SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -

It’s a tough time for strawberry farmers.

Their crops face several problems, but now a new program at Cal Poly aims to help them.

Strawberry farms are seeing a labor shortage, drought and one of their pesticides have been banned.

The California Strawberry Commission asked Cal Poly for help.

Together, they are building a new research center to find a solutions.

Not only will the center protect the $2 billion industry, the research will offer a hands-on experience for students and may eventually be used to help other farmers.

The program is starting off with just a staff of four or five but the college plans to build a place for research, conferences, a farm and a greenhouse.

The commission paid the school $1 million for the beginning three years of the program.