Cultivating Values-Based Relationships: Career Conversations with Food Systems Professionals

February 9, 2024, 12:00 – 4:00 pm
Alumni House, UC Berkeley

What does it take to create a values-based supply chain? Who are the workers and other stakeholders that make this supply chain operate? What does providing technical assistance to farmers and ranchers and other food businesses look like?

Berkeley Food Institute will address these questions and more at our annual career fair titled Cultivating Values-Based Relationships: Career Conversations with Food System Professionals on February 9, 2024. This year will center careers in values-based supply chains and technical assistance for farmers and food businesses.

We invite students at any point in their academic journey to learn about career pathways that center their values and forge meaningful relationships with the people who help feed our communities. We have invited employers ranging from technical assistance providers to farmers and small businesses, food producers and manufacturers, manufacturers, and distributors, to name a few, all working toward a food system that prioritizes justice, equity, and responsible land stewardship.

This event is open to all community college, undergraduate and graduate students as well as those interested in making career changes into the food system. We will announce the list of food systems professionals attending the career fair and the review night ahead of time, so please check back on this page for updates.

In preparation for the career fair we will be sharing various career readiness resources, including a resume review night on January 30, 2024 , 5 – 7 pm in Morgan Lounge (114 Morgan Hall).

This event is made possible through the Transition to Organic Partnership Program at the US Department of Agriculture. Through our partners California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), BFI was granted funds to focus on Workforce Development programming over the next five years. Our Workforce Development programming is particularly focused on highlighting jobs in values-based supply chains and technical assistance for small businesses and farmers in the organic sector.

Co-sponsors for this event include Rausser College of Natural Resources, Student Environmental Resource Center, Center for Responsible Business, Cal Veteran Service Center, and the Re-entry Student Program.

Career Readiness Resources

In order to make the most out of your career fair experience, it is important to come prepared. Here is a checklist of ideas and resources you can utilize to prepare for our food systems career fair.

COVID Protocol: This event will be both indoors and outdoors so masks are optional, but highly encouraged. Please do not attend if you are feeling unwell.

If you require an accommodation for effective communication (ASL interpreting, alternative media formats, etc.) or information about campus mobility access features in order to fully participate in this event, please contact Nathalie Muñoz at [contact information: 510-529-1533 or] with as much advance notice as possible and at least 7-10 days in advance of the event.

For other inquiries, contact the Berkeley Food Institute at or 510-529-1533.

Values Based Supply Chains Speakers

Miguel Villareal

Interim Co-Executive Director, The National Farm to School Network

Miguel Villareal is the Interim Co-Executive Director at The National Farm to School Network, where he advocates for a deep transformation in the ways kids eat, grow, and learn about food in schools, early care, and other educational settings. His passion is in connecting the 3 C’s, Cafeteria, Classroom and Community, to nutrition and wellness. In doing so, he has helped create a nationally recognized program of taking families to farms for harvest and increasing local, organic fresh produce in schools.

Dylan Stein

Wholesale Manager, FEED Cooperative

Originally from Vancouver, BC, Dylan Stein spent a decade on diversified farms before joining FEED Cooperative, a network of farms and buyers in the North Bay that supports a resilient food system through ecological farming practices and access to reliable distribution. In 2020, FEED Cooperative became California’s first employee and farmer owned cooperative. At FEED, Dylan manages sales to wholesale customers, including grocery stores, restaurants, and institutions.

Francesca Soo Hodges

Operations and Communications Manager, Food Shift

Francesca is the current Operations and Communications Manager at Food Shift, where they oversee Operation Together, a food recovery and distribution program. They have a B.A. in Global Studies with minors in Human Rights and Journalism from UC Berkeley, and helped facilitate Edible Education 101 at the Haas School of Business. They also have experience in cookbook publishing, CPG content creation, vegan food tech recruitment, and business management.

Technical Assistance Providers Speakers

Victor M. Hernandez

State Outreach Coordinator and Sociologist, Natural Resources Conservation Service – USDA

Victor M. Hernandez works to improve community engagement efforts for California farmers by establishing innovative ways for communicating technical information to new and beginning farmers, ranchers, partners and community advocates at the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. The NRCS delivers conservation solutions to America’s farmers, ranchers and forest landowners in support of voluntary land stewardship, protecting our limited natural resources; water, soil, and energy.

Josefina Lara Chavez

Senior Manager, Farm to Market, Community Alliance with Family Farmers

Josefina Lara Chavez is passionate about creating stronger connections between people and designing programs that make a sustained impact, with social justice, equity, and love being at the root of it all. Through her work at California-based nonprofit CAFF, she works to support family farmers and serve community members throughout the state with the aim of growing a more resilient, just and abundant food system for all.

Laura Poliné González

Senior Program Associate, Equity and Conservation on Working Lands, California Farmlink

Laura Poliné González supports FarmLink’s land access and conservation activities under the Equity and Conservation on Working Lands program. Farmlink, a Community Development Financial Institution, helps farmers, ranchers, and fishers to access affordable financing, learn how to create business resilience, and secure land for farming and ranching. At Farmlink, Laura mediates relationships between landholders and landseekers by administering FarmLink’s Land Portal and facilitating land tenure technical assistance tailored to their needs.

Danny Lee

Organic Inspector, California Department of Food and Agriculture

Danny Lee has over 30 years of experience in state service, including more than 10 years overseeing the CDFA State Organic Program, which helps determine the organic labeling standards for agricultural goods. Danny and his staff work collaboratively with the USDA National Organic Program, the California Department of Public Health, local county agricultural commissioners, organic certifiers, and the organic industry to protect the organic label through enforcement, education, and outreach.