SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif- The California Strawberry Commission partnered with Cal Poly Tuesday. The school will get one million dollars for a Strawberry Sustainability Research and Education Center.
Students at Cal Poly will work hand in hand with faculty across disciplines to find solutions to problems in the strawberry industry and find ways to help it grow. "Working with those that are skilled in packaging, marketing, and yes the liberal arts to understand what it takes to keep this industry moving and getting better everyday," said President Jeff Armstrong of Cal Poly.
The state Strawberry Commission hopes the research center will become world renown, focused on sustainability. Something Chairman Victor Ramirez of the CSC Board of Directors believes the students can do. "They have the brain power, the expertise, the time, the energy and the desire to translate our dreams into tangible, pragmatic ways to advance farming in our central coast communities," said Victor Ramirez, of the CSC Board of Directors.
Here on the central coast, strawberries are a major cash crop, in 2011 the total crop value in Santa Cruz County was 198-million and 713-million in Monterey County. San Luis Obispo County took in 179-million and Santa Barbara county 366-million, helping to make California the industry leader.
"On less than 1 percent of California's farm land we produce over 85-percent of the US grown strawberries more than 2.3 billion dollars," said President of the California Strawberry Commission, Mark Murai.
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