SAEA Conference Field Trips – Saturday, July 30, 2016 from 12 to 5 pm

ALBA (Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association) – Salinas, CA
Participants travel to the Salad Bowl of the United States, Salinas Valley, CA to visit the organic oasis of the ALBA program and food hub. ALBA is a non-profit farm education and business incubator program creating opportunities for farm workers to become organic farmers. To carry out its mission, ALBA provides three programs to participants, offering education, a low risk environment to begin an organic farm business, and a marketing operation that supports beginning farmer entrepreneurs: The Farmer Education Course (FEC) – in Spanish ‘PEPA’ or Programa Educativo para Pequenos Agricultores – a 9-month, 300-hour program with classroom instruction and field-based training to teach aspiring farmers how to establish and operate small organic farm businesses; the Organic Farm Incubator (OFI), which welcomes 12-15 PEPA graduates as they start their second year of the program, and where they gain affordable access to land, equipment, and technical assistance over four years; and ALBA Organics, a social enterprise food hub within the larger non-profit, which markets farmers’ organic strawberries and vegetables in the open market. Through quality control and aggregation, ALBA Organics services clients otherwise out of reach for our small farmers. These include large retailers such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, and institutions such as Stanford University, Google, and UC Santa Cruz. More info here:  
Swanton Pacific Ranch – Davenport, CA
Swanton Pacific Ranch is located at the northern reaches of California’s Central Coast and the Monterey Bay. The 3,200-acre Ranch is a landscape composed of redwood forest, riverine ecosystems, sustainable farming operations and coastal grassland overlooking the bay and the Pacific Ocean. The Ranch is owned by Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo and managed by its College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences as a Learn by Doing instructional unit for the benefit of both students and the general public. It is recognized for its biodiversity and abundant resources and hosts a variety of operations: the production of certified natural and grass-fed beef, certified organic herbs and row crops, “U-pick” organic apples, certified sustainable forests, salmon and wildlife research, as well as numerous professional meetings and workshops throughout the year. The field trip will provide participants with a tour of the forestry, livestock and cropping operations, Q&A with Ranch managers, and ride on the historic Swanton Pacific Railroad miniature (1/3 scale) steam train. More info here:  
Pie Ranch – Pescadero, CA
Pie Ranch is a unique organic farm and nonprofit education center that cultivates a healthy and just food system from seed to table through food education, farmer training, and regional partnerships. We build community with 6000 youth and adults each year by engaging them in food and farming programs on the ranch using pie as a teaching tool and metaphor to affect social change. Pie Ranch’s Emerging Farmers Program supports 10-12 people each year in learning organic farming, animal husbandry, and working alongside our youth; apprentices have the opportunity to learn about a range of topics including greenhouse propagation, soil fertility management, orchard care, tractor skills, and food justice with monthly discussions around dismantling racism and other forms of oppression in the food system. Over the past 12 years, we have developed an integrated crop and animal rotation which takes place on two organic, food justice certified and animal welfare approved production farms, including our original ten-acre ranch and a 75-acre production farm. Our produce and animal products are sold at Pie Ranch’s Roadside Farmstand open 7 days a week and visited by 50,000 people each year, through a small 60 member CSA, and through a new model we’re calling CSA 2.0 that engages large organizations and universities with the goal of establishing such programs with our partner school districts. More info here:  
O’Donohue Family Stanford Educational Farm, Palo Alto, CA
We are a six-acre urban teaching farm established at Stanford University in 2015. The farm is home to a diverse array of vegetables and flowers, a pilot project for a U-pick CSA, an environmental education program for local fifth graders and a living laboratory for sustainable agriculture. Join us for a tour and discussion on the process of establishing a new farm, building programs, and ideas for new directions on college farms. More info here: