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Food Systems Career Development

Our food system operates better when we have well trained, well compensated, adaptable, and motivated workers. Our commitment to Fair and Healthy Jobs extends to UC Berkeley students. Since 2017, we have hosted career panels, career fairs, resume review and mock interview workshops, tours at farms, kitchens, distributors, and other events aimed at connecting our campus community to the diversity of career pathways across food systems sectors.

We also send out a weekly Food Systems Opportunities newsletter, which includes full-time and part-time jobs, fellowships, internships, volunteer opportunities, and information about grants, workshops, courses, and other professional development opportunities. 

Building the Organic Industry Workforce

In 2023, the Berkeley Food Institute was awarded $325,000 from the US Department of Agriculture through the Transition to Organic Partnership Program (TOPP). Led by California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), we are part of a coalition of partners called the Western Regional Center for Organic Transition, aimed at providing technical assistance and support for transitioning and existing organic farmers throughout the Western United States. 

As part of this team, we are focused particularly on workforce training and development with an emphasis on technical assistance and values-based supply chains.

Attend our Upcoming Career Events!

Resume Review Night

January 30, 5:00 – 7:00 pm

With support from the USDA Transition to Organic Partnership Program, we will be holding a resume and cover letter reviewing workshop. The workshop will be an opportunity to update your resume and cover letter and/or practice your interviewing skills with help from on and off-campus food systems professionals. We will also have short presentations on how to write a resume catered for work in the federal government and how to effectively use tools like ChatGPT in a job search.

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

February 9, 12:00 – 4:00 pm

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? We will address these questions and more at our annual career fair, which this year will center careers in values-based supply chains and technical assistance for farmers and food businesses.

Our Program Objectives

As we promote Fair and Healthy Jobs in the food system, we aim to prepare students at UC Berkeley and other institutions to enter the workforce as critical thinkers, conscious consumers, policymakers, responsible land stewards, and leaders for effective change in our food system. Our goals for our Food Systems Career Development program are:

  • Connecting students to more experiential learning opportunities (including paid positions) to apply what they’re learning in the classroom
  • Hosting resume review and mock interview workshops to prepare students for the job search
  • Opening the doors for more students from other universities and community colleges to attend our career development events
  • Collaborating with more cross campus departments to bolster workforce development, specifically within value based supply chains and technical assistance
  • Creating opportunities for students to connect with their peers to foster a greater sense of community among food systems students and alumni
  • Exposing our community to the diversity of jobs across food systems sectors

For further questions about our Just and Equitable Tech in Agriculture program, please contact us at foodinstitute@berkeley.edu.