DAVIS -- They want to lead research - on a global scale. UC Davis has unveiled plans for a World Food Center.

Chancellor Linda Katehi says she wants to bring together 30 different campus programs to collectively look into all aspects of what we eat.

She says center will work with other universities to exchange of ideas, with the goal of answering a big question.

"How we will feed and nourish a rapidly growing population?"

The center will become a go-to for everything from food policy to cutting edge gene sequencing, Katehi said.

"We believe that this is fundamental for health and well-being for people around the world," she said.

The idea has fans for other reasons, as well. California Secretary of Food and Agriculture Karen Ross thinks that from a very practical sense, this is about economic development, she said.

California grows over 50 percent of this country's fresh fruits and vegetables and tree nuts, Ross said. California is also the No. 1 dairy producer.

Agriculture was a 43 billion dollar industry here last year.

For more information, visit the World Food Center website.