CASFS staff and leadership share updates after year of strategic planning

November 10, 2020

After a year spent on program review and strategic planning, the UCSC Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) staff is pleased to present an overview of its plans for the upcoming year and beyond. 

Among the new developments at CASFS are a revised 10-week residential apprenticeship program, to be offered twice a year, that will teach seasoned beginners practical skills in gardening and small-scale farming using an agroecological framework, and stand-alone "intensives," or short courses, that will provide intermediate and experienced gardeners and farmers with hands-on learning opportunities focused on specialized topics.

CASFS will also be focusing on programs for undergraduate students, with a new agroecology major, developed in part by CASFS staff, that will utilize the CASFS Farm & Garden as outdoor classrooms, and a new remote internship to keep students connected to CASFS and its sites during a time when students can’t visit in person due to UC Santa Cruz COVID-19 restrictions. 

Other plans for the upcoming year and beyond include integrating equity into all aspects of CASFS programming, ramping up virtual workshops and Q&A sessions, exploring how to update Center-managed facilities to better serve program participants, and continuing to provide UCSC students with access to free and low cost food and conducting important agroecological research.

Last month, CASFS staff and leadership presented these plans and updates in a virtual open house. This session was the first in a planned series of open houses to eventually be held in person at the Cowell Ranch Hay Barn with tours of the Farm & Garden and Center facilities. To view the recording, visit