Ventura County Ag Community Opening Farms To Public For "Farm Day" Event

Nov 3, 2017

A group of third grade students is digging through some mulch on Petty Ranch near Saticoy, as they learn how the topping helps keep precious moisture in the soil.

The students from Ventura’s Citrus Glenn Elementary School are visiting the ranch as part of a nearly decade old program to teach kids about Ventura County’s deep agricultural roots.  This weekend, the public will also get the chance to see some of the region's farms and ranches in person.

Mary Maranville is the founder, and CEO of the non-profit SEEAG program, which reaches about four thousand elementary school students a year in the county. She says the idea is to educate kids about the county’s agricultural heritage by giving them the chance to experience some of it.

Students taking part in the SEEAG “Farm Lab” program are going through a series of work stations, where they learn about nature, and science related to farming. Citrus Glen Elementary School teacher Alice Weiner says this is a great experience for the kids, who often know little about where the food they eat comes from, other than the supermarket or maybe a farmers market. They get to see how their food is grown, and what’s involved in doing it.

The SEEAG “Farm Lab” program is hosted by Petty Ranch, which is co-owned by Chris Sayer. This 50 acre ranch just east of Highway 118, outside of Saticoy mainly grows avocados and lemons. He says it’s important the people known about agriculture’s often overlooked role in the county. Its crops generate $2.2 billion dollars annually, employ some 43,000 people, with ag covering more than 316,000 acres in the county.

Sayer says on Saturday, the county’s agricultural community is hosting its fifth annual “Farm Day.” It’s a way for not just kids in the SEEAG program, but for families to tour more than 20 farms and ranches around the county for free. The participating farms will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.. The day will be capped off with a barbeque at the historic Faulkner Farm, near Santa Paula, which is home to The UC Hansen Agricultural Research and Extension Center.

You can find all the information, including maps at venturacountyfarmday.org. You’ll need a map. Believe it or not, there are 2,150 farms and ranches in Ventura County.

Ventura County Farm Day: http://venturacountyfarmday.org