Why did you choose IAD grad group?

Read what alumni have to say about the program, why they chose UC Davis to study International Agricultural Development and what they have been doing since graduation.


My husband and I chose IAD because, well, we’d been living abroad for several years, working for non-profits, and like many of our peers we saw a great need for more technical agriculture training to be brought to constrained, rural, agriculture dependent communities throughout the world. The interdisciplinary nature of IAD felt like a natural fit as it blended the knowledge and tools of a top tier research university with their practical application to a poor kiwi farmer working in rural Nepal, and forced us to lean in to the cognitive dissonance that resounded in that large space between these two realities. I felt a sense of gratitude for what IAD had offered me. I was allowed to learn from the best soil scientists, pomologists, and economists, but then I was allowed to leave the space of academia and work alongside the worlds most vulnerable as we figured out what this research meant for them, today.
-Kaitlyn (Bucky) Yates

In IAD, I could bring together all the issues I most want to work to address: poverty, food security, biodiversity and other environmental services in an international setting.  UC Davis offered the opportunity to shape my own program while having access to an incredible depth of subject offerings.
-Mica Bennett, emphasis in biodiversity and sustainable agriculture

The IAD program at UC Davis is an excellent alternative for professionals who want to compliment and enhance their skills in aspects related to development as a whole concept, especially focused through the lens of Agriculture.
-Carolina Restrepo, emphasis in agriculture trade policy         

The UC Davis program seemed the only one with a broad-based international development program that focused on agriculture.  It also offered me the opportunity to concomitantly pursue an agricultural economics degree.  Being in northern California, in heart of such abundant and progressive agricultural activity was certainly a consideration as well!
-Areille Moinester, emphasis in agricultural and resource economics

I chose the IAD program at UC Davis specifically to gain a better understanding of the effects of global changes in communication and technology on agriculture, to learn tools to implement effective change, and to work toward development of sustainable production of food able to feed a growing population.
-Kim Steinman, emphasis in economic assessment of alternative agricultural production methods       

UC Davis is one of the few schools in the country that offers both a Biological and Agricultural Engineering program and an International Agricultural Development Masters program. It is well respected as agricultural research university and offers excellent financial support for graduate study. In particular, the engineering department is well connected with both the private and public sector in California.
-Josh Rapport, emphasis in wastewater management for energy production

IAD offers students the opportunity to examine food systems in a multi-disciplinary way, and attracts students with a wide variety of backgrounds and experience.  I’ve appreciated the chance to look at food systems from both social and natural science perspectives, and from the viewpoint of production and consumption.  In addition, California and UC Davis are great places to be to study agricultural issues.
-Cathy Wirth, emphasis in community development and food security

I really appreciate the flexibility that this degree program offered me at such a world class agricultural university like UC Davis. I was able to take classes in multiple departments that were all relevant to my area of emphasis and specific interests.
-Kraig Kraft, emphasis in agroecology

UC Davis’ IAD Masters program offered interdisciplinary opportunities most appropriate to encompass all my interests and has the best available courses to prepare me for field work in the social and cultural impacts of agricultural development in the US and internationally. 
-Catherine Dilley, emphasis in agriculture & community development

The IAD program at UC Davis is uniquely situated on a campus with an amazing number of academic resources – I was able to take courses relevant to my area of interest in both the medical school, the school of veterinary medicine, and throughout various departments that might not otherwise have been directly associated with International Agricultural Development programs at other institutions.
-Heather Zornetzer, emphasis in rural community health and zoonotic infectious diseases


What are IAD Alumni up to now?


I took a position with the UC Davis International Programs Office after graduation. In this role I have helped to found the University of California Research and Innovation Fellowship for Agriculture (RIFA) in 2014. This program offers students enrolled in agricultural and development-oriented graduate programs at all University of California campuses the opportunity to plan, engage and implement two to six-month-long international projects related to agriculture or food systems in developing countries. So far 67 fellows have worked in 24 countries.
-Elana Fine-Peach, emphasis in sustainable development

The Institute for Food and Development Policy/Food First shapes how people think by analyzing the root causes of global hunger, poverty, and ecological degradation and developing solutions in partnership with movements working for social change. Our mission is to end the injustices that cause hunger. As Executive Director I oversee all aspects of research, publishing, and coordination with social movements.
-Eric Holtz-Gimenez, emphasis in soil conservation

I am the Director of the FAS (Foreign Agricultural Service) presence in Mexico, with overall responsibility for defending and growing our $20 billion in agricultural exports to our southern NAFTA partner. This is accomplished through political relations with my Mexican Government counterparts, extensive economic reporting, partnering with our commodity trade associations to build markets, and advising our policy-makers in Washington DC.
-Daniel K. Berman, emphasis in agriculture resource economics

My work as a Senior Technical Officer within FHI 360's Civil Society and Peacebuilding Department centers on efforts that support the further growth and development of indigenous non-profit organizations as independent, mission-driven institutions, primarily in African countries. Those efforts include developing resources, tools, and protocols that FHI 360 programs can use to support their local partners across sectors and contexts, ensuring that new projects incorporate strategies and structures that empower local organizations, and contribute to ongoing organizational development research efforts. I am currently based in Conakry, Guinea with frequent travel to project sites across Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia.
-Keith Aulick, emphasis in agroenterprise and project management

I am coordinating soil restoration and food security projects while at the same time directing organizational and community development work with the local "non-profit"/community and local government. We are currently focused on both food self sufficiency and developing several, small businesses for value added products resulting from local agricultural production. Along these lines, we have formed a women’s weaving collective and work in conjunction with regional farmers to bring back production of the native, naturally colored cotton and to renovate the production of organic cotton thread via appropriate technologies. I do the all of the fundraising. I am not an employee of the organization; I am independent.
-Margaret MacSems, emphasis in sustainable development