Twenty-one community leaders have been selected for Class XXIII of the . This “first-in-the-nation” program is designed for community leaders to learn about agriculture in Santa Cruz County and the Pajaro Valley.
Class XXIII members include: ; Ginny Solari Mazry, Executive Director, Richard & Mary Solari Charitable Trust; Michael Turpin, President and Publisher, Santa Cruz Sentinel; Michael MacDonald, Sergeant, County of Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office;; and more.
The program consists of once-a-month, daylong seminars, held over a period of nine months. The first session will be held on Friday, March 23. Speakers ranging from farmers to elected officials to representatives from environmental groups will address the class. The sessions will cover such topics as ethnic groups in agriculture, new technology and diversity of commodities locally grown. In addition, there are many farm tours and hands on experiences. The participants will spend one day working on a farm.
In announcing the selected participants of Class XXIII, President Bill Ringe, stated, “Community leaders will find this program beneficial and, in turn, growers who present information to the class will learn the public’s current perspective of local agriculture. The program is designed to be a two way learning process.”
The Focus Agriculture program received a national award for its innovated approach to bringing the public and growers together. The award was presented in Atlanta, GA in January 2011.