As we head
into summer, the Berkeley Food Institute is excited to announce our
newest student fellows and researchers. Students are a key part of
BFI’s community engagement and education efforts on campus, working
with us on a variety of research, policy, and communications projects
at the forefront of food systems. This summer, we welcomed 21 students
from a wide range of backgrounds and fields through three distinct
programs: student staff, graduate student research fellows, and
Farmland Monitoring Project fellows.
Our student staff program, which operates year-round, gives both
undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to work closely
with BFI staff to address and amplify sustainable and equitable food
systems projects both on campus and beyond. This includes students
working on BFI’s communications materials; coordinating the operations
and outreach efforts of our campus gardens; and undertaking projects on
topics ranging from agricultural land and climate policy to the use of
herbicides on campus. Learn more about our newest student staff here.
In an effort to adapt to the uncertainty faced by many during COVID-19,
in summer 2020 BFI is supporting several graduate students to pursue
research projects at the intersection of food, climate, and health.
Fellows are conducting their research with mentorship from members of
faculty from a variety of departments, including
Agricultural and Resource Economics; Environmental Science, Policy, and
Management; Geography; Journalism; Public Health; and Statistics.
Examples of topics include student food insecurity on the UC Berkeley
campus, a local parks department’s response to COVID-19, and
understanding economic and cultural implications of food in the U.S.
and abroad. Read more about the summer 2020 graduate student fellows
and their projects here.
Lastly, three new researchers joined BFI to continue the work of the Farmland
Monitoring Project, a public mapping database for farmers
and support organizations to better understand agricultural land
ownership throughout California. The fellows, all recent graduates of
UC Berkeley’s Master’s in Development Practice program, will take a
deeper look at climate vulnerability within local farms as well as
factors affecting marginalized individuals and communities working in
agriculture. Learn more about the project and the new fellows here.
Black Lives Matter
are encouraged by the global demonstrations to assert that Black Lives
Matter, now and forever. We are incensed by the ongoing
conditions—including in our food and farming systems—that threaten
Black individuals, families, communities, and livelihoods. BFI is now
engaged in an internal goal-setting process to center anti-racism even
more fully in all of our activities. If you would like to be involved,
please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the words of legendary farmer and organizer Ben Burkett, “We
achieved the right to vote, but we still needed to achieve the right to
survive.” Read more about Ben’s work here,
and see you in the streets, in the fields, or at the budget
hearing—with masks and proper social distancing.
Special Issue of Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems
US Farm Bill: Policy, Politics, and Potential,” is a special issue of
the peer-reviewed journal Renewable
Agriculture and Food Systems, co-edited by BFI Executive
Director Nina F. Ichikawa and featuring BFI affiliate Wendi
Gosliner of the Nutrition Policy Institute, among other researchers.
Institutional racism in Farm Bill policy, foreign trade, and the right
to food are among the topics covered. The issue is open access for
a limited time, download it here.
From the 2017 Farm Bill
Symposium, co-sponsored by BFI and American University. Photo by