April 7, 2024
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Ventura nonprofit gets grant to expand ag education program


Lisa Emmert, education coordinator for Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture, teaches children on Oct. 6.

Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture, a Ventura-based nonprofit, received a Specialty Crop Block Grant of $193,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to expand its agriculture education program.

The funds will help SEEAG deliver its food science and nutrition program to 10,000 additional students over the next two and a half years, the organization said in a news release Dec. 19.

SEEAG conducts field trips for around 4,000 elementary school students yearly from Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties to its Farm Lab at Petty Ranch in Saticoy. The nonprofit provides free transportation as well as classroom presentations about nutrition and the origins of food, with around $300,000 in donations and grants each year.

“The grant will allow SEEAG to further develop its nutrition education efforts,” Executive Director Mary Maranville said in a statement, adding that it will also expand to include additional schools.

California specialty crop organizations took home more than a third of the 2016 funding allotted by the USDA program, receiving more than $22.3 million for 73 projects.

More than $62 million went to 693 projects throughout the U.S. and its territories, for an average of $90,000 per award. In California, the average award amount was around $306,000.

• Contact Marissa Nall at mnall@pacbiztimes.com.