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The Patch Santa Maria

Established in 2017, The Patch Santa Maria is a student-led, community supported pumpkin patch that provides free agriculture education to high school students in Santa Maria and the surrounding areas. Through cross-sector collaboration with the City of Santa Maria Parks and Recreation Department, Betteravia Farms, and more than 20 agricultural industry partners, this entrepreneurial program offers students the opportunity to gain on-the-ground farming experience from seed to sale, including planting seeds in the nursery, managing the fields, and operating the business.

Santa Maria Valley Joint Union High School District (SMJUHSD) students are invited to apply to the program in January and selections are made in March. They commit to an entire season, contributing 100+ volunteer hours toward in-depth lessons that enhance and develop their experience in agriculture, leadership, and team building. The Patch Santa Maria holds monthly student work days where students work together to complete tasks that range from event planning to irrigation. Community outreach activities provide students with the opportunity to gain experience in networking and speaking to small groups. A student-led Board of Directors meets monthly to discuss operations, fundraising ideas, and patch promotions.

Learn more and visit The Patch during the month of October to support entrepreneurial agriculture education.

Growing pumpkins and food system leaders at The Patch

Activating Food Action Plan goals

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