Each year, elementary school students travel by bus to take part in Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture’s (SEEAG) Farm Lab at Petty Ranch in Saticoy and Allan Hancock College’s Demonstration Orchard in Santa Maria to learn about the farm origins of their food. The program is offered free to schools including most of the school bus transportation costs. SEEAG is launching its “Bus Bucks” fundraiser to fully offset school bus expenses so that its field trips are 100% cost-free.
Now through June 30, funds raised will enable thousands of Ventura, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara county students to travel from their schools to one of SEEAG’s Farm Lab locations at no cost.
The goal is to raise $20,000. “Transportation is one of the main reasons schools don’t go on field trips,” says Mary Maranville, founder and CEO of SEEAG. “We give each school $250 per bus, which pays for most if not all of the school’s bus costs. If we raise enough funds we can make each bus ride 100% free. We couldn’t do this without the generous support from the community.”
In 2022, SEEAG educated 2,558 students about local agricultural sciences during 56 field trips to its two Farm Lab locations. Many students who attend are low-income, Title 1 students.