Students from Battles Elementary School tour Allan Hancock College Vineyard and Community Garden in Santa Maria.

Students from Battles Elementary School tour Allan Hancock College Vineyard and Community Garden in Santa Maria. (Courtesy photo)

Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture (SEEAG) is looking for farms in Santa Barbara County to host its Farm Lab field trip agricultural education program. 
 
Farm Lab is an opportunity for area schoolchildren to visit a farm so they can learn firsthand about the importance of local farming, and build awareness of and appreciation for agriculture — from farm to consumer. It emphasizes and encourages healthy eating habits as part of the curriculum.

SEEAG instructors lead the program.⁠ The program is free and all supplies and transportation to Farm Lab are provided at no cost to schools wishing to participate.
 
“When students take part in Farm Lab, they get excited about eating healthy. It’s suddenly fun to eat good food when you know how it’s grown,” said Mary Maranville, founder/CEO of SEEAG.

SEEAG held its first Farm Lab field trip in Santa Barbara County recently at Allan Hancock College Vineyard and Community Garden in Santa Maria. Fifty-two third graders from Battles Elementary School participated.

Students picked and tasted produce from the garden and went home with fresh produce and vegetable seedlings.
 
SEEAG wants to add Farm Lab locations in the Santa Barbara/Goleta area, and central Santa Barbara County (Santa Ynez Valley/Solvang).
 
SEEAG is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and has operated a Farm Lab in Ventura County since 2008. More than 60,000 students have participated in the program.

In addition to Farm Lab, SEEAG hosts Santa Barbara County Farm Day. Farms open their doors to the public for tours and samples. This year’s Farm Day drew some 5,000 visitors.
 
For more about Farm Lab, contact Maranville, 805-901-0213, mary@seeag.org or go to www.SEEAG.org.