Call for Positions Test
243 Metropolitan Agriculture and Food Systems
- Christy Getz - Main Contact
- Metropolitan Agriculture and Food Systems Specialist (doc), uploaded 05/17/2012 by Christy Getz
This proposal has been formally submitted for the 2012 cycle.
One of the great things about this position is that it is part of a building program, not an attempt to have one person cover an entire area. We have Christy Getz, working on farming communitiies. We have a new faculty member coming in in January who researchers food systems and policy. There is an opportunity here to do wonderful things, and we have a strong urban food constituency here in the Bay Area.
At ESPM, we are building a new nucleus for sustainable food systems research, teaching, and outreach. Over the past two years, for example, we have constructed the Center for Diversified Farming Systems, gathered a set of papers for a special journal issue, brought together a solid core of students in the monthly roundtable meetings, and have embarked on several cross-disciplinary collaborations. We think we are poised for rapid growth with the imminent expansion of the Center through fundraising support. Many students at ESPM and across campus (including three of my students alone) are interested in various aspects of urban food systems as part of their dissertations. Christy Getz has a long history of fine research on farming communities and agricultural labor issues. The new faculty member, Kathryn de Master, has special expertise in urban food policies. I personally have strengths in diversified farming system policies. This new position would greatly enhance our work, in that our strengths currently focus more on rural farming rather than on farming metropolitan areas. By recruiting a new CE specialist, we will be better able to address urban food issues and to build collaborations with the Bay Area food constituency.
This position adds significant depth to the Diversified Farm System Roundtable. Urban farming is a complex issue that touches on both social and environmental issues, as well as both the production and distribution sides of the supply chain. In addition, urban farming of of high interest to students within CNR, as it affects the areas in which they live and can access. The Bay Area is a nexus for issues concerning urban agriculture, making it an ideal location for a specialist to create strong local connections.
Although partnerships between UC Berkeley affiliates and urban agriculture organizations have led to good work in recent years, the UC lacks the staff capacity to coordinate such efforts and and realize their full potential. As the graduate student coordinator of the nascent Center for Diversified Farming Systems at UC Berkeley, I have worked hard to make connections between urban agriculture stakeholders and the far-flung UCB resources that could be of use to them: Health Impact Assessment from City and Regional Planning, soil analysis from ESPM, GIS from Geography. I love this work, as there are so many fruitful connections to be made, but I am painfully aware that I'm not doing 10% of what is possible. A full time CE specialist could proactively develop lasting connections between UC and the growing network of public and private urban agriculture enterprises, which would be of great mutual benefit.
As the newly hired Assistant Professor of Agriculture, Society, and Food Security, joining ESPM and UC Berkeley in January, I enthusiastically support this position, given that it emphasizes the cutting edge area of research and practice in urban food systems. While I have some background in urban food systems research, my primary area of expertise is in rural diversified agriculture, rural development, and agrarian change. This position would allow the development of synergistic research and practice in the globally critical area of urban food security and urban food justice. Significantly, this would lend strength to a growing area of specialty--one which a premier institution such as UC Berkeley has the opportunity to lead in locally, nationally, and globally.
I fully support the creation of a new position in urban agriculture at Berkeley. Urban agriculture is in the midst of a renaissance in America today, yet has not yet received the sort of research attention that it needs. Urban agriculture could be a critical part of insuring food security in underserved areas, and Berkeley has an opportunity to play a key leadership role in this development. I hope the university seizes it.
As the president of Sustainable Agriculture Education (SAGE) and as a member of the round table for California sustainable agriculture executive directors, I strongly support the creation of this position. Like our allied nonprofits, SAGE regularly engages UCB students interested in regional agriculture and food systems as researchers and interns. This position will add significant capacity for linking UCB researchers (students and faculty) with regional food system research needs. The position will also add capacity and breadth to the emergent Center for Diversified Farming Systems, with which SAGE has been affiliated since its inception. I encourage you to construe the geography of 'metropolitan' to encompass all lands within metro-region planning frameworks.
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