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Hancock Agribusiness Students to Benefit from Partnership; Rancho Vino Fundraiser Set for Sept.10

Richard Mahon joined Allan Hancock College as an academic dean just a few months ago. Mahon, who oversees the college’s agribusiness program, has heard about the generosity of the Santa Maria Valley. He will soon experience firsthand the spirit of the Central Coast when CoastHills Credit Union and its foundation partner with Presqu’ile Winery in Santa Maria later this month to raise funds for the college. 
 
CoastHills will host an evening of music, mouth-watering food and Presqu’ile wines during its 10th annual Rancho Vino. The fundraiser will take place Saturday, September 10, on the grounds of Presqu’ile Winery. For the second straight year, proceeds from the event will go to Hancock’s agribusiness program.
 
“The college is thrilled to be the beneficiary of a beautiful partnership between CoastHills and Presqu’ile Winery,” said Mahon. “Our efforts to ensure student success are bolstered because of this kind of community support.”
 
The evening will also include the presentation of Generous Harvest – bottles of Presqu’ile’s pinot noir and chardonnay specially labeled for the event.
 
Last year’s event resulted in a $55,000 donation to Hancock’s agribusiness program. With the funds, the program purchased a premium filter for its on-campus winery, made needed repairs to its tractor and forklift, funded a pair of $1,250 scholarships and hired new student workers for its community garden and vineyard. The gift was the largest in the history of the college’s Viticulture and Enology Foundation.
 
“Hundreds of students have already benefited directly from Rancho Vino. It’s humbling and unbelievable to know hundreds more will,” said Mahon. “The college will be able to continue to expand its curriculum and resources available to students for years to come because of the generosity of these businesses and individuals.”
 
The agribusiness program at Hancock continues to grow in popularity with students. The college has seen a 24 percent increase in students registered in agribusiness classes in the last two years. Hancock is also one of three community colleges in the state to operate a bonded winery.

Earlier this year, three student-produced Hancock wines won bronze medals at the 40th annual Orange County Wine Society Commercial Wine Competition.
 
Held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Presqu’ile grounds, Rancho Vino will feature fresh cuisine provided by Chef Rick’s Ultimately Fine Foods and live music by local favorite Jineanne Coderre. Tickets are $150 and include one bottle “to go” of either of the Generous Harvest varieties.

Additional bottles can be purchased online with tickets or separately. There will also be a special drawing for a weekend getaway in Shell Beach for those who purchase one or more half cases of Generous Harvest.
 
Over the years, CoastHills has raised more than $625,000 through its Rancho Vino events. This year’s event has 30 sponsors including SWBC, NKT Commercial, Specialty Construction, Colliers and the California Community College Chancellor’s Office. For the full list, visit www.coasthills.coop/ranchovino.

 
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