VENTURA, Calif. — Each year, elementary school students travel by bus to take part in Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture’s (SEEAG) Farm Lab at Petty Ranch in Saticoy and Allan Hancock College’s Demonstration Orchard in Santa Maria to learn about the farm origins of their food. The program is offered free to schools including most of the school bus transportation costs. SEEAG is launching its “Bus Bucks” fundraiser to fully offset school bus expenses so that its field trips are 100% cost-free.
Now through June 30, funds raised will enable thousands of Ventura, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara county students to travel from their schools to one of SEEAG’s Farm Lab locations at no cost.
The goal is to raise $20,000. “Transportation is one of the main reasons schools don’t go on field trips,” says Mary Maranville, founder and CEO of SEEAG. “We give each school $250 per bus, which pays for most if not all of the school’s bus costs. If we raise enough funds we can make each bus ride 100% free. We couldn’t do this without the generous support from the community.”
In 2022, SEEAG educated 2,558 students about local agricultural sciences during 56 field trips to its two Farm Lab locations. Many students who attend are low-income, Title 1 students.
Founded in 2008, Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture (SEEAG) is a nonprofit organization that aims to help young students understand the origins of their food by bridging the gap between agriculture and consumption through its agricultural education programming. SEEAG’s “The Farm Lab” program teaches schoolchildren about the origins of their food and the importance of local farmland by providing schools with classroom agricultural education and free field trips to farms. Through this and other SEEAG programs, over 100,000 elementary school students in Central and Southern California have increased their understanding of the food journey. For more information, visit www.seeag.org or email Mary Maranville at firstname.lastname@example.org.
–Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture