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Agriculture Day

Class 37’s day began at the Agriculture History Project complex located within the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds. While enjoying a continental breakfast provided by the Pajaro Valley Chamber, the class had the opportunity to look at museum exhibits within the Codiga Center dealing with agricultural history within the county. The day began with a welcome by the day’s sponsor, Driscoll’s. This was followed by a welcome from David Kegebein, ED of the Agriculture History Project. Steve Bontadelli, President of the educational organization Agri-Culture Inc. informed the class about a sister program available to them called Focus Ag. The Deputy Agriculture Commissioner, Walter Mayeda and Farm Management Advisor, Mark Bolda then provided an overview of Santa Cruz County Agriculture. Having spent some time in the classroom, they welcomed the opportunity to tour the museum and grounds with John Kegebien: one of the driving forces behind the Agricultural Agricultural Center.

Then the class boarded a METRO bus for visits to several farming sites in the Pajaro Valley and lunch at the Gizdich Ranch. The first site visit was to an experimental farming area operated by Driscoll’s which had raised beds for growing strawberries. Staff there are experimenting with new techniques for conserving water, and limiting unwanted pests and fungi. Before heading to the next site, the class enjoyed lunch at the Gizdich Ranch thanks to Capitola Chamber of Commerce. While enjoying a great lunch and pie a la mode, Owner Nita Gizdich provided an intimate talk about her family history on the property.

The last two site visits included a tour of a property that is being preserved by the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County. The goal for this property is to allow agricultural production to continue while also permitting public access and some restoration. The last stop took the class to Live Earth Farms where the class toured the site with owner Tom Broz. They even had the opportunity to witness an AI equipped farm implement that will make some aspects of farming more manageable.

Special thanks to our sponsors:

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