College of Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Sciences
Agricultural Education and Communication Department
BS in Agricultural Science
California’s agriculture industry is greatly diverse, with strawberries as a sector that most native Californians wouldn’t recognize as a large contributor to California’s agricultural economy. Within the last couple of years, strawberry production has undergone massive changes that are rapidly modifying the way strawberries are cultivated. The future of strawberry production will have completely new methods for growing, fumigating, and harvesting in just five to ten years (Guthman, 2016). The Cal Poly Strawberry Center opened in 2014 with a mission to “increase the sustainability of the California strawberry industry through research and education that addresses industry needs” (Cal Poly Strawberry Center, 2018). The Strawberry Center is working alongside the Agricultural Education and Communications department as well as the BioResource and Agricultural Engineering (BRAE) department to create a video about the future of strawberry production. This project will include collecting interviews of strawberry growers and their personal opinions on where the strawberry industry is headed. The BRAE students are designing an automated system which captures pictures of the strawberries in various stages of ripeness. The remote controlled system is a solar charged, cart-like structure that travels between rows of plants with the intent to collect data and therefore decrease labor costs, which will in turn decrease strawberry prices. We will collaborate with each other to collect these interviews as well as showcase this automated system in a 2-3 minute video.