Press Release: Seeag Commit To Expand Its Agricultural Education Program To Reach 1000 Los Angeles County Students - Ventura County Agricultural Education
(Ventura, CA) – Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture (SEEAG) is proud to commit to the Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) to expand its agricultural education program, Farm-to-Table – The Journey of Our Food From Field to Fork, to reach up to 4,000 students in Ventura County and an additional 1,000 students in Los Angeles County during the 2014-2015 school year. SEEAG has also pledged to enhance the program’s curriculum by aligning it with NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards), STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and by developing a third prong centered around farm fresh produce, nutrition and healthy eating habits.
Since 2008, SEEAG has been helping children understand the food journey through a combination of in-class instruction and field trips to local farms. This free, experiential-based program is aimed towards elementary-aged children, but is available to all K-12 schools. SEEAG provides cost-free transportation, agricultural education and tours to participating classes. “This was an extremely worthwhile experience and was a wonderful way to teach the children about sustainable farming,” said Dee Menzies, Head of School at Carlthorp School.
This endeavor by SEEAG has been recognized by CGI America as a new program that provides measureable improvements to the community. Giving children access to STEM-based education is a big part of this mission. When SEEAG meets its commitment goals in 2015, CGI America will present the organization with a certificate to acknowledge their achievements.
“When I came to Ventura County 15 years ago and saw all the amazing local agriculture, it inspired me,” said Mary Maranville, Founder and Executive Director of SEEAG. “I witnessed a local elementary school field trip at a Santa Paula farm and noticed a lack of knowledge as children responded to simple questions about agriculture. I realized I could make a difference educating children about farming and the origins of their food, and I knew I could do it in a way that would reinvigorate an interest in this vital part of our lives.”
SEEAG aims to engage 500 elementary school students monthly and begins with a 45-minute agricultural literacy presentation that covers topics such as the food chain, sustainable agriculture practices and the farm-to-table connection. Students are then taken on a field trip to the historic Limoneira Lemon Ranch in Santa Paula. During the guided tour, students will learn about the lifecycle of the lemon, from blossom to distribution. They will have the opportunity to visit the citrus orchard, a packinghouse and a solar array field where they will learn about solar energy. Before and after each visit, students will fill out surveys to assess the impact of the program. “The students returned from this trip with a new understanding of where their food comes from, the sustainable practices being implemented at local farms and the benefits of learning science in a hands-on atmosphere,” said Todd Tyner, Principal at Mound Science Magnet School.
Founded in 2008, Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture (SEEAG) aims to help young students truly 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 8,000 Ventura County elementary school students have increased their understanding of the food journey. For more information, please visit www.seeag.org or email Mary Maranville at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Clinton Global Initiative
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, CGI works to bring together leaders from the business, foundation, NGO, and government-sectors to develop solutions for economic growth, long-term competitiveness, and social mobility. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 180 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date, the CGI community has made more than 3,100 Commitments to Action, which have improved the lives of over 430 million people in more than 180 countries. For more information about CGI, please visit www.cgiamerica.org.