Santa Clara University

Food & Agribusiness Institute

Food and Agribusiness Institute Upcoming Events

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About Food and Agribusiness Institute Event Series


Many of the events sponsored or cosponsored by the Food and Agribusiness Institute are part of one of these three themed event series:

The Food for Thought Speaker Series
The Food for Thought Speaker Series is sponsored by the Food and Agribusiness Institute in the Leavey School of Business and features lectures focused on topics related to food, agribusiness, and social and environmental responsibility. The Food for Thought Speaker Series is part of the enrichment opportunities offered to undergraduate students interested in the Food, Hunger, Poverty, Environment Pathway and graduate MBA students interested in the Food and Agribusiness concentration.

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.

The Follow Your Food Series
The Follow Your Food Series is jointly sponsored by the Food and Agribusiness Institute and SCU Dining Services by Bon Appétit.  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, and more.


Food and Agribusiness Institute Past Events

  • annies bunnyAnnie's Inc: A Unique Approach to Sustainability

    On Thursday, October 17th, the Food and Agribusiness Institute partnered with a number of other campus groups to bring Shauna Sadowski, the Director of Sustainability for Annie's Inc., to the Santa Clara campus to discuss the company's sustainable business practices and goals. Shauna began her presentation by sharing Annie's mission statement, which reads: "Our mission is to cultivate a healthier, happier world by spreading goodness through nourishing foods, honest words and conduct that is considerate and forever kind to the planet. We have focused on building a successful and growing business in pursuit of our mission."

     Shauna delivered an informative and creative presentation that explained the company's unique approach to sustainability in the work place, the company's main environmental concerns, and current projects that aim to help Annie's be more sustainable while also raising awareness about smart and organic agriculture. Annie's prides itself on its wide range of organic products and its attention to farm to fork and relationships with farmers.

    The Environmental Studies and Sciences Department helped to co-sponsor the event and many ESS students were interested in how they can pursue careers that are similar to Shauna's. The event had a great turnout and Shauna was a personable presenter who provided interesting information about Annie's as a company and also offered insight to the world of sustainability and eco-friendly careers. 

    Thank you to Shauna for visiting Santa Clara and thank you to all who attended the event!

    Click here to watch Shauna's presentation!


  • slowfoodFood for Thought: Slow Food Movement

    On May 30th, 2012, Peg Champion and Brad Whitworth visited SCU to present on the mission, programs, successes and challenges of the Slow Food Movement. Slow Food is a non-profit organization dedicated to clean, good, and fair food through the world. Slow Food South Bay is a local chapter of the International Slow Food Movement, which has over 100,000 members globally. Slow Food promotes education about food production, labeling, social justice, school nutrition, and farm polices.

    For more information please visit:

  • HAW-logoHunger Week 2013

    May 2013 was an exciting month as the Food and Agribusiness teamed up with the student-led club, BTGAP, to host Hunger Week! On Monday the week kicked off with a screening of the documentary, "A Place at the Table," followed by a discussion on current hunger issues in the US. On Tuesday, Paul Matteucci spoke on his fascinating venture, Feeding10Billion. Wednesday consisted of a volunteer project involving SCU students and students from a local elementary school. The groups joined forces to bag 300 lbs of dry pinto beans into smaller 4 lb portions to hand out to local farm workers. The beans were distributed out to over 70 farm-working families at a Salinas berry farm this past Monday.

    Hunger Week culminated in a day-long fast and a feast to break fast on Thursday, May 23rd. Students wore yellow wristbands all day to raise hunger awareness, and were sure to make the feast later that evening. We can't thank everyone who participated enough. We hope that everyone was able to take away a heightened awareness of current hunger issues and we can't wait until next year's Hunger Week!


  • iconFood Security in Latin America

    On February 12th, 2013, FAI brought Youth Organizers from Latin America to have a conversation and food security and production. The event was followed by a coffee tasting outside Sunstream Cafe.


  • iconOlive Oil Tasting & Business Overview

    The Olive Oil Event on April 24th, 2013, marked the showcase of the Food and Agribusiness Network (FAN) as the newest club on campus! FAN hosted Amphora Olive Oil for a tasting event and presentation about what it takes to run a global, high-quality food business.
  • iconThe Business of Gourmet Markets

    On April 30th, 2013, Draeger's Market was featured in FAI's "Business Of" series. The local market has four locations in the Silicon Valley area and is known for everything from European pastries to cooking classes. Representatives from Draeger's spoke about what takes to run a business in the world of gourmet markets.
  • iconSustainable Agriculture Farm Field Trip

    The Farm Field Trip on February 23rd, 2013, included visits to two local farms, Veggielution Community Farms and Full Circle Farm. Both farms are non-profit organizations that focus on sustainable agricultural practices, community engagement, and local food distribution.
  • iconThe Haiti Paradox

    On January 10th, 2013, FAI partnered with Environmental Studies and Sciences to welcome Starry Sprenkle, a then-PhD candidate in Ecology at UC Davis. Starry presented a virtual tour of Haiti, discussed the history of the country, and addressed issues such as deforestation, urbanization, and local food production.

  • iconThe Business of Smoothies

    On November 12th, 2012, the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) and the Food and Agribusiness Institute (FAI) welcomed Jamba Juice Chief Operating Officer Bruce Schroder.
  • iconMonterey County Wine Field Trip

    On November 3rd, 2012, FAI traveled to Monterey County for the Institute's annual Wine Field Trip. The group visited Hahn Estate Winery and Chalone Winery, receiving a tour at each place, participating in taste tests, and learning about the challenges and rewards associated with working in the indus


  • iconTo Label or Not to Label GE Foods: Proposition 37

    On October 29th, 2012, FAI welcomed Professor David Zilberman, a doctor and expert in the field of genetically engineered foods. Dr. Zilberman is currently a professor at UC Berkeley in the Agricultural and Resource Economics Department.
  • iconSoda's Demise: The Sweetened Beverage Tax

    On October 22nd, 2012, FAI hosted Councilman Dr. Jeff Ritterman, a retired cardiologist who introduced a ballot initiative to add a one-cent tax per ounce to sweetened beverages in Richmond, CA. Dr. Ritterman discussed the importance of curbing childhood obesity and the role that taxes can play in addressing the issue.
  • icon5th Annual Hunger Issues Forum

    On September 28th, 2012, the Food and Agribusiness Institute was pleased to once again sponsor and host the 5th Annual Hunger Issues Forum in collaboration with Second Harvest Food Bank. The one-day event, held for current (and aspiring) Hunger-Free Community Organizers,  addressed food access, healthy eating and highlight trends such as hunger among families, children, and seniors.  The Forum was designed to spark conversation and action to strengthen our community's safety net. 

    The Hunger Issues Forum is organized by Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties and sponsored by Santa Clara University’s Food and Agribusiness Institute and Leavey School of Business. At the event, the Dean of Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business, S. Andrew Starbird, updated the Hunger Index, which measures the gap between the need for food and the ability of government agencies and food-assistance organizations to provide it.
    Other event speakers included
    *Keynote speaker Judi Larsen, program manager at the California Endowment, will talk about exciting changes that are happening with school-based feeding programs.
    *Second Harvest Food Bank CEO Kathy Jackson will speak about the Food Bank’s recent expansion and new business model.
    *USDA Western Regional Director Dennis Stewart will focus on ways to optimize federal nutrition programs.
    *Santa Clara County Social Services Agency DEBS Director Jan Picolorich will share new technology innovations that are connecting people to CalFresh and other services.
    *The Health Trust CEO Frederick Ferrer will talk about partnerships that have been forged to address the growing food needs of vulnerable populations.
    *Dannielle Campos, senior vice president and national philanthropy program manager for the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, will focus on the Corporate Coalition to End Hunger.
    *Sunnyvale Community Services Executive Director Marie Bernard will discuss ways her agency is increasing access to nutritious food for their clients.
    *Santa Clara University students Courtney Robinson, Lisa McMonagle, and Mahbod Parvar will present findings from their Cost of a Healthy Meal study.
    *Cindy McCown, senior director of Programs and Services at Second Harvest Food Bank, will talk about opportunities for taking action.
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