Cultivating the next generation of agricultural ambassadors and farmland stewards
An established partnership between the Port of Hueneme and the City of Port Hueneme provides a meaningful impactful for local non-profits in community such as the Students for Eco-Education & Agriculture (SEEAG) Program. SEEAG educates students and the greater community about the origins of food and farming as well as the important contribution agriculture has on the nation’s well-being. The Port-City Community Benefit Fund (CBF) and SEEAG’s commitment to educate students about the farm-origins of food, provide structured STEM lesson plans, and teach youth about the food supply chain make this an ideal fit for CBF funding.
The Port of Hueneme and the City of Port Hueneme presented a donation check in the amount of $5,000 to SEEAG during the organization’s 10th annual Ventura County Farm Day. This annual event brought together more than 15 Ventura County farms, ranches, and agricultural organizations who opened their doors and invited the public to experience a day of agricultural activities and tours.
“With our rich legacy of trade in Ventura County, the Port remains dedicated to embracing community enrichment,” said Oxnard Harbor District Commissioner, Celina Zacarias. “The Community Benefit Fund provides the Port and the city with a special opportunity to be collaborative and to engage in partnerships that provide a positive impact in the community such as supporting the mission of SEEAG which takes students on educational fieldtrips including trips to the Farm Lab at Petty Ranch.”
The CBF was established in 2015 by the City and Port to achieve the mutual goal of enriching the community through a spirit of collaboration. If the Port’s annual revenue exceeds $13 million, a total of $100,000 is allocated to the CBF and the Port and City come together to vote on how best to invest this funding in the community.
“SEEAG has been fulfilling its mission of educating students about the farm origins of food since 2013,” said Mary Maranville, SEEAG Founder and CEO. “It is truly an honor and feels wonderful to have supporters such as the Port of Hueneme recognize the importance of cultivating the next generation of agricultural ambassadors and stewards of farmland. We are truly grateful for their $5,000 contribution to this very worthwhile cause.”
“You can see just the joy in the student’s eyes when they learn and see things grow,” said Port Hueneme Mayor, Richard Rollins. “The elementary school kids learn the whole process of growing produce and there is a harvest festival in the end, so the kids saw the fruits of their labor.”
Adam Vega, the Port’s Community Outreach Specialist, who attended Ventura County Farm Day stated: The Port of Hueneme is proud to partner with organizations and individuals that use food and agriculture to create economic opportunities and healthy neighborhoods while building community assets, pride, and power with historically marginalized communities.”