FIELD Trips!

Putting the ‘FIELD’ back in Field Trips – Central Valley Farmland Trust and Raley’s take school kids from the farm to the food on their fork with Steamboat Acres

LODI, CA: Central Valley Farm Land Trust (CVFT) is excited to announce the continuation of our pilot program, Kids to Farm.  Although we are surrounded by farmland, most students have no understanding of how their food grows.  In partnership with Raley’s, and with assistance from California Ag in the Classroom and Steamboat Acres organic farm, CVFT is working to close this learning gap.

“Helping kids understand and appreciate where their food comes from is important for the future of our food supply.  Our goal is to educate children about agriculture, to help them gain an appreciation for the precious, limited land resources we have in the Central Valley,” said Charlotte Mitchell, CVFT Executive Director. “We plan to do many more tours and in more locations in 2018.”

Most recently, as a part of the pilot program, fifty 4th graders from Lodi Unified School District attended field trips on October 17 and 18 visiting a working farm. The field trips kick off at Steamboat Acres organic farm in Courtland, with an educational tour led by farmers Michael and Tara Neuharth.  On their tour, students discovered the differences between conventional and organic farming, how male and female flowers and pollination work, the importance of soil care and crop rotation, and how long it takes to grow pears versus pumpkins. The tour culminated at a local Raley’s grocery store where managers showed students how produce is delivered to the store, is organized, and then readied for purchase. The students finished off with a nutritious lunch provided by Raley’s – bringing the farm to fork concept full circle for them.

Part of the mission of the Central Valley Farmland Trust is to educate the next generation about where their food comes from so they more intimately understand the preciousness of the farmland that grows it – and the necessity to protect it.

“Raley’s is committed to growing the next generation of healthy eaters and in that vein, we need farmers who are focused on sustaining our farm land,” said Becca Whitman, Raley’s Community Relations Manager & Executive Director, Food for Families. “Our partnership with Central Valley Farmland Trust allows us to show youth how their food is grown and at the same time, emphasize the importance of preserving agricultural lands.  It’s a great combination of nutrition education, sustainability education and workforce development.”

Students and teachers alike appreciate the access to a high-quality learning environment, “This was a great trip for my class. Our kids could see and touch their food growing in the field and then come to the store where they can buy it and take it home – it was awesome!” said an attending 4th grade teacher.

Media interested in attending may contact CVFT for more information.  We invite you to come see for yourself the light in these kids eyes as they learn about their food, touch and taste on the farm, and make the full circle connection at the grocery store.

For more information, please contact:
Melanee Cottrill, mcottrill@valleyfarmland.org or (916) 667-2217

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The Central Valley Farmland Trust is a California Non-Profit 501(c)(3). Our mission is to is to work with landowners and conservation partners to preserve agricultural lands in the California Central Valley for future generations. To date we have protected nearly 14,000 acres of farmland on 36 family farms. Visit us: www.valleyfarmland.org

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