Center for Sustainability

Center for Sustainability

Agriculture for Tomorrow


A College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES) Program

Cal Poly landscape

Stewards of Tomorrow

Preparing leaders in sustainability through education, research, outreach, and operations.

To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves.

  —Mahatma Gandhi

People

team building greenhouseStaff

The Center for Sustainability is a vital auxiliary unit with the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES). The primary goal of the Center is to assist the college in its goal to prepare leaders in sustainability through education, research, outreach, and through modeling sustainability through its operations. 

Hunter Francis, Founder

Hunter FrancisHunter Francis is founder of the Center for Sustainability in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES) at Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo. He holds an M.S. in Agriculture with a specialization in Soil Science from Cal Poly, where he also serves as a part-time lecturer. As part of his master's work, Hunter developed Cal Poly's Organic Agriculture course, the Cal Poly Organic Farm and Sustainable Agriculture Minor. He has helped develop numerous community and continuing education workshops and conferences. Most recently, this has involved the development of programs for large-scale composting, artisan food production, veteran training in agriculture, and soil health. He previously worked in the whole foods movement and has been active in the local community to strengthen regional agricultural systems. As board president of Central Coast Grown, he helped to establish SLO City Farm and its educational programs for the general public. He currently serves on the Cal Poly Sustainability Advisory Committee, the Inter-Institutional Network for Food, Agriculture and Sustainability (INFAS), the advisory board for CalCAN, as board director for the Kusa Seed Society, and the Certification Advisory Committee for the Vineyard Team's Sustainability in Practice (SiP) certification program. 


Claire Balint, Interim Director

Claire BalintClaire Balint is the Interim Director for the Center for Sustainability. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Integrative Biology from U.C. Berkeley, specializing in population ecology and insect physiology. She has also taught and conducted research at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in MD, the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA, and the Center for Insect Science at the University of Arizona, Tucson. Since joining CFS, Claire has learned that agriculture is in a unique position at the crossroads of science, technology, policy, and business, and has been impressed by the opportunities it presents. Claire is committed to helping Cal Poly's students gain the skills and knowledge they need to meet today's cross-disciplinary challenges. 



Claire Wilson, Financial Analyst

Claire Wilson is the Financial Analyst for the Center for Sustainability. Prior to joining CFS, Claire worked as a program administrator for New Era Agricultural, The Rodale Institute, California Agricultural Leadership Foundation, and Boss Film Studios. Claire has traveled extensively through her career during which she was exposed first-hand to extreme poverty, lack of clean water and food shortages, which had a formidable impact on her. Claire believes sustainable agriculture can have an immediate impact in mitigating many of these problems and believes that it is vital to educate a new generation of agriculturists to understand how sustainable agriculture can help preserve our planet for coming generations. 

Advisory Board

We are honored to have some of California's leaders in agriculture and natural resource management providing guidance on Center activities. 

Renata Brillinger: Executive Director, California Climate and Agriculture Network
Rafaela Crevoshay: President, AgSustain
Robert J.Hrubes: Executive Vice President, Emeritus, SCS Global Services
Tim Lichatowich, Consultant, BioAg Product Strategies
Joe Mullinax, Director, Denele Analytical, Inc.
Dan Noble, Executive Director, Association of Compost Producers
Gena Nonini: Owner, Marian Farms
Nikki Rodoni: Founder and CEO, Measure to Improve
Tim Stemwedel: President, California Organic Fertilizers, Inc.
Taryn Wolf: Produce and Floral Coordinator, Whole Foods Market
Jean-Pierre Wolff: Owner and Vintner, Wolff Vineyards 
 

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