Growing Ag Education

Written By: Tessa Matuszak, Sonoma County Farm Bureau
Published: July 1, 2018

Educating our potential young farmers and agri-business leaders is critical to ensure the sustainability of agriculture in Sonoma County. The Elsie Allen Agriculture Department is interested in starting a Viticulture Program at their school site and designing projects for their current agriculture students to help plant a vineyard on campus. To assist in their efforts, the Sonoma County Farm Bureau worked with the Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE) to host an “Ag Education Externship Day” for the teachers.


SCOE along with the CTE Foundation offers Teacher Externships which are designed for teachers to learn current business practices and processes that they can bring back to their classrooms in effort to build curriculum-based projects that teach students skills needed for high demand jobs in the region.


To get their project started, the Elsie Allen Agriculture teachers dedicated a week of their time to exploring Sonoma County agriculture. First, they experienced vineyard and production facilities at E&J Gallo from Monday to Wednesday. Thursday, the group was hosted by Sonoma County Farm Bureau, and spent the day touring member’s operations to see the diversity in the local agriculture industry. The day included visiting McClelland’s Dairy, Neve Brothers Wholesale, Joe Pozzi Ranch, and The Beretta Dairy. Friday, the group visited Balletto Winery and Vineyard with Sonoma County Wine Growers. An agriculture teacher and culinary teacher from El Molino joined to further develop the program at their school site. It was a tremendously valuable week for the teachers, full of information and learning!


Programs like this are essential to the advancement and continuation of our agricultural success. The Sonoma County Farm Bureau is pleased to support the development Elsie Allen’s new viticulture department

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