FSLI Fellows are tasked with completing an individual leadership project that has direct relevance to their professional careers and ambitions. For his project, Des Layne (Cohort 15), worked on the Auburn Univeristy Transformation Garden (AUTG). Recently Des was invited to present at the 2023 American Society for Horticultural Sciences Conference and delivered a presentation entitled: “FoodU: Linking Horticulture to the Campus Food System at Auburn University”. This presentation highlighted the special multidisciplinary partnership at Auburn University between the Department of Horticulture, Campus Dining Services, the Horst Schulze School of Hospitality Management and the Tony and Libba Rane Culinary Sciences Center. Faculty, staff and student participants in FoodU help to link the historic Land-Grant mission with the campus food system through three program goals: 1: Being a source of local, sustainably produced, high-quality food (e.g., fruits, vegetables and herbs) for various campus users; 2: Creating transformational, high-impact learning experiences where Auburn students are growing and preparing food for their peers and others (training future industry leaders, growers); and 3: Fostering expansion of year-round, specialty crop production (especially Controlled Environment Agriculture, CEA) in Alabama.
Congratulations to Des for continuing his FSLI project and working towards continued fundraising to support its full build-out! You can learn more about this initiative here.