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.


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 maranville@hotmail.com.

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 sbmiller@ucanr.edu


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

directions

Limoneira Co.

1141 Cummings Road
Santa Paula, CA 93060

Phone : (866) 321-9995

directions

McGrath Farm

1012 W. Ventura Blvd.
Camarillo, CA 93010

Phone : (805) 983-1211

directions

Plants Plus Growers Nursery

8033 Posita Road
Somis, CA 93066

Phone : (805) 531-0141

directions

The Painted Pony Farm

15315 Ojai Road
Santa Paula, CA 93060

Phone : (805) 525-9829

directions

Underwood Family Farms

3370 Sunset Valley Road
Moorpark, CA 93021

Phone : (805) 523-2957

directions

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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