$1.5 million lead gift launches campaign for the Center for Land-Based Learning’s new state headquarters

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The Center for Land-Based Learning announced a lead gift of $1.5 million from the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation at a groundbreaking celebration today for the Center’s new site in Woodland. The gift officially launches the Center for Land-Based Learning’s $4 million Growing Our Future Campaign to build a new statewide headquarters and expand its programs and services. In recognition of this generous gift, the Center for Land-Based Learning will name its new administrative building the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation Farm House.

The groundbreaking, which coincided with the Center for Land-Based Learning’s 25th anniversary, took place on part of the original Patwin Tribal Land. The site, a historic 50-acre farm in Woodland known as The Maples, is owned by Clark Pacific, which is providing the Center with substantial support, including a no-cost, 25-year+ lease for major portions of the property and buildings.
“We are extremely grateful to the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation for their remarkable and inspiring gift,” said Center for Land-Based Learning Executive Director Mary Kimball. “Their donation, in conjunction with the generous support of Clark Pacific, gives us the capacity to train, support and inspire future generations of farmers, agricultural leaders and natural resource stewards as we look towards the next 25 years.”
Construction and renovation are planned to be completed in early 2020 when the Center for Land-Based Learning will move from its current home in Winters. The new site will serve as the organization’s statewide headquarters and workforce development campus, featuring:
  • Yocha Dehe Farm House — A 5,400 square-foot building to house new administrative offices, community services and classrooms
  • New and existing barn buildings — For storing training equipment and supplies and housing a produce washing, packing and cooling station
  • Three farm fields totaling 30 acres — This is six times more acreage than the current site in Winters
  • Cache Creek riparian habitat and restoration area — Nearly nine acres of creek-side habitat and floodplains for restoration education
  • Space for training in resource conservation and “beautification” – Landscaping and designated areas for farm and conservation training and education in aesthetically designed spaces
“The Yocha Dehe people have a deep connection with the land of the Capay Valley, where our ancestors lived for hundreds of years, and we are committed to protect and preserve it,” said Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation Tribal Chairman Anthony Roberts. “One of the best ways we can do that is to work together as a community to educate about the importance of and ways for caring for the beautiful valley, soil and environment around us. For 25 years, the Center for Land-Based Learning has led the way in developing agricultural leaders and natural resources stewards among us and we are proud to partner with the organization to support what we are confident will be incredible success over its next quarter century.”
Established in 1993 by walnut farmers Craig and Julie McNamara, the nonprofit Center for Land-Based Learning inspires, educates and cultivates future generations of farmers, agricultural leaders and natural resource stewards. “Agriculture is our heritage and our future,” said Craig McNamara. “By training a new generation of farmers and decision makers, the Center is helping ensure the long-term prosperity of California. Their passion and their mission deserve our support.”
The Growing Our Future Campaign
The Center for Land-Based Learning’s Growing Our Future Campaign will support construction and renovation costs and establish an Innovation Fund that expands the organization’s programming to take full advantage of the new site’s growth opportunities. The campaign goal of $4 million will cover expenses and additional funds raised will be used to launch the Innovation Fund. The Innovation Fund will boost capacity for developing new and enhanced programs, community outreach, and innovative technology that will have a statewide impact.
“We are excited to reveal that, with the support of Clark Pacific, the lead gift from Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation and numerous founding donors, we have raised approximately $3.5 million towards our campaign goal,” said David Shabazian, Board Chair for the Center for Land-Based Learning.
Campaign Cabinet Chair Andrea Clark said, “The need and impact of this project has resonated with the community. The support we’ve received across the board — from individuals, volunteers, businesses and foundations — is unprecedented.” The Growing Our Future Campaign will continue through the planned grand opening in spring 2020.
In addition to announcing the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation’s lead gift, today’s event included site tours, information on the Center’s programs, and a reception. A historic Best Tractor exhibit of the Best 30 and the Best 60 was provided by the Yolo County-based Best Family, who for generations ran an iconic family farm known as The Maples on the site.
For Media Use and Available on Request:
  • Photos of the groundbreaking event
  • Video footage of the site (including overhead drone footage) https://landbasedlearning.org/growing-our-future
  • Interviews with Center for Land-Based Learning leadership, Campaign Cabinet and Honorary Committee
For more information about the Center for Land-Based Learning and its Growing Our Future Campaign, visit www.landbasedlearning.org.

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