University of California Santa Cruz

Innovating sustainable campus food systems via experiential learning and campus farms and ranches


University of California Santa Cruz


North America



founding year


student body



Institutional Approach

The University of California (UC) Santa Cruz focuses on sustainability across various domains: Learning & Culture, Materials Management & Food Systems, Natural Environment & Infrastructure, and Climate & Energy, implementing diverse and ambitious initiatives to achieve these objectives. UC Santa Cruz stands out for their innovative approach to a sustainable campus food network, emphasizing both academic and experiential learning in local and global food systems. Their Food Systems initiative emphasizes local sourcing from campus farms or small, organic farms, prioritizing social responsibility. The university integrates student activism, learning, research and policy into their management of ranches and campus farm facilities. Their agroecological farms, operated by student and staff volunteers, contribute to this mission and provide produce for weekly food markets and campus canteens.


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