Keli Benko

GFI Fellow - Class of 2017

Graduate Student, Sociology
UC Santa Cruz


Fumigant Regulation and the Future of the Strawberry Industry in the Pajaro Valley


Keli is studying the way that new proposals to expand buffer zones for fumigant use around schools, hospitals and day care centers in the Pajaro Valley would affect strawberry growers, farmworkers and residents. While attending Cabrillo College and UC Berkeley, she developed an interest in sustainable food systems, and wrote an honors-winning thesis, “Table Talk: A History of Sustainable Food and Culinary Culture in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1970-2012.” Her work as a GFI fellow will seek to clarify the positions of various stakeholders in regards to fumigant regulation and the future of the strawberry industry in the Pajaro Valley.