2015 International Agroecology Shortcourse

Sustainable Living Center
University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC)
Santa Cruz, California
July 12–25, 2015

Course Theme: Agroecology, A Global Movement: Tracing Our Roots and Looking Forward

The 16th Annual Agroecology Shortcourse  explored the roots of agroecology as a global movement as well as a science and a practice. Santa Cruz, California offers the ideal context to examine historical and current issues of social and environmental equity and sustainability that agroecology movements confront all over the world. The course introduced agroecology and strategically connected the diverse and powerful agroecology experiences and movements active worldwide and created a collective overarching view of the current global situation. We ended the course with a vision of how to better facilitate cross-fertilization across agroecology movements and overcome obstacles to convergence.

The Community Agroecology Network
University of California, Santa Cruz Aboreteum
University of California, Santa Cruz
Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS)
Crary Family Foundation
Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation
New Field Foundation
Swift Foundation
Windrose Fund of RSF Social Finance
Food First; Berkeley Food Institute; Sociedad Cientifica Latinoamericana de Agroecología (SOCLA); The Food Commons; Pesticide Action Network (PANNA); Community Alliance for Family Farmers (CAFF); Claudia Webster; and Swanton Berry Farm

16th Annual International Agroecology Shortcourse Outcomes

By Heather Putnam, Associate Director
Community Agroecology Network

CAN’s 16th Annual International Agroecology Shortcourse concluded on Friday evening, July 24 with an agroecological celebration.  The course included 38 participants from 11 countries around the world, including farmers, students and youth leaders, activists, researchers, representatives from the FAO, and extension agents.  We reached our goal of broad and diverse participation across borders, class, culture, and color, thanks to generous scholarships contributed by the Swift Family Foundation, Windrose Fund of RSF Social Finance, the New Field Foundation, the Crary Family Foundation, and various small donors.  The course also received general support from the Heller Family Foundation and the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) at UCSC.

A highlight of the course was the opportunity to share multiple visions of agroecology.  By fostering open dialogue and horizontal exchanges of experience among course participants, as well as hosting noted experts in the field of agroecology, the course met its goals of not only building the foundations of agroecological knowledge among all participants and expanding our understanding of it, but also creating a vibrant network of practitioners with a common interest in transforming our world together through agroecology. Participants were also able to engage with local experiences in agroecology on Santa Cruz-area farms and community gardening projects, including Swanton Berry Farm, the UCSC CASFS Farm, and Mesa Verde Gardens in Watsonville. In the end, a broad and diverse network was created through the course, that we hope will lead to continued learning and exchange!

2015 International Agroecology Shortcourse Video

Shot and produced for Community Agroecology Network by Naomi Wainwright

Images from 2015 Shortcourse

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