COLUMBUS, Ohio — A new program will encourage holistic study and community engagement to address food security issues thanks to a $700,000 gift from The Columbus Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Pat and Bobby Moser.
The gift, presented to The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences last month, creates the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Bobby Moser Food Security and Sustainability Learning Community endowed fund.
Moser retired in 2011 after serving for 20 years as dean of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).
The learning community is made possible through a partnership involving CFAES and the donors. Grants from W.K. Kellogg to The Columbus Foundation are being designated by the Mosers to establish the fund at the college. The gift commemorates Bobby Moser’s service as a Kellogg Foundation trustee.
The program’s mission, pending the endowment fund’s approval by the Ohio State Board of Trustees, is to address a critical societal need concerning food production, as well as offer learning experiences to selected students university-wide.
Annual disbursements from the endowment fund will support the program through student enrichment activities, field trips, a community engagement project and guest speakers. Any Ohio State student who has an interest in food security and sustainability can apply to be in the new learning community, which will provide the opportunity to interact with world-renowned faculty on issues facing food production, food policy, hunger, food safety, and sustainable agricultural practices.
“This unique gift will allow students to gain critical leadership skills while helping to gain a broader understanding of how local, state, national and global food systems are each playing a critical role in feeding the world,” said Cathann A. Kress, vice president for agricultural administration and dean, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. “We are grateful to the Mosers and other partners for seeing a need and envisioning this program’s mission.”
Learning communities are residential housing programs that incorporate academically-based themes with the goal of common learning. The college initiated a learning community, the CFAES Living-Learning Program, in 1971 out of an academic assistance program that had begun in 1968. Three additional learning communities in the college include:
- College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Learning Community
- SUSTAINS (Students Undertaking Action to Improve Nature and Society), organized by the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics and the School of Environment and Natural Resources
- Environment and Natural Resources Scholars, organized by the School of Environment and Natural Resources