The UC Davis Agricultural Sustainability Institute has received $250,000 from Campbell Soup Company to support ASI's sustainable agriculture research, education and outreach. Reducing childhood obesity with school gardens, using subsurface drip irrigation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and using nitrogen-rich cover crops to improve soils are among the benefits to Californians of ASI research projects. The contribution from Campbell's, known for its iconic tomato soup can, will help fund a new generation of research on healthy soil, pest management, and water management.
"We are thrilled to receive this donation, and ready to work with Campbell's on education and outreach projects that can address child nutrition issues, as well as research projects on crop rotations, cover crops and nitrogen uptake," said Tom Tomich, ASI director and director of the statewide UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SAREP).
"Our programs range from the UC Davis Children's Garden Program to a long-term farming practices project with decades of data on carbon sequestration and nitrogen runoff. We know Campbell's wants to make a significant contribution to the future of food and farming and the health of future generations in our state and country, which makes it a perfect fit with our own mission and goals."
Campbell Soup Company, which began producing canned tomatoes, vegetables, jellies and soups in 1869, has evolved into a worldwide manufacturer and marketer of food products, many of which include vegetables and fruits. In recognition of its agricultural roots, the company is focusing on the support of sustainable agriculture research, education and outreach with the establishment of an endowed fund at the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences' ASI.
Carl Johnson, Campbell Soup Company senior vice president and chief strategy officer, said the company has always worked closely with farmers and university researchers to ensure that it was supplied with the highest quality ingredients.
"By expanding our long-standing partnership with UC Davis, we hope to create a healthier environment that produces healthier foods, not only for today's consumers, but for future generations," he said. "Our endowment will promote the preservation of the world's precious farmland and advance the practice of integrated pest management. We are very pleased to make this commitment to further the excellence of agricultural sustainability research and outreach at UC Davis."
Johnson said Campbell's has a long history in the Davis community, where it operates an agricultural research facility that serves as the headquarters for the Campbell Seed Company. The company also operates tomato processing plants in Dixon and Stockton, as well as a major West Coast production facility in Sacramento that produces the company's soups, sauces, and beverages.
In addition to ASI, which was established in 2006, and SAREP, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, UC's sustainable agriculture resources include the UC Davis Student Farm, UC Davis Long-Term Research on Agricultural Systems project, and Sustainable Agriculture Farming Systems project. For more information, visit the ASI Web site at http://asi.ucdavis.edu.