Jack Sann | Mustang News

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

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

Anastasia Telesetsky, a professor in the Natural Resources Management and Environmental Sciences Department, is leading the research at Cal Poly alongside Catherine Kleier, the associate dean for CAFES.

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

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

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

California 100 Executive Director Karthick Ramakrishnan said he was excited to have Cal Poly as a partner, as its “contributions will be invaluable to [California 100’s] research stream and to charting a vision and strategy for [the] state’s long-term success by the end of [the] initiative.”

Cal Poly is one of the 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 who submitted proposals, and we were fortunate here at Cal Poly to be selected.”

According to Ramakrishnan, Cal Poly CAFES’ proposal aligned with California 100’s vision of understanding food systems and agriculture in California, as well as what the future would look like if necessary actions 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 space and tapping the talent at one of the state’s premier Cal State universities will be important to advancing our initiative’s work.”

Correction, April 13: This article was updated to correct Karthick Ramakrishnan‘s pronouns.

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