The goals of thisinterdisciplinary, sustainable food and agriculture cohort-training program are to develop outstanding food systems scholars to support local and regional plant production systems. Fellows will be workforce-ready in their respective fields, and equipped with anunderstanding of how the science of their discipline can both inform and respond to the contributions of other professionals engaged in building collaborative and cross-sectoral solutions.These goals will be accomplished by the following objectives, which are detailed in the methods section of this report:Objective 1:Creation of a diverse and inclusive food systems fellow community. This scholarly community will be enriched by diversity of thought, demography, and personal background, enriching the context and perspectives felllows will bring to their graduate work. Fellows will be enrolled in existing degree programs in the social and natural sciences, includingagricultural economics,community and leadership development, dietetics and human nutrition,entomology,and plant and soil sciences. The program will recruit and pipelineoutstanding students from diverse and underrepresented, as well as urban and rural backgrounds. Objective 2:Developsystems thinking professionals who effectively link their disciplinary expertise to larger food systems. This objective will be accomplished through coursework created for the cohort, a Kentucky food systems-focused study tour and facilitated mentorship with systems-trained faculty.Objective 3: Applied research strengthening agronomic and specialty crop supply chains in local and regional food systems.Leveraging the work of the University of Kentucky's local food systems institute, The Food Connection, fellows will conduct their thesis work evaluating and strengthening local and regional supply chains, including aspects from farm gate to dinner plate.Objective 4. Professional development and communication. Students will emerge from their MS programs and cohort experience as workforce ready, empowered to support and strengthen local food systems through experience gained from student-led leadership projects working directly in Kentucky food systems, a capstone professional development seminar, and individually tailored professional development plans.