Frequently Asked Questions About Focus Agriculture
1. What are the benefits of participating in Agri-Culture’s Focus Ag class?
Focus Agriculture is a first-in-the-nation, national award winning program. It allows community leaders to have a two-way conversation with people involved in agriculture. The program is structured so that participants gain in-depth knowledge of the many commodities, issues and people involved in local agriculture here in Santa Cruz County and the Pajaro Valley.
2. Who is in the class?
The program is designed so that community leaders from the different fields within the county participate. These include elected officials, appointed representatives, non-profits, news media, local business, environmental groups, educators, etc.
3. Who does the training?
Each segment of the sessions are presented by knowledgeable individuals on the day’s particular subject. In most cases, it is local individuals who are directly involved in the specific subject. As an example, a grower may speak on the affect of land use planning and a governmental agency may explain urban growth demands. An environmental advocate may talk about water quality. The program is proud to always present both sides of issues. Agricultural issues change and the program changes as well. We rely on the participant evaluations of each session to make the program better.
4. Where do these leadership classes meet?
Classes are held throughout Santa Cruz County and the Pajaro Valley to give participants a first had experience of the different geographic and microclimates that exist in this unique area.
5. How long are the leadership programs, and when do they start?
The program consists of nine one-day-per-month sessions. It begins in March and ends in November.
6. Must I attend every class day, and are there extra-curricular requirements?
The program is very strict on attendance. None of the presenters are paid for their time. We receive more applications than we select so it’s important that the participants attend. There are no extra curricular requirements as part of the program. It is hoped that after a person has graduated from Focus Agriculture, he/she will become more aware and involved in agricultural issues.
7. What is the application deadline?
The deadline for applications for the program varies each year but it is normally the middle of January. You can download an application form or apply online.
8. What is the cost of Focus Ag class?
Focus Agriculture costs approximately $1,500 per participant. The participant is only responsible for $500 of the tuition of which $100 will be returned upon perfect attendance.
9. What are our expectations of our participants?
In addition to fully participating in the classes, we expect participants to share what they have learned with friends, colleagues and others in the community. As a result, the program’s impacts are greatly multiplied.
Focus Agriculture 2017 Schedule
- Friday, March 10, 2017
- Friday, April 7, 2017
- Friday, May 5, 2017
- Friday, June 2, 2017
- Wednesday, June 28, 2017
- Friday, July 28, 2017*
(Day on the Farm)
*Or a date in August mutually agreed by both parties
- Wednesday, August 30, 2017
- Friday, September 39, 2017
- Friday, October 20, 2017
Participants are required to attend all sessions.