The CASFS Endowment Campaign

"With a strong, secure base budget provided by a successful endowment campaign, CASFS staff, faculty affiliates, students and community partners will realize the Center’s greatest potential as the country's foremost organic agriculture teaching program, a cutting edge experiment station, and a beautiful and treasured community resource."

Daniel Press
Executive Director
Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems

In 2014 the Center received a $4-million endowment gift to support the Center’s Apprenticeship Program and help kick off our effort to create a solid cornerstone for the $10 million endowment campaign.

With a $10-million endowment, the Center will be better positioned to take on much-needed initiatives and innovative programming, including new and upgraded facilities and field sites at the UCSC Farm & Alan Chadwick Garden to support crop production, teaching, and research. New staffing, along with new training programs and additional scholarship support, would help us reach more beginning farmers. 

We also want to offer more opportunities for UC Santa Cruz students and students from throughout the region to explore agriculture as a possible career and get hands-on training, and look forward to eventually creating an agroecology and sustainable food systems major. Beyond the campus, we want to expand our efforts to create healthy school food initiatives that support local, sustainable growers.

Read more about the CASFS Endowment Campaign

Why Do We Need An Endowment?

Throughout its long history, the Farm & Garden and the Center’s programs have been supported by state and federal funds, self-generated income from produce sales and apprentice tuition fees, UCSC student fees, and private foundation grants and individual gifts. While we can point to a diversity of funding sources, most need to be generated or re-applied for annually.

In 2008 the Center’s annual federal and state funding dropped by about 75% due to the California state budget crisis and federal funding changes. In response, annual fundraising efforts increased to keep core salaries and programs funded. Currently state funding provides approximately 12% of our income, with another 30% coming from grants and gifts. We continue to rely on increased Apprenticeship tuition fees, along with produce and plant sale income, for core salaries and supplies, although water restrictions have recently meant cutting production. 

While none of these income reductions alone represents a financial emergency, each has strengthened our resolve to secure more permanent funding for the Center. We have a strong track record of fundraising and income generation that will continue as we partner with our supporters to grow our endowment funding.

For More Information About the Endowment Campaign

If you are interested in learning more about the Center’s Endowment Campaign, and how you can support this effort, please contact—

Ann Lindsey
Grants and Project Coordinator
Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems