CASTROVILLE, Calif. – Aug. 11, 2010 – Ocean Mist Farms is supporting the expanded agriculture program at Hartnell College in Salinas with a gift of $100,000.
The company will have a classroom named for it in the Center for Advanced Technology building now under construction and scheduled to open January 2011.
The new 40,000-square-foot building will include science labs, industry training rooms, smart classrooms and diesel, ag mechanics and welding shops. An additional 15-20 acres on the Alisal campus will be available for hands-on learning laboratories for students in the ag business, food safety and ag mechanics programs.
The need for the ag program is apparent in the current enrollment numbers; from 186 in fall 2006, it has increased to more than 500 enrollments in the fall of 2010.
Neil Ledford, dean of advanced technology, at Hartnell College Ag Business and Technology Institute, said the ag industry in Monterey County acknowledges the need and the progress of the Ag Institute by actively participating on the fundraising and curriculum committees and by sending employees to classes and training sessions.
More than 550 attendees have participated in one of the short courses in food safety, wine cellar technician training, precision technology and the school’s two day Food Safety Summit had more than 70 participants per day.
Ocean Mist Farms has several connections to the college; Afreen Malik, manager of food safety/environmental stewardship at Ocean Mist Farms, is an instructor and advisory member in the food safety program, Joe Pezzini, COO, is a member in the ag business, marketing and production advisory committee, and company CEO Ed Boutonnet attended the ag program in the past.
“Hartnell College is doing an outstanding job caring for our community and helping invest in our future workforce,” Boutonnet said.
For more information about Ocean Mist, visit http://www.oceanmist.com
.; for more information about the ag program, visit www.hartnell.edu/agriculture