SEEAG: Opening Eyes to Agriculture

By Sheryl Hamlin

How does one see agriculture? Do you see agriculture when you taste Chef Oreste de Gregorio’s sautéed collard greens or when you smell Gill’s onions heavy in the air or when you watch Driscoll’s master berry pickers carefully stack rows of ripened strawberries into clamshells? Do you see agriculture when you plan your weekly meals and shopping or when you eat an orange right off the tree?

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Growing up on a dairy farm, SEEAG founder Mary Maranville was born with the agricultural food chain in her DNA. Determined to share the agricultural connection with today’s young students, Mary founded SEEAG in 2008. How does one turn a vision into a staff of four, a dedicated board of directors, hundreds of volunteers working at sold-out events and free classes for over three thousand students at local farms? Only a few select entrepreneurs can claim successful execution of an idea and Mary Maranville is one of those few.

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The invitation only event on April 17, 2016 held at the Camarillo Ranch was both celebratory and forward-looking. Guests celebrated students from Future Farmers of America in Santa Paula (Alex Flores and Alondra Valle), while looking ahead at the 2016 schedule where thousands of children are transported at no cost to local farms for classes. The fund raising moniker “Bus Bucks” bought the donor one student bus trip for $250. There were other opportunities to donate at the event. Mary’s goal was $100,000. And what better way than an old fashion barn raising! Twenty four (24) table captains invited ten friends each to the lunch. A single donor becomes ten, a great multiplier!

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The anticipated 2016 Farm Day and barbecue will be held on November 5th, 2016. For sponsorship opportunities, a complete list of farms and purchase of barbecue tickets, visit SEEAG.org.

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How do you see agriculture?

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For more information about the author, visit sheryhamlin.com
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