Press Release: SEEAG Adds New “Farm to Table” Education Venue – Petty Ranch in Saticoy - Ventura County Agricultural Education
Ventura, Calif. (Dec. 21, 2015)–Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture (SEEAG) is launching a new “Farm Lab” at Petty Ranch in Saticoy. SEEAG, founded in 2008, provides free agricultural education programs including field trip to local farm to elementary schools in southern California.
Petty Ranch produces figs, apples, avocados, sugar beets, lemons and other citrus. The Farm Lab will show students the important elements needed to support fruit farming including a bee colony, a pollination garden, a healthy soil and composting site and an insect lab. Students will follow the life cycle of fruit—from tree to harvest.
“We asked Chris Sayer, co-owner of Petty Ranch, if we could hold our Farm Lab at the ranch and he said yes right away,” says Mary Maranville, SEEAG’s executive director. “He loves the idea of using his ranch as an outdoor classroom.”
“Many people today lack the direct connection to agriculture that they had in years past,” says Sayer. “We believe farm education is an important tool for re-engaging the public with their food. SEEAG has a great record, and we’re proud to be its partner in the Farm Lab project.”
Work on the Farm Lab began after SEEAG was invited to participate in the Ventura County STEM Regional Network in spring. The network is dedicated to improving educational outcomes in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) for students throughout Ventura County. “The Farm Lab at Petty Ranch incorporates the elements of hands-on experimental learning that is a key to STEM,” says Maranville. “Petty Ranch’s sustainable practices enable us to include more STEM components into our time on the ranch.”
SEEAG plans to incorporate these five educational elements into Farm Lab:
Journey of Our Food – plant science in the orchard
Down To Earth – the soil eco-system
Pollination Stations – pollination gardens and the insects they attract
Farm Bugs – beneficial insects used to combat bad bugs
Eating The Harvest – farm-to-table nutrition
In addition to school field trips, SEEAG hopes to host after-school programs at Petty Ranch. Farm Lab will start scheduling field trips to the ranch in February 2016. SEEAG will continue to offers school field trips to Limoneira Ranch in Santa Paula.
SEEAG is currently seeking donations to help support Farm Lab. A “Kids to Farms” jazz brunch to benefit Farm Lab is already planned for Sunday, April 17 at Camarillo Ranch.
To schedule a field trip or learn how to make a donation, contact Maranville at firstname.lastname@example.org, 805-901-0213.
Founded in 2008, Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture (SEEAG) aims to help young students understand the origins of their food by bridging the gap between agriculture and consumption through its agricultural education programming. SEEAG’s “Farm to Table – The Journey of Our Food From Field to Fork” program based in Ventura County teaches elementary school children about the origins of their food, and the importance of local farmland by providing schools with classroom agricultural education and free field trips to farms. Through this program, over 10,000 elementary school students in southern California have increased their understanding of the food journey. For more information, visit www.seeag.org or email Mary Maranville at email@example.com.