Santa Clara University

Food & Agribusiness Institute

Food & Agribusiness Institute Events 2010-2011

  • strawberrusmallFollow Your Food: Strawberries

    On May 17, in the Williman Room, attendees enjoyed a delicious meal featuring strawberries and learned about the behind-the scenes aspects of farming. The event also featured a presentation from a Bon Appétit Management Company Fellow about issues of working conditions, legal compliance, and community health in the food system in addition to an ALBA farm owner. The presentation drew attention to the exploitation of workers in food production and the importance of organic and fair trade practices. Students, university communities, and members of every other community are encouraged to vote with their forks, and understand how our food choices connect with the environment and community health.

    To view photos from the event, click here.

  • seedsFood for Thought: Seed Matters

    On Monday, May 9th, the Food & Agribusiness Institute presented Food for Thought: Seed Matters, featuring Matthew Dillon. Matthew is the advisor to Clif Bar Family Foundation SEED MATTERS and founder of Organic Seed Alliance (OSA). Clif Bar Family Foundation has launched "Seed Matters" to increase research funding, advocacy, and education on the benefits of organic seed systems for a sustainable food future.

    Organic has been a success story with tangible benefits - producing high quality crops, contributing to the development of food self-sufficiency, and the viability of family farms and rural communities who have been in crisis for decades. So much already has been accomplished with so little investment in research, resources, and infrastructure relative to conventional agriculture. Seed is the first critical link in improving our sustainable food future, and as such investment in organic seed systems is a priority.

    To view photos from the event, click here.

    To view a video of the event, click here.


  • breadThe Businss of Bread

    On Tuesday, April 12, Claudia Pruett (SCU BS ’83 and MBA ’87) discussed her experience as an entrepreneur, author and chef. Attendees enjoyed a family-style meal featuring recipes from Claudia’s cookbook while she demonstrated how to cook her focaccia bread and shared her story.

    Claudia is a published author, focaccia entrepreneur, professional chef, busy mom and active community volunteer. Whether cooking for VIP's like George Clooney or VNP's (very normal people,) Claudia celebrates her Italian heritage by sharing her culinary passion   She is a founding partner of A Tavola Together - a culinary production company that promotes cooking and eating together and A Tavola Together Foundation - an educational organization that promotes healthy cooking and eating to school-age children.

    To see photos from the event, click here.

    To view a video of the event, click here.


  • pesticides_140Food For Thought: Pesticide Poisoning Among Farmworkers

    On Wednesday, February 16, the Food & Agribusiness Institute sponsored Food For Thought: Pesticide Poisoning Among Farmworkers. The event featured Michael Marsh, Directing Attorney of the Salinas Migrant office of California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. (CRLA). 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, sexual harassment and those who have been poisoned and/or exposed to pesticides,.

    Marsh’s presentation highlighted the fact that although popular discourse debates the benefits of organic versus conventionally grown fruits and vegetables, little attention is given to farmworkers who live and work on the front lines in the “war” against agricultural pests.  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.  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.

    For more information about CRLA, visit and

    To watch Marsh's presentation, click here and to view photos from the event, click here.

  • salatin_140Food for Thought: Joel Salatin

    On January 19th, the Food & Agribusiness Institute sponsored the most recent installment of the Food for Thought Speaker Series featuring Joel Salatin. He 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 spoke about Polyface and his work in the food industry. His presentation reflected his consistent passionate defense of small farms, local food systems, and the right to opt out of the conventional food paradigm. Joel speaks with the essence of his dirt-under-the-fingernails attitude and experience punctuated with mischievous humor.

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

    To see a video of the presentation, click here.

    To see pictures of the event, click here.

  • buy_fresh_buy_local onlineThe Benefits of Buying Local

     On November 17, the Food & Agribusiness Institute and Bon Appétit presented The Benefits of Buying Local, part of the Food For Thought Speaker Series, in the California Mission Room.

    The event featured Ariane Michas from Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) discussing CAFF's Buy Fresh, Buy Local campaign.

    In addition to Ariane’s presentation, there was a Thanksgiving inspired small plate tasting featuring food from local farms like Happy Boy Farms (Freedom), Faurot Ranch (Watsonville), Riverdog Farms (Guinda), Frog Hollow (Brentwood), Diestal Ranch (Sonoma), and County Line Harvest (Petaluma).

    The event was cosponsored by the Environmental Studies Institute, the Office of Sustainability, and the Bronco Urban Gardens Program.

  • harvest-dinner-image_1Harvest Dinner 2010

    On Friday October 8, 2010, the Food and Agribusiness Institute hosted the second annual Harvest Dinner.

    This year, the Institute presented the Outstanding Achievement Award to Peggy McCain for her exceptional dedication. In addition to honoring Peggy, the event was an opportunity to celebrate the growth and achievements of FAI after an excellent year.

    Speakers included Gregory Baker, Director of FAI, Mario Belotti, former Director of FAI, Jim Niles, Jessica Gagnon, Assistant Director of FAI.

    To see pictures from the event, click here.
  • apples_web 2Follow Your Food: Apples

    On October 19th, the Food & Agribusiness Institute and SCU Dining Services by Bon Appétit presented “Follow your Food: Apples.” Faculty, staff, and students enjoyed a meal featuring this fresh, seasonal, and local food product while learning more about where apples are locally sourced, how many are consumed on campus, and more.

    The presentation featured a farmer from Gizdich Ranch, one of the local apple suppliers to SCU Dining Services. Follow Your Food: Apples was cosponsored by the Environmental Studies Institute, the Office of Sustainability, and the Bronco Urban Gardens Program.


  • davidfox_webThe Business of Tequila

    On Thursday, September 30th, David Fox, MBA ’01, founder and president of Artá Holdings, LLC., discussed his experience as an entrepreneur and executive transitioning from a successful tech-focused career to premium tequila.

    David provided the inside story to the Artá Tequila brand and discussed his leadership philosophies and strategies and the unique challenges he has faced. After the presentation, there was a tequila tasting of Arta’s three offerings.

    Artá, a new premium tequila, is produced organically (certification pending) and sustainably in Jalisco Mexico with the help of an 11th-generation agave ranching family and a third-generation master distiller. Artá’s three offerings, Blanco, Reposado, and Anejo, are presented in unique triangular bottles made from recycled glass and topped off with sustainably grown cork stoppers and recycled metal.

    Artá Holdings is unique in their 1% Promise, which is their commitment to the environment and to the communities they serve. 1% of Artá’s profits will be donated to deserving charities in the places in which they do business and in which their employees and customers live.

    This event was sponsored by the Food and Agribusiness Institute and cosponsored by the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

  • Family Harvest_eventHunger Issues Forum 2010

    On Friday, September 10th, the Food and Agribusiness Institute sponsored and hosted the 3rd Annual Hunger Issues Forum in collaboration with Second Harvest Food Bank.

    This free event featured speakers including: Congressman Mike Honda, CA-15; Dr. Drew Starbird, Dean, Leavey School of Business; Sue Foerster, MPH, RD, California Department of Public Health; Crystal FitzSimons, Food Research and Action Center (FRAC); Dr. Gregory Baker, Food & Agribusiness Institute; Dr. Daniel Delgado, MD, Pediatric Healthy Lifestyles Center of Santa Clara County; Dr. Aimee Reedy, EdD, MPH, The Health Trust; Kathryn Boyle, Kaiser Permanente; Cindy McCown, Second Harvest Food Bank.

    In addition to the presentations, there was a Hunger Advocacy Training facilitated by Nancy Amidei, Civic Engagement Project and a display of select images from the Faces of Hunger photojournalism project.

    Faces of Hunger is a collaboration between the Food and Agribusiness Institute of Santa Clara University and Second Harvest Food Bank.  Through the portraits and stories collected at 15 of the more than 830 distribution sites, the project provides a glimpse of the complex and multi-faceted food environment in which the clients, volunteers, and staff navigate; over 1700 photographs were taken during the summer of 2010. The purpose of the project is to highlight Second Harvest's impact on the individuals served and the overall impact on our communities.

    In November, a book including images and stories from the project will be available through the Second Harvest Food Bank. View select photographs from the project online:

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