SEEAG Adds New “School-to-Farm-to-Table” Education Venue – Petty Ranch in Saticoy

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 programming, including field trips to local farms to students in Southern California.

Petty Ranch produces figs, apples, avocados, sugar beets, lemons and other citrus. The Farm Lab will teach students about the important elements needed to support specialty crop 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 fruits—from seed to harvest.

Picking Avocados on the Petty Ranch

Picking Avocados on the Petty Ranch

“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 2015. 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 experiential learning that is key to STEM comprehension,” says Maranville. “Petty Ranch’s sustainable agriculture practices enable us to integrate more STEM components into our experience on the ranch.”

SEEAG plans to incorporate these five educational elements into the Farm Lab:

–Journey of Our Food – plant science in the orchard
–Down To Earth – the soil ecosystem
–Pollination Stations – pollination gardens and the insects they attract
–Farm Bugs – beneficial insects used to combat harmful bugs and ensure crop health
–Eating The Harvest – farm-to-table nutrition

Students will also learn about tree propagation, grafting, cover crops and carbon sequestration.

In addition to field trips during the school day, SEEAG hopes to also host after-school programs at Petty Ranch. The Farm Lab will start scheduling field trips to the ranch in February. SEEAG will also continue to offer school field trips to Limoneira Ranch in Santa Paula.

SEEAG is currently seeking donations to help support the Farm Lab. A “Kids-to-Farms” Jazz Brunch to benefit the Farm Lab is already planned for Sunday, April 17 at Camarillo Ranch.

Heritage Media Group Talks Farm Day with Executive Director Mary Maranville – Ventura County Agricultural Education

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To schedule a field trip, get involved or learn how to make a donation, contact Maranville at mary@seeag.org, 805-901-0213.

About SEEAG

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 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 mary@seeag.org.

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