribusiness Institute

Food & Agribusiness Institute

Food & Agribusiness Blog for news, events, announcements, and more.

  •  EVENT CANCELED: The Business of Organic Beer

    Please note, this event is canceled.  Due to illness, our speaker needs to reschedule.


    Emily Thomas, cofounder of Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing, will discuss her experience as an entrepreneur in the organic beer brewing industry.  What began as a dream 2004 has transformed into a thriving, popular local hotspot.
    Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing, with the motto "Think Organic. Drink Organic," is a certified organic microbrewery specializing in hand crafted beers.  From the triumphs to the challenges she, her husband, and their team have faced, Emily will provide the inside story behind the beer.

    Monday, February 28th
    Benson Center, California Mission Room
    6 p.m. Lecture (open to all)
    followed by a Reception
    7 p.m. Beer tasting (21 plus only)

    RSVP required by Friday, Feb. 25th

    The Business of Speaker Series
    The Business of Speaker Series is sponsored by the Food and Agribusiness Institute in the Leavey School of Business and features executives and entrepreneurs working within a particularly food industry or working with a particular food product.  The lectures offer insight into the unique benefits and challenges for those working within the business of the featured industry.

    Sponsored by the Food & Agribusiness Institue.

    Cosponsored by the Center for Sustainability and the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

  •  Follow Your Food: Carrots

    Follow Your Food: Carrots

    Thursday, February 10th
    12-1:30 p.m.
    Benson Parlors

    Lunch provided
    RSVP required by 2/7

    Featuring a speaker from ALBA.

    Enjoy a meal featuring carrots as you learn where carrots are locally sourced, how many are consumed on campus, their nutritional value, and other fun facts about this winter vegetable.

    Sponsored by the Food and Agribusiness Institute and SCU's Dining Services by Bon Appetite.

    The Follow Your Food Series
    Faculty, staff, and students will enjoy a meal featuring a fresh, seasonal, and local food product while learning more about where that product is locally sourced, how much of it is consumed on campus, the history and nutritional value of the item and more.

  •  Food for Thought Speaker Series: Pesticide Poisoning Among Farmworkers

    Wednesday, February 16
    12-1:30 p.m.
    Forbes Family Conference Center
    Lucas Hall Room 126

    Lunch will be provided; RSVP required

    Featuring Michael Marsh, Directing Attorney of the Salinas Migrant office of California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. (CRLA)

    Popular discourse debates the benefits of organic versus conventionally grown fruits and vegetables.  But little attention is given to farmworkers who live and work on the front lines in the “war”—as conventional growers see it—against agricultural pests.  As agriculture has boomed, so has pesticide use.  In Monterey County, for instance, approximately 8 million pounds of pesticides are applied each year and approximately 1,000 individual pesticide applications are made each day.  Farmworkers and their families are frequently sickened by pesticides—workers are sprayed in the field or work on plants covered in pesticide residue, school buses have been doused in “over spray”, and entire communities have been contaminated by pesticide drift.  Unfortunately, not enough is being done to protect farmworkers from pesticide poisoning.  While California pesticide regulating agencies claim to provide the highest level of protection in the country, the reality is far different.  Many regulations are ineffective, and many enforcement agencies are underfunded or have a conflict of interest in their dual purpose to both promote conventional agriculture and protect workers from pesticides.  As long as the organic/conventional debate remains mired in the suburban question of what belongs in our refrigerators, farmworkers and their families will continue to be ignored and sickened by pesticides.

    Michael Marsh is Directing Attorney of the Salinas Migrant office of California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. (CRLA), an organization with twenty-two offices statewide dedicated to improving the lives of farmworkers and their families.  Michael formerly directed CRLA’s Agricultural Worker Health Program.  Michael provides legal assistance and representation to farmworkers in a variety of employment matters, including unpaid wages, occupational health and safety, heat illness prevention, meal and rest periods, and sexual harassment.  Michael represents farmworkers who have been poisoned and/or exposed to pesticides, and argues that one of the principal reasons to eat organic fruits and vegetables is to protect the farmworkers who provide us with the food we eat.  Michael joined California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA) as an Equal Justice Works Attorney Fellow in 2004 after graduating from UCLA School of Law.

    For more information about CRLA, visit and

    Co-sponsored by the Environmental Studies Institute, the Office of Sustainability, the Bronco Urban Gardens Program, The Katharine and George Alexander Community Law Center, the Center for Social Justice and Public Service, and the Office for Multicultural Learning. Part of the Legacies Series.

    To RSVP click here:

  •  Food for Thought Speaker Series: Joel Salatin

    Wednesday, January 19th
    7 p.m.
    Recital Hall

    General tickets are $10 and can be purchased online: 

    Tickets with SCU ID are $3 and can only be purchased on campus at the Benson Center Info Desk using your Access card.  You must save your receipt.  Your receipt is NOT your ticket.  Exchange your receipt for a ticket to the event during the following days and times:

    January 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14
    11:30 a.m. -1:30 p.m. at the event table in Benson
    2-5 p.m. at the Food and Agribusiness Institute office in Lucas Hall 111


    Joel Salatin is a third generation farmer in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.  Joel and his family’s farm, Polyface Farms, are featured prominently in Michael Pollan's book The Omnivore's Dilemma and in the documentary films, Food, Inc. and Fresh.

    Joel holds a BA degree in English and has published six books, including Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal: War stories from the local food front, Family Friendly Farming: A Multi-Generational Home-Based Business Testament, and You Can Farm: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Start and Succeed in a Farming Business. 

    The mission at Polyface Farms is to develop emotionally, economically, environmentally enhancing agricultural enterprises and facilitate their duplication throughout the world.  Joel and his family fulfill that mission through their dedication to alternative, environmentally-friendly farming techniques.  The cows, chickens, turkeys, pigs, and rabbits at Polyface Farms are raised on a rotational grazing system inspired by nature that allows the land to heal, creating harmony between the environment and the animals.

    Joel Salatin’s speaking and writing reflect dirt-under-the-fingernails experience punctuated with mischievous humor. He passionately defends small farms, local food systems, and the right to opt out of the conventional food paradigm.

    Sponsored by the Food and Agribusiness Institute.

    Cosponsored by the Environmental Studies Institute, the Office of Sustainability, the Bronco Urban Gardens Program, and the B-LEGIT.

Food & Agribusiness Institute
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