SEE AG commits to enhance and expand their 21st Century Farming and Agriculture program to reach 4,000 students in Ventura County and an additional 1,000 students in Los Angeles County over the course of the 2014/15 school year.
The program will engage 500 elementary school students per month. Students will be assessed on their agricultural literacy through an in class survey followed by a 45 minute presentation that covers topics such as sustainable agriculture, the farm to table connection and the food chain, agricultural labor force and sustainable AG practices in Ventura county, which includes onions used as bio-fuel, hydrogen fuel cells and solar energy. Students will then be taken on a 2.5 hours agricultural education field trip to a historic lemon ranch, Limoneira, in Santa Paula. During the guided tour, students will learn about the lifecycle of the lemon, from blossom to commercialization. They will visit the citrus orchard, a solar-field where they will learn about solar energy and a packinghouse. Post-visit, students will fill out new surveys to assess the impact of the program.
SEE AG will improve the program's curriculum and methodology by further emphasizing experiential learning and introducing more sustainable agricultural practices and healthy nutrition information, while continuing to comply with content Common Core and Content Standard outlined by the California Department of Education.
SEE AG will connect directly with school district administrators in both counties to inform and engage schools in this opportunity.
In addition to its current staff and the volunteer educators provided by the Young Farmers and Ranchers of Ventura County, SEE AG will hire 2 part time educators to conduct the program in LA.
The Wood-Claeyssens Foundation and other multi-year donors will provide funding for the program. Limoneira Company will donate funds and open their ranch for the students' field trips.
Survey developed - July, 2014
Enhanced Curriculum prepared - September, 2014
Marketing to LA and Ventura County Schools - July, 2014 - June, 2015
Program delivery (500 students engaged monthly) - September, 2014 - June, 2015
Despite America's rich agricultural heritage, most youth do not connect the acres of farmland around them to the food on their table. They are not truly knowledgeable about the origins of their food and what it takes to grow, harvest and transport this precious commodity to their families. Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture (SEE AG) bridges the gap between agriculture and consumption through its agricultural education programming. SEE AG's 21st Century Farming and Agriculture in Ventura County program combines instructional day classroom learning with field trips to farms. This program teaches elementary school children the importance of agriculture, the local agricultural workforce and has proven to be an extremely effective tool to engage children in STEM hands-on learning experiences. Through this program, which has been in place since 2008, over 8,000 Ventura County elementary school students have increased their understanding of the food journey from field to consumption.
SEE AG is seeking additional funding for program implementation and marketing support to publicize and develop the program's brand and guarantee its long-term viability.
Best practice information and educational resources.