The agriculture, food and beverage industry plays a pivotal role in the California economy. As recently as 2007, food services comprised California's largest private sector industry. Furthermore, beverage manufacturing is considered one of California's largest growing subsectors.
The CSU has always been a strong contributor to this field. In 2007, 62 percent of Californians with bachelor's degrees in agriculture-related fields graduated from the CSU, as did 36 percent of the state's agricultural master's degrees.