Mission Statement

A food system refers to the interconnected processes and activities involved in getting food from field to plate in order to feed a population (i.e. growing, harvesting, processing, packaging, transporting, marketing, consuming, and disposing of food). The purpose of the Auburn University Food System Institute (AUFSI) is to provide an infrastructure for promoting interdisciplinary research, outreach, teaching, and training opportunities relating to food systems among faculty in academia, personnel in industry, decision-makers in government, and consumers in the general public. By establishing and maintaining partnerships and working relationships among those involved in the complex system of food production, processing, consumption, and ultimately disposal, AUFSI provides a multi-institutional collaboration contributing to the circulation of reliable and credible information.


1. Maintain an infrastructure to support interdisciplinary research, teaching, and training collaborations, as well as external partnerships with academia, industry, government, and consumers.
2. Ensure the protection of public health by conducting research on pathogens and advancing food systems’ technology
3. Promote food safety practices to ensure high quality and sustainable food systems
4. Facilitate and make tangible contributions to national, regional, and state food system efforts
5. Inform and contribute to the legislative and regulatory creation of standards relating to food systems


1. Maintain an interdisciplinary, cross-departmental venture for core faculty and working groups throughout the Auburn University network.

Current members include:

  • Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station
  • Alabama Cooperative Extension System
  • College of Agriculture
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Human Sciences
  • College of Liberal Arts
  • College of Science and Mathematics
  • College of Veterinary Medicine
  • School of Nursing

AUFSI has developed a Core Team with representatives from the founding member groups. This team will be responsible for assessing Auburn’s internal capabilities. The Core Team will utilize areas of alignment between Auburn’s strengths and current food safety needs, requirements, regulations, etc., to recommend a path forward for AUFSI.

2. Maintain a cadre of content experts in core science and technology focus areas
3. Facilitate and pursue collaborative funding opportunities
4. Develop advanced tools, practices, and interventions to reduce foodborne hazards in every part of the food chain
5. Establish an Entrepreneur Initiative to engage in research, testing, and training activities that promote the startup of new food system businesses
6. Develop quality credit & non-credit educational courses in food systems-related disciplines
7. Develop quality education for K-16 learners in food safety and related environmental issues
8. Create and improve public awareness about food systems-related health, economic, and implementation issues
9. Interact and participate with the local, state, national, and international food system communities
10. Determine impact of attendance at regional and national expos
11. Build relationships with local, state, and federal government representatives that impact the food system

The mission of the Auburn University Food Systems Institute (AUFSI) is to facilitate tangible contributions to state and national food system efforts through interdisciplinary, cross-departmental collaborations and external partnerships. By developing advanced tools, practices and interventions, AUFSI is taking a leadership role in reducing foodborne hazards in every part of the food chain, from food origin to consumer, as well as being at the forefront of food systems technology and food defense.

— ensure the protection of public health by conducting research on pathogens, contributing to food safety best practices, and advancing food systems’ technology,

— facilitate and make tangible contributions to national, regional and state food safety efforts through interdisciplinary research collaborations and external partnerships with academia, industry, government and consumers, and

— maintain an infrastructure to foster interdisciplinary partnerships.