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BFF Nextgen

Expanding and Diversifying Careers in Sustainable Food Systems along the US-Mexico Border

Welcome to Better Food Futures (BFF) NextGen at SDSU, where collaboration and innovation meet at the crossroads of sustainable development in food, agriculture, natural resources, and human sciences (FANH). Our current food systems face significant environmental and social challenges due to climate change. These challenges lead to diversity loss while struggling to support global food security and dignified agrifood livelihoods. Our program harnesses the power of regenerative agriculture to restore food and farming systems actively. By adopting a holistic framework, we aim to continuously renew the land, improve environmental health, and bolster agrifood economies, societies, and cultures.


Join us as we partner with over 32 key stakeholders, including USDA agencies and Mexico-based universities, to cultivate a diverse and dynamic workforce ready to tackle the challenges and opportunities within the FANH sectors. Through our Experiential Learning Projects (ELP) and Outreach and Engagement Projects (OEP), we offer a unique blend of classroom-based learning, research-oriented solutions, and community engagement activities designed to bridge the knowledge of Historically Excluded Communities (HEC) with cutting-edge strategies for regenerative agriculture. 


Our programs are tailored to empower undergraduate and graduate students, especially those from Indigenous, immigrant, and Mexican-origin HEC along the US-Mexico border, equipping them with the skills necessary to excel in everything from entry-level positions to leadership roles within the USDA FANH workforce. Join us in shaping the future of agriculture and human sciences, where your education leads to meaningful change.

The Regenerative Approach

Project summary

SDSU brings together more than 32 internal and external partners, including four USDA agencies and three Mexico-based universities, to expand and diversify the workforce in food, agriculture, natural resources, and human sciences (FANH) by graduating inspired undergraduate and graduate students eligible to join the USDA FANH workforce in positions ranging from entry-level to leadership.

Experiential Learning Projects (ELP)
ELP activity will involve 240 undergraduate, 18 Masters and 7 Doctoral students in focused experiential, classroom-based learning, and research-oriented solutions that bridge the practices and knowledge of Historically Excluded Communities (HECs) with new strategies for regenerative agriculture addressing climate change, environmental degradation, food insecurity and poverty. Participants will be students from Indigenous, immigrant and Mexican-origin HECs along the US-Mexico border, who will train in programs spanning research, field schools, intensive internships, symposia, classroom education and extension, within regional and binational sectors, including exposures to the work of USDA FANH agencies, field stations, scientists, and policy experts.

Outreach and Engagement Projects (OEP)
OEP activity to diversify the pipeline of future FANH professionals will include K-12, non-traditional, and community populations, with activities delivered through 4-H, Master Gardener, Growing Hope, Climate Science Alliance, SAGE, SD County Food System Alliance, SD Botanical Gardens, two HEC-dominant high schools and tribal communities (50 scholarships to tribal students participating in workshops). SDSU participants from HECs will graduate with baccalaureate and advanced degrees, highly qualified and interested in bringing a unique set of skills, knowledge and expertise on sustainable food systems and regenerative agriculture to the next generation of the USDA FANH workforce. Process, formative and summative evaluation will measure participant behavioral change, academic progress, degree completion, and USDA career pathways knowledge, interest, and application.

Hands in the Soil
Desert Plants
Mexican Taco Dinner
Hands in the Soil
Woman in a Field
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