Since February, 17 aspiring farmers have gathered weekly, racking up over 220 hours of classroom and field based instruction. From basic crop planning and production, to soil science, pest management, irrigation methods, greenhouse work, and tractor driving, these students have worked hard over the last seven months to get to this day-Graduation!
Armed with a robust business plan, the creation of which is a major component of the California Farm Academy curriculum, these graduates are ready to face their future and get started farming. Since its start in 2012, 94 people have graduated from the program. Over 70% of those graduates are either farming or working in the field of agriculture.
Tom Willey, retired co-founder of T & D Willey Farms, a successful 75-acre organic farm in Madera will be the keynote speaker. Craig McNamara, our founder and president of the California Department of Food and Agriculture board, Mary Kimball, Land-Based Learning Executive Director and Farm Academy Director, Sri Sethuratnum will also address the graduates.