The Importance of Ag in Education: Raley's Greg Corrigan and Tanimura & Antle's Caitlin Antle Wilson and California Foundation for Ag in the Classroom's Judy Culberts Discuss
SACRAMENTO, CA - Today Sacramento, California, a hub of farm-to-table advocates and agriculture proponents are celebrating the industry with California Agriculture Day, kicking off on the west steps of the California Capitol building at 10:30 a.m.
The event also coincides with the 30th anniversary of California Ag in the Classroom, which strives to make knowledge of the industry as critical for the next generation as math, science, and English classes.
“Not all children have the valuable foundation of growing up on a family farm, but through our collective efforts, all children with will experience California agriculture,” Judy Culbertson, Executive Director for California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom (CFAITC), tells me, explaining that California Ag Day is a great platform to spread education about the industry and how it works.
While the cause is one the entire industry can push, like all things, the materials to promote what agriculture is and open children up to keeping it alive do not come without support.
“Educating the next generation of the produce-passionate has always been a cause close to my heart and the team at Raley’s. Where your food comes from, and how it arrives at your table are important concepts to promote when creating hands-on learning activities in agricultural education, conservation, nutrition, and healthy life styles,” Greg Corrigan, Senior Director of Produce, tells me as we discuss the significance of supporting agriculture in the classroom. “We have always loved sharing the stories of our valued supplier-partners and supporting efforts to equip students with what they need to continue that education in their own lives and in the community. Raley’s is 100% supportive of wonderful events like these.”
Noted partners and supporters include California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom (CFAITC), California Women for Agriculture (CWA), California Department for Food and Agriculture (CDFA), and longtime respected grower Tanimura & Antle (T&A).
“Agriculture is a huge part of California and the future success of the industry relies heavily upon the introduction of agriculture as part of education in every classroom,” Caitlin Antle Wilson, Sales and Marketing Director for T&A, says when I ask about supporting CFAITC. “At Tanimura & Antle, we are happy to continue to strongly support the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom and their efforts to make ag education a reality for every student.”
And there will be plenty for hungry minds to see at today’s event, Judy tells me. Some of the lineup that AITC has planned for today’s event include:
- A debut of the latest edition of its newspaper publication “What’s Growing On?” featuring California’s Top 10 Commodities.
- The introduction of CFAITC’s 2016 Imagine this…, a story writing contest where winning student authors’ written stories are featured in a published book.
- The reception of special recognition from Secretary Ross for 30 years of service to California farmers and ranchers.
With 7 million students in California, many which who don’t know where their food and fiber come from, CFAITC materials are in more than 40 percent of the state’s schools to educate them on the huge part in their lives the agriculture industry plays. And with a need to reach even more, CFAITC asks that more of the industry help it to help them ensure its future.
“By donating you can help us have reach many more students and teachers,” Judy explains. “There are 7 million students in California. Is it a lofty goal to reach them all?”
With your help, CFAITC promises to try, challenging members to do their part in the food chain and by supporting ag education.
Today, on the west steps of the California Capitol, thousands of people will experience agriculture. But millions are still left.
To take on that challenge and donate, click here.