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Webinars to explore food systems, waste

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Vanessa Zajfen of Ocean View School District in Oxnard will discuss a farm to school program.
UC Thelma Hansen Fund to host online discussion of food systems April 26-28.

Members of the public are invited to attend a free webinar series discussing local and regional food systems on April 26-28.

At the three-day webinar “Local Food: Shortening the Supply Chain and Reducing Food Waste,” University of California, Berkeley agricultural economics professor and Wolf Prize laureate David Zilberman will discuss the status of our food supply chain and the socioeconomic and environmental forces affecting it. Diana Winter, deputy director of the UCLA Resnick Center for Food Law and Policy, will delve into the role of law and policy and current sustainability initiatives at federal, state and local levels.

“Do you ever wonder how far your food travels before it gets to your plate? Local food has many benefits: a smaller carbon footprint, supports local farmers and businesses, and is likely to be fresher, tastier and more nutritious,” said Annemiek Schilder, director of UC Cooperative Extension and the UC Hansen Agricultural Research & Extension Center in Ventura County. 

Topics of discussion include defining regional food systems in California and how they contribute to community health. The series will take a look at a local school district that works to shorten the supply chain by preparing delicious meals from whole and local ingredients and turning cafeterias into classrooms. A local farmer will speak to the challenges of producing and distributing food locally.

“According to the USDA, about 30% to 40% of all our food supply is wasted, before or after market. Think of all the water, fertilizer, labor and fuel and wasted to produce and ship that food,” said Schilder who is organizing the event.

There are actions consumers can take to reduce food waste. Ned Spang, associate professor of food science and technology at UC Davis, will discuss solutions to food loss and waste throughout the supply chain. Programs such as UC Master Food Preservers offer resources and practical advice to preserve food. Local nonprofits like Food Share help to recover and redistribute food within communities.  

Speaker lineup

Registration for the webinar series, which is sponsored by the UC Thelma Hansen Fund, is free. To register and see the agenda and speaker biographies, visit

Speakers include: 

  • David Zilberman, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, UC Berkeley
    Our food supply: Where Are We and Where Are We Going?
  • Diana Winters, Ph.D., Deputy Director, Resnick Center for Food Law and Policy, UCLA
    Food Policy and Sustainability
  • Gail Feenstra, Ph.D., Director UC Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Program
    Regional Food Systems: Connecting Farms, Consumer, and Communities
  • Vanessa Zajfen, Director Food and Nutrition Services, Ocean View School District, Oxnard, California
    Shortening the Supply Chain with “Farm to School”
  • Max Becher, Co-Owner, Farmivore, Oxnard, California
    Farmivore: Connecting Farmers with Eaters
  • Ned Spang, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Food Science and Technology, UC Davis
    Advancing Solutions to Address Food Loss and Waste
  • Sue Mosbacher, Coordinator UC Master Food Preserver Program
    Preserve Today, Relish Tomorrow: Education in Food Preservation
  • Monica White, President & CEO, Food Share, Ventura County
    Saving Food to Help Those in Need
Source: University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.
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