Empowering Young and Immigrant Farmers in the Salinas Valley
This trip is now closed.
Beginning farmer development is a key component of food justice and economic development: people need skills, knowledge, and resources to be able to sustain themselves as small farmers. The Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA) is a renowned organic farm incubator where farm workers and aspiring farmers are trained in organic crop production, marketing and business development to then run their own farms as small-scale entrepreneurs. On this tour, ALBA’s beginning farmers will share their experiences, successes and challenges and lead us on a tour of their fields. You will also visit ALBA Organics, a food hub that works with beginning farmers to procure and distribute their organic produce to wholesale customers that include university dining halls, public school districts, hospitals, and many others.
ALBA builds on the agricultural heritage that many farm workers and immigrant families bring to this country. On this tour, ALBA’s young farmers will share their farm operations with visitors and talk about their experiences, successes and challenges as beginning and immigrant farmers striving for success. Octavio Garcia, for example, is an insightful young farmer at ALBA who is supporting his entire family on a 3-acre operation while attending school and running a business. He recently lost his younger brother to gang violence in Salinas and his farm at ALBA has served as a safe haven for him and his family. For more on Octavio click here.
On this tour, you will also meet with representatives of the CHAMACOS project, who will share their findings on the effects of pesticides on the environment, communities and children’s health; and how they are working with Salinas youth to help address the problem. ALBA is situated on 110 acres of certified-organic land within the beautiful and dramatic “Salad Bowl of the World” building on a nearly 40-year pursuit to support small farmers who are overcoming daunting obstacles to establish successful businesses. We will end the day with a visit to the National Steinbeck Center located in historic Oldtown Salinas. The center is home to both the Steinbeck Exhibition Hall, which delves into the social and agrarian context of Steinbeck’s literature, and the Rabobank Agricultural Museum, which explores 200 years of agricultural history, immigration and farmworker struggle in the Salinas Valley.
- Hear first-hand about the experiences of immigrant/Latino/beginning farmers.
- Explore the “farm incubator” and learn about organic agriculture in the Salinas Valley
- Visit ALBA Organics, a wholesale distributor serving beginning farmers and local consumers.
- Hear from CHAMACOS about the dangers of pesticides on farmworkers and communities and their work to reduce exposure
- Harvest and enjoy delicious organic strawberries!
- Visit the Steinbeck Museum and Rabobank Agricultural Museum in Salinas to learn about important cultural movements of the valley, including the impact of Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers UFW
- The Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA) provides educational and business opportunities for farm workers and aspiring farmers to grow and sell crops grown on two organic farms in Monterey County, California.
- CHAMACOS is a community-university partnership that investigates children’s environmental health in the Salinas Valley.
- The National Steinbeck Center allows you to enter Steinbeck’s world through rare artifacts and interactive exhibits of East of Eden, Cannery Row, Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath and more. The adjoined Rabobank Agriculture Museum explores the stories of the Salinas Valley “from field to fork” through exhibits that celebrate the history, people and struggles of the “Salad Bowl of the World”.
This trip is now closed. Please check back for future Food Justice Tours to Salinas.
Bay Area Food Justice Tours (Nov. 4 – 5, 2011) are brought to you by CFSC in partnership with Food Sovereignty Tours, a project of Food First/the Institute for Food and Development Policy.
For more information, contact Tanya at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (510) 654-4400, ext. 223