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Carl Collen

BY CARL COLLEN

Mission aims for avo interaction

Group teams up with businesses to promote hands-on learning at Ventura College

Mission aims for avo interaction

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Mission Produce is building on its commitment to community outreach and agriculture education by teaming up with Halter-Encinas Enterprises, Coast Water Solutions, Brokaw Nursery and Quality Ag to plant an avocado orchard at Ventura College.

In doing so, Mission hopes to inspire an interactive learning environment, advance academic research and attract students to careers in agriculture.

“Ventura County is a close-knit and productive agriculture community,” said Mission Produce’s vice-president of global sourcing, Keith Barnard. “When students see and interact with the avocado learning lab, we know they’ll get excited about our industry.”

Barnard joined the Ventura College Foundation board in 2018 and played a key role in spearheading the project.

Mission Produce did not spare resources on Ventura College’s new avocado orchard, as it features innovative techniques mimicking the company’s advanced farming practices.

The nearly one-acre plot houses over a hundred, year-old Hass avocado trees, which were planted on berms to encourage proper drainage. The trees are fed water and fertiliser via an efficient and controlled irrigation system. The company took special care when designing and planting this orchard.

“The partnership between Ventura College, the Ventura College Foundation and Mission Produce is a perfect example of ways educational entities can collaborate with innovative companies in our community,” said City of Ventura mayor and Ventura College Foundation board member, Matt LaVere. “This new avocado learning lab, along with the college’s commitment to agricultural education, will provide students the training and experience necessary to obtain highly-successful careers in our local agricultural sector.”

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