A visit to a farm, ranch, or forest is a great way to inspire new teaching ideas for your classroom. We have chosen some spectacular tour destinations for our annual conference this October in Santa Cruz. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to experience working farms, ranches, and research facilities firsthand to gain an understanding of modern agricultural innovations and meet the people who produce our food and fiber.
Below is a glimpse of some of the tours that you could experience at the California Agriculture in the Classroom Conference.
Swanton Pacific Ranch
Swanton Pacific Ranch is an educational and research facility owned by the Cal Poly Corporation, San Luis Obispo and managed by the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. The ranch was donated to the College in 1993 by the late Al Smith. The 3,200 acre property is composed of a redwood forest, riverine ecosystems, and expansive coastal grassland overlooking the bay and the Pacific Ocean. Students and faculty are able to actively pursue research opportunities, utilizing the forest, range, and watershed resources within the ranch.
The ranch produces certified natural beef, has “U-pick” certified organic apples, and hosts professional meetings and workshops offered by the Department of Natural Resource Management.
On this tour, we will learn about the University and Ranch from a Cal Poly Instructor and a student who will talk about the research projects and student opportunities on the ranch.
Kitayama Brothers has been growing and shipping cut flowers from Northern California since 1948. In 1950, they were the largest carnation growers in the early years in California. Since then they have become the largest rose grower in the United States. Along with roses, they grow 20 different varieties of flowers and cut greens in their one million square feet of greenhouses including; oriental and Asiatic lilies, lisianthus, gerbera daisies, snapdragons, mini callas, iris, gardenias, and stephanotis.
Kitayama Brothers is a large broker of quality flowers from around the world and especially the west coast. They ship nationwide and to Canada—mainly to wholesale florists, bouquet makers, mass markets and large event florists.
Providing quality flowers and adapting to meet the demands of the market has kept Kitamaya Brothers successful over the years. On this tour we will learn about their production and strategy for growing quality flowers.
Lakeside Organic Gardens
Lakeside Organic Gardens is the largest family-owned and operated solely organic vegetable grower/shipper in the USA producing more than 45 commodities organically grown in California. The Peixoto family began farming in the Pajaro Valley of California in the late 1800s and perfected conventional growing throughout the 1900s. Lakeside Organic Gardens was launched by Dick Peixoto and his extended family in 1996.
Lakeside Organic Gardens farms on approximately 1,200 certified organic acres in the Pajaro Valley and approximately 600 certified organic acres in the Imperial Valley in California.
On the tour you will learn how Lakeside Organic Gardens grows their crops, works with the community, and takes pride in being stewards of the land to ensure the land is productive for generations to come.
Don’t miss your chance to register to for the California Agriculture in the Classroom Conference and attend exciting tours that you can share with your students. Early bird registration is $265 until September 15. For more conference details, visit www.LearnAboutAg.org/conference.