The College of Agriculture is the oldest on the Berkeley campus, and for decades was an international presence under the leadership of Hilgard and his followers.
Following WWII with the establishment of programs at Davis and Riverside, and continuing through the 1960’s and 1970’s, there was a shift of resources devoted to traditional agriculture away from Berkeley. Yet, Berkeley remained committed to agricultural issues, housing the Integrated Pest Management Program and other faculty concerned about the environmental ramifications of modern farming in California.
In the past few years, there has been a convergence of independent grassroots activities that have coalesced into an exciting research and outreach opportunity in the intertwined area of food and fuel sustainability.
Led by Professors Kremen, Iles, Altieri, Huntsinger and Cooperative Extension (CE) Specialist Getz, the Diversified Farming Systems working group has garnered interest from a growing number of faculty and students, and has developed position requests for CE and Professorial positions that have been highly ranked by the Department leadership and Chair.
Berkeley has a comparative advantage over other UC campuses to tap the potential of urban writers, chefs, and advocates for novel agricultural systems, and we have the international connections to speed the transfer of successful approaches from other countries. The importance, and opportunities, in this field were just outlined in the recent report by the NRC.