Hartnell launches Innovation Farm at the Hartnell Ranch

Publish Date: 
Oct 9, 2017

Hartnell College launches Innovation Farm at the Hartnell Ranch

SALINAS, Calif.   How do you feed a hungry world of 9.7 billion people by the year 2050? The answers lie in agriculture science and technology. Hartnell College is committed to being a part of the innovation and creativity that will be needed to find solutions to this global issue and is proud to announce the launch of the Innovation Farm at the Hartnell Ranch at 1752 E. Alisal St. Salinas, CA.

Hartnell Superintendent/President, Dr. Willard Lewallen stated, "Career opportunities in agriculture and related disciplines are growing and diversifying to meet the challenges of feeding a hungry world. The Hartnell College Innovation Farm will be at the center of agriculture innovation supporting students in their preparation for these careers."

Hartnell College is already an institution with excellent agriculture and agriculture-related education programs and services. The College has strong relationships and partnerships with the dynamic agriculture industry in the Salinas Valley. With the support of the agriculture industry, the College has become a leader in agriculture education and training that supports the industry. There is currently an explosion of innovation and creativity surrounding the intersection of agriculture, science, and technology, often labeled AgTech, as part of the solution to address improvements for growing, harvesting, distributing, and all other components along chain that ultimately puts food on the table.

The vision of the Hartnell College Innovation Farm is to provide a physical and intellectual space that will support innovation for agriculture while also supporting innovative teaching and learning for Hartnell academic programs. Located at Hartnell’s Alisal Campus and the Hartnell Ranch, the Innovation Farm will be a space for innovation, exploration, and discovery that integrates science, technology, and engineering in support of the agriculture industry. The goal is for the Innovation Farm to become a destination for agriculture innovation and learning where students have an opportunity to engage with and learn from educators, scientists, technologists, growers, researchers, and others involved in the dynamic agriculture industry.

Dr. Susan Pheasant, Director of Agriculture Innovation and Technology, will lead the development of the Innovation Farm. “I am honored to have the opportunity to work with Hartnell College students, faculty, and staff in collaboration with our industry partners to launch the Innovation Farm at the Hartnell Ranch.  It is a venue that will unite efforts with our neighboring UC Ag and Natural Resources; USDA ARS stations; the Western Growers Innovation Center; and the science and technology work of United Fresh Produce Association and the Produce Marketing Association.”

Dr. Pheasant added that it is also a space that can leverage Hartnell’s development of a Makers Space, K-12 STEM programs and extend to new conversations with statewide initiatives focusing on ag tech, internships, apprenticeships, and the diversity of careers in agriculture instrumental to answering the challenge of feeding 9.7 billion people. Dr. Pheasant can be reached at spheasant@hartnell.edu.

Hartnell Community College District – established in 1920

The Hartnell CCD serves over 17,000 students annually through its main campus in Salinas, the Alisal Campus in East Salinas, the King City Education Center, and various outreach learning centers throughout the Salinas Valley. Hartnell College, a Hispanic Serving Institution, provides associate degree and certificate programs, workforce training, courses in basic skills, and prepares students for transfer to four-year colleges and universities. Hartnell College is recognized for its innovative public and private partnerships that support world-class education for STEM, career technical education, fine and performing arts, humanities/social sciences, nursing/healthcare, and athletics. We are proud to be the winners of the 2015 Innovation Award for CSin3 – a Computer Science bachelor’s degree in three years.  We are growing leaders through opportunity, engagement, and achievement. For more about Hartnell CCD, visit www.hartnell.edu.