Public Affairs, The California State University

Cal Poly Gets $1 Million for Center on Strawberry Industry

The California Strawberry Commission (CSC) and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo will launch a new center dedicated to the success of the state’s strawberry industry.

Established by a $1 million gift from the CSC, the Strawberry Sustainability Research and Education Center will focus on sustaining strawberry farming in California. The partnership also aims to educate future leaders in the industry through applied research and access to real-world issues.

“This partnership is an important step forward in our desire to strengthen ties with key California industries so that our students can learn, do and succeed,” said Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong at the official announcement in Sacramento Feb. 19.

California is the nation’s leading strawberry producer, in 2011 accounting for 88% of the country’s total production. The CSC represents more than 400 growers, shippers and processors in the industry.

Integrating this network of industry leaders and policy makers with faculty and students represents Cal Poly’s commitment to hands-on learning. In a comprehensive approach, faculty and students across campus will engage in interdisciplinary innovation.

“Faculty and undergraduate students from every corner of campus, including hydrologists, entomologists, plant scientists, engineers, packaging scientists and marketers, to name a few, will each have a hand in this important work for one of the nation’s leading industries,”  Armstrong said.