Nestled at the mid-point of California’s Central Coast, Santa Maria Valley enjoys a temperate climate that supports one of the state’s longest growing seasons. As a leading producer of strawberries, wine grapes, broccoli, head lettuce, avocados, cauliflower, and celery, it’s no surprise that agriculture is central to the Valley’s local economy, valued at more than $1.4 billion annually.
Roughly 30 percent of regional jobs are in agriculture, yet until recently, there were limited local pathways to careers in this sector. Fortunately, food producers, teachers, students, and other food system actorsFood System Actor: Active participants in the food system who eat, grow, gather, buy, sell, ship, process, raise, fish, and engage with food as it moves from farm to table. are laying the groundwork for the future of our food system by working together to activate end-to-end training for the next generation of farmers and entrepreneurs, building a more resilient Santa Barbara County – and beyond.