Students & Teachers

Make agriculture part of your lesson plan.


The Next Generation

Less than 2 percent of the U.S. population is directly involved in production agriculture.

As a result, relatively few American children grow up with personal knowledge about where their food comes from and how it is produced. As adults, however, they will be expected to make countless decisions — either through their purchasing decisions or by casting ballots — about food, food production and agricultural policy.

Educators, parents and other mentors can play an important role in preparing students to become informed consumers, and helping them understand the implications of policy decisions for the farmers and ranchers who grow their food. Many resources and programs are available to help teachers and others increase agricultural literacy among members of the next generation. Other programs are available to help the industry better inform and train its own workforce.

Attention agricultural employers! Give your front-line supervisors the training and skills they need!

A s a business owner, you know the importance of a skilled, reliable and well-managed work force. You also know how important it is to ensure that your operation complies with state and federal labor laws, and that it maintains a reputation as a fair and supportive place to work. Success depends on making sure your entire leadership team — from the executive office to the production field — shares your commitment to these principles and has the skills to translate that commitment into effective action. The Agriculture Supervisor Leadership Development Program, offered at Ventura College, is designed to help you extend your company’s values into the field. It is intended for employees whose primary responsibility is the direct supervision of agricultural workers, or who have the potential to become front-line supervisors.

Our Fall class is full! To be notified of future class offerings, send an email to

Course Description
Supervisors are expected to educate, motivate and direct workers so that quality and quantity standards are met, and all company and government rules are followed This class will focus on developing the skills to understand and effectively communicate with employees of different personalities, languages and backgrounds, along with effective administration of procedures and rules.

The class will consist of 46 hours of dynamic, co-operative learning conducted in Spanish only. Participants will increase their emotional intelligence awareness while applying new communication skills to real-life contexts. With a new way of seeing and responding, participants will develop new strategies for success. Guest speakers will bring expert perspectives from local regulatory, advocacy and community resource stakeholders. Download the draft syllabus here.

Student commitment
Students are expected to attend all sessions and to practice skills learned in the workplace between classes. They are also expected to attend the graduation celebration, where Certificates of Participation will be presented.

Employer commitment
Employers are expected to select potential students, submit applications on their behalf, and pay the $600 course fee for each. To assure that learning extends most effectively into the workplace, the employer must pair each enrolled participant with an immediate supervisor (or someone in their direct chain of command), who will receive periodic email updates from the course facilitator.

Class time and location 

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9-11 a.m.
Nov. 6, 2017 - Feb. 15, 2018
(no class Dec. 15- Jan. 8)
Ventura College
4667 Telegraph Rd, Ventura, CA 93003

Program oversight 

The program will be overseen — and students will be selected — by a committee consisting of Dave Murray, Andrew &Wiliamson Fresh Produce; Yissel Barajas, Reiter Affiliated Companies; Ellen Brokaw, Brokaw Ranch Co; Juvenal Solano, MICOP; Gaye Theresa Johnson, CAUSE; Dan Kumpf, Dean of Sciences, Ventura College; and Annika Forester, facilitator and organizational learning consultant. Fiscal services (including invoicing and fee collection) will be provided by Farm Bureau of Ventura County.

For more information, contact Annika Forester at or (805) 640-2525. 

About the instructor
Annika Forester is a coach and organizational learning consultant who has been serving the Ventura County agricultural community since 2008. Annika’s mission is to create innovative learning experiences where people discover their own capability, engagement and inspiration to take action. With more than 20 years in agriculture, she has designed and delivered high-impact, innovative, and award winning training programs in forward-thinking organizations, ranging from worker safety to food safety and leadership development. She has held past positions of Director of Grower Education with the California Strawberry Commission, Manager of Field Expertise at Reiter Affiliated Companies, and Senior Training Specialist at Harry and David. Some of her recent clients include the California Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Program, Cal Poly Strawberry Center, Hartnell College Agricultural Business and Technology Institute, and the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement.

The Museum of Ventura County’s Agriculture Museum in Santa Paula has a new program: Youth Education for Agriculture (YEA!). School tours, special events, Free First Sundays, and general tours are offered. The programs link nutrition, language arts, math, and science with Common Core Standards, and will take place in the museum galleries and new demonstration gardens. Serving preschool through eighth grade students throughout Ventura County, classes are interactive and feature hands-on learning and fun!

Click here for more information.

The California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) provides lesson plans, fact sheets, publications and other materials designed to increase awareness and understanding of agriculture among California’s educators and students.

Click here for more information.

As a partner with the foundation, the Farm Bureau of Ventura County has funding available to sponsor agriculture-related student activities and field trips, to purchase ag literacy resources and to sponsor teacher attendance at the California AITC conference or other AITC events. Teachers who would like to apply for funding are invited to contact the Farm Bureau by email or by calling us at (805) 289-0155.

Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture (SEEAG)

Classroom teachers can arrange tours and presentations for their students through SEEAG, an Ojai-based ag-education nonprofit. SEEAG’s “Journey of Our Food from Field to Fork” is a two-part program for elementary school students available to all districts in Ventura County. It consists of a 45-minute classroom presentation and an outdoor field trip to Limoneira’s ranch in Santa Paula. The program incorporates science-based content aligned with state and next-generation curriculum standards, including plant parts and functions, and discusses the top 10 crops of Ventura County, including crop history, economic impacts and nutrition. The program also provides examples of 21st century sustainable farming practices in Ventura County from three producers: Limoneira (green-waste recycling and solar energy), Houweling’s Hot House (hydroponic production and land use) and Gill’s Onions (onion-waste recycling and hydrogen fuel cells). For more information, contact SEEAG’s Executive Director Mary Maranville at (805) 901-0213 or

Click here for more information.

Hansen Agricultural Research and Extension Center (HAREC)

Education outreach is an important part of the HAREC mission. The Center offers both onsite and classroom-based youth development programs to foster agricultural literacy, healthy eating and sustainability. Located on an historic property in Santa Paula, HAREC gives students access to a working farm and allows them to connect with where their food is grown. For more information, contact Susana Bruzzone-Miller, education outreach coordinator, at (805) 525-9293 ×214 or

HAREC offers these Youth Development Programs:

Besides educating consumers about farming, it's also important to prepare the next generation for a career in the agricultural industry. A number of organizations offer college scholarships to children of agricultural employees, or to any student planning to major in agriculture or a related field. Eligibility criteria vary, so use the following links for more information.

Farm Tours

The following Ventura County growers welcome field trips from local schools.
Please contact the appropriate farm in advance to arrange a visit.

Friend's Ranches

15150 Maricopa Hwy
Ojai, CA 93023

Phone : (805) 646-2871


Farm Tour Openings

Give back to the community that supports you. Contact us if you would like to offer tours of your farm. 

Phone : (805) 289-0155

Contact Us

McGrath Farm

1012 W. Ventura Blvd.
Camarillo, CA 93010

Phone : (805) 983-1211


Plants Plus Growers Nursery

8033 Posita Road
Somis, CA 93066

Phone : (805) 531-0141


The Painted Pony Farm

15315 Ojai Road
Santa Paula, CA 93060

Phone : (805) 525-9829


Underwood Family Farms

3370 Sunset Valley Road
Moorpark, CA 93021

Phone : (805) 523-2957


The California School Garden Network includes a variety of state agencies, private companies, educational institutions and non-profit organizations all dedicated to the mission of creating and sustaining gardens in every willing school in California. The network serves as a central organization to distribute resources and support, with the goal of fostering school gardens to enhance academic achievement, a healthy lifestyle, environmental stewardship, and community and social development.

Click here for more information.

The University of California’s 4-H Youth Development Program is in every county of the state. Although many of its program activities have an agricultural component, others do not, and the organization is open to all youth ages 9 to 19, whether they’re in small towns, big cities or anything in between.

4-H focuses on giving young people many opportunities to build confidence, learn responsibility, and develop skills that will last them a lifetime. It’s a place where youth make friends and share interests, ranging from building robots to raising rabbits, from designing web pages to landscape design. It’s a place where youth work together to make a positive difference in their community, and adult volunteers make a powerful difference in the lives of young people.

Click here for more information.

The Community Alliance with Family Farmers Farm-to-School program brings fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables into school cafeterias across California. As a farmer-run organization, CAFF’s program is focused on creating distribution networks that can be used by school nutrition directors to purchase their produce from local farms easily and without increasing their standard food budget. The program also helps forge a connection between students and the local farmers who grow their food.

Click here for more information.

Locally, Ventura County Farm to School is a group of farmers and school food service departments working together to bring local, seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables to schools. Participating school districts include Hueneme, Ojai, Rio, Conejo and Ventura.

Click here for more information.

Formerly known as Future Farmers of America, the National FFA Organization is a school-based program that fosters leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. Agriculture teachers become advisors to local FFA chapters, which students join. Members participate and learn advanced career skills in 45 proficiency areas ranging from food science and technology to agricultural communications, wildlife management and production agriculture.

Click here for more information.


You Can Support Ventura County’s Farms & Farmers

Everyone is eligible to join. Whether you're a farmer, rancher, business owner or simply a resident who appreciates Ventura County's delicious, locally grown food, there is a Farm Bureau membership that fits your interests and budget.

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