Focus Agriculture

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Focus Agriculture Class XXV, 2014

Focus Agriculture is Agri-Culture's "first-in-the-nation" educational program. It is an opportunity for community leaders to participate in a nine-session intensive program acquiring knowledge about a broad spectrum of agriculture. The once-a-month day-long seminars, including farm tours and hands-on experience, cover such topics as:

  • Production and labor
  • Ethnic groups in agriculture
  • Government relations and politics
  • Regional diversity of commodities produced
  • Environment and technology
  • Marketing and foreign competition
  • Farm tours and hands-on experience


Agri-Culture will grant each class member $1,500 toward the tuition expense. The class member will pay the remaining $500. One hundred dollars will be refunded if the participant has achieved 100% attendance for all sessions.

Twenty-one graduates for Class XXV.

Steve Bennett - Development Director, Second Harvest Food Bank
Alan Burt - Sheriff Sergeant, Santa Cruz County Sheriff
Juan Castagnino - Production Planning Analyst II, Driscoll’s Strawberry Associates
Trina Coffman-Gomez - Watsonville Council Member
Bud Colligan - Founder and CEO, South Swell Ventures, LLC
David Doolin - Partner, Petrinovich Pugh & Company, LLP
Keisha Frost - Director of Community Giving & Marketing, United Way of Santa Cruz County
Beverly Grova - VP of Philanthropy, Dominican Hospital
Robert Kitayama - President/CEO, Kitayama Brothers, Inc.
Rick Longinotti - Marriage & Family Therapist
Philip Martinelli - Orchard Analyst, S. Martinelli & Co.
James Mekis - Retired
Stacy Philpott - Associate Professor and Heller Chair in Agroecology, UCSC Dept. of Environmental Studies
Stephen Rider - Assistant Production Manager, H.A. Rider and Sons
Elisabeth Russell - Special Projects Manager, Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments
Leigh Hays Selby - Nutrition Writer, Researcher. Speaker and Consultant
Jackie Strong - Program Assistant, Regional Water Management Foundation
Scott Walecka - Private Investor
Julie Walker - Accounting Assistant/Purchasing, Germains Seed Technology
Alec Webster - Machinist and Board Member for the Helen & Will Webster Foundation
Sarah Wood - Editor and Publisher, Edible Monterey Bay

2015 Schedule - Session Dates

Friday, March 13, 2015

Friday, April 10, 2015

Friday, May 8, 2015

Friday, June 5, 2015

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Friday, August 7, 2015*
(Day on the Farm)
*Or a date mutually available for both parties

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Friday, October 2, 2015

Friday, October 30, 2015

Participants are required to attend all sessions.

Click here to download application for Class XXVI- Due January 16, 2015

Click here to fill out the application online for Class XXVI