Press Release: Backgrounder - Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture (SEEAG) - Ventura County Agricultural Education
Mission: SEEAG educates students about the farm sources of their food from field to table while connecting them to the farmland in their own backyards.
SEEAG’s Farm-‐to-‐Table – The Journey of our Food Program
This free education program provides schools with much-‐needed agricultural education and field trips to local farms. The agricultural education begins with a 45-‐minute, in-‐class presentation that covers topics such as agricultural labor, nutrition, the food journey from field to table and sustainable practices. After the course, students are taken on a field trip to the historic Limoneira Lemon Ranch in Santa Paula to tour the citrus groves, farmland, packinghouse and the solar “orchard” that provides sustainable power to the ranch.
Through SEEAG, many children have the opportunity to visit farms for the first time and gain valuable, hands-‐on education. After the program, they become better informed consumers and agricultural ambassadors that share what they have learned with their peers. They leave the farm with a new awareness and appreciation for agriculture, farmers and fresh food, and are able to make better-‐informed decisions when faced with to making food choices.
SEEAG is a cost-‐free agricultural education program available to all K-‐12 schools, and includes transportation, education and tours. To date, SEEAG has helped over 8,000 students better understand the food journey and aims to educate 5,000 more by the end of 2015.
Mary Maranville, Founder of Students for Eco-‐Education and Agriculture (SEEAG), spent 18 years growing up on a dairy farm in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York. Her father was a farmer that had a passion for putting food on household tables, and her mother slow cooked food from their farm every night. Now as a grown woman, she understands and appreciates the dedication and hard work that goes into growing food.
Maranville studied business abroad at Polytechnic Central London and has over 20 years of business experience. When Maranville came of Ventura County 15 years ago, she realized that even with California’s rich agricultural heritage, most children do not make the connection between the farmland around them to the food on their tables. This inspired her to create SEEAG in 2008 in order to educate children about food and farming. This program helps forge that connection.