CAFES Fundraisers

Past Fundraisers

CAFES Fundraisers

A Taste of the Future

5th Annual Fundraiser

October 14, 2009

Woody TaschIn 2009, we were joined by award-winning journalist, Michael Pollan, best-selling author of In Defense of Food, Omnivore's Dilemma, Botany of Desire and numerous other publications highlighting contemporary issues in food and agriculture. The 2009 dinner SOLD OUT!

Plus, a special public event:

On Thursday, October 15 from 11 AM to 12:30 PM we hosted a very unique opportunity to hear Mr. Pollan engage with two leading figures from the US food industry - Gary Smith, Monfort Endowed Chair in meat science at Colorado State University, and Myra Goodman, co-founder of Earthbound Farm. Speaker bios are included below.

The conversation between Mr. Pollan and the other panelists was a free public event at the Cal Poly Performing Arts Center (PAC). This event also filled to capacity with 1,500 people in attendance!

The special conversation event was preceded by a 'Sustainability Showcase' hosted by the SARC and a 'Sustainability Fair' hosted by the SARC and Empower Poly student organization, in the PAC lobby and on the outdoor plaza in front of the PAC. This was a great way for the public to find our what is going on in our college and to learn about the activities of dozens of organizations involved in sustainability and agriculture both on and off campus. Many thanks to all who participated!


Special Guest Speaker Biographies

Michael Pollan has been writing books and articles for over 25 years about the places where the human and natural worlds intersect: food, agriculture, gardens, and architecture. Pollan is the author, most recently, of In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto. His previous book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, was named one of the ten best books of 2006 by the New York Times. Pollan's previous book, The Botany of Desire, was also a New York Times bestseller. A contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine since 1987, his writing has received numerous awards, including the James Beard Award for best magazine series in 2003; the John Burroughs prize; the QPB New Vision Award; the 2000 Reuters-I.U.C.N. Global Award for Environmental Journalism; and the 2003 Humane Society of the United States’ Genesis Award. In 2003, Pollan was appointed the John S. and James L. Knight Professor of Journalism at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, and the director of the Knight Program in Science and Environmental Journalism. Details on Mr. Pollan's life and work can be found on his website.

Gary C. Smith has an international reputation as a leader and thinker on issues in animal agriculture. He was appointed Monfort Endowed Chair in Meat Science in 1990 and is a University Distinguished Professor at Colorado State University. Dr. Smith has won both the Distinguished Research Award and the Distinguished Teaching Award from the American Society of Animal Science and from the American Meat Science Association. He has also been awarded the National Association of Meat Purveyors Outstanding Educator Award, the National Livestock Grading and Marketing Association—Service Award (three times; in 1979, 1988 and 1995), the Livestock Publications Council—Headliner Award, and was named one of the "25 Who Made a Difference" by Beef magazine. In 1993, he was named a University Distinguished Professor by Colorado State University and a Fellow-In-Teaching by the American Society of Animal Science; in 1994 he was named one of six "Industry Innovators" by Meat Marketing and Technology magazine. In 1989, he was named a Distinguished Alumni by College of the Sequoias; in 1996 he received the Alumni Award of Excellence from California State University-Fresno. In 1997, he received the Meritorious Service Award from the Intercollegiate Meat Coaches Association of the American Meat Science Association and the Meat Industry Achievement Award from the American Meat Institute.

Myra Goodman is the co-founder, with her husband Drew, of Earthbound Farm, the country’s largest grower of organic produce.In 1984, the Goodmans left New York as two college graduates and landed on a verdant Carmel Valley farm where they taught themselves to farm with only natural inputs, beginning their lifelong commitment to organic farming. In 1986, Earthbound Farm became the first company to successfully market packaged salads for retail sale, and is also credited with popularizing spring mix salads nationwide. As Earthbound Farm has grown over the past 25 years, the company has remained fiercely dedicated to organic food and farming. Drew and Myra still live on their original farm, but today they are joined by three partners and 150 other organic growers who are dedicated to bringing delicious organic salads, fruits and vegetables to people across the country. Every year, by farming 33,000 crop acres organically, Earthbound Farm avoids the use of more than 10 million pounds of synthetic chemicals.Before starting Earthbound Farm, Myra earned a bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley. She is also the author of Food to Live By: The Earthbound Farm Organic Cookbook and is currently working on her second cookbook.

The 'Taste of the Future' dinner was held in the beautiful Conway Family Vineyards at the Rancho Arroyo Grande.

Thanks to our fabulous local chefs for preparing this year's meal!

Maegen Loring of The Park
Pandee Pearson of Adelina's Bistro
Robin Covey of Novo
Joanne Currie of Splash Cafe
Tom Fundaro of Villa Creek
Jensen Lorenzen of The Cass House
Robert Root of The Manse on Marsh

Our 2008 fundraiser dinner feautured one of Cal Poly's own, Dr. Tim LaSalle, at Congregation David's 'green building' in San Luis Obispo.

For more information, or to be included as a sponsor for this year's event, please contact Hunter Francis, at (805)756-5086.

Event Links