The first summer faculty fellowship in organic farming has been awarded by Cal Poly University. The university’s College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences Center for Sustainability’s 11-acre organic farm will be key for the fellowship professor to teach and investigate additional sustainable organic crop production practices and technology.

Lundberg Family Farms organic operation has pledged financial and other support to the organic program at Cal Poly. “With this fellowship, Cal Poly students will benefit from year-round training and research opportunities in organic farming methods, food safety and sustainable agricultural systems,” according to the university.   

The Clarence C. Heller Charitable Foundation is also involved in establishment of the summer quarter faculty fellowship, it was explained. The study program begins this summer.

The university is priding itself in having the college Center for Sustainability related to organics education “in this rapidly growing sector." Hunter Francis, the center's director, said, “We are so grateful for the generosity and vision of the Lundberg family in helping our college respond to growing student demand for it (organics training)."

Cal Poly’s “faculty, staff and students jointly manage the production, care, harvesting and marketing of organic produce” from the 11-acre organic farm. This specific college program concentrates only on organic and “sustainable agriculture” and is perhaps the most extensive program of its type in the nation.

The first summer fellowship in organics professor is David Headrick, Ph.D. In the announcement, the college said he will definitely bolster the strength of coursework and programs in organic crop production and sustainable agriculture. 

Cal Poly advertises itself as having the fourth largest undergraduate agriculture program in the nation with a current enrollment of 3,800 students in 16 different degree studies. The university says its agricultural programs are “learn by doing” education.