Thanks to our many generous partners, on five different, beautiful and amazing days in October, our students were able to explore the realities of agriculture in Sonoma County, and learn what’s needed to sustain it for future generations.

The Sonoma County Farm Bureau planned days (and sponsored lunches) for the Santa Rosa and West classes, which included visits to Moreda Dairy and Valley Ford Cheese CompanySinging Frogs Farm, Dutton Ranch, and Gourmet Mushrooms. Pegi Ball, Market Manager of the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market also spoke with students about the function and value of farmers’ markets, and the impact of buying local products.

The South Class visited White Whale Farm, a family-run goat dairy producing Pugs Leap Cheese, and Green String Farm to learn about sustainable farming methods and the “natural process agriculture” they use to grow fruits and vegetables. After a lunch donated by Chipotle Mexican Grill, students toured McClelland’s Dairy and peeked at their pumpkin patch, open in October.

The North Class started their day at Bucher Farm, where second-generation dairyman John Bucher helped students understand the challenges being a good steward of the land, his animals, his employees, and his bottom line. His cows provide milk to Clover Stornetta, which donated some yogurt and chocolate milk for students to sample. Next stop was Truett Hurst Winery, where proprietor Sylvia Hurst had organized presentations by beekeeper April Lance, and by her husband Phil Hurst on biodynamic grape production and winemaking. Sylvia, together with gardener Mario Cellis-Arroyo, helped students learn about soil while they planted starts for the winter garden. A team from the Sonoma County Water Agency immersed students in their innovative fish habitat improvement projects on Dry Creek. The class ended the day at the SRJC Shone Farm, where Winemaker Chris Wills gave students a tour, an overview of the JC’s extensive ag programs, an introduction to sustainable agriculture and demonstration of olive curing.

Special thanks to Sonoma County Airport Express, and the Sonoma County Farm Bureau for sponsoring our luxurious bus transportation for Agriculture Days!