Equipment donation supports beginning farmers

Eric Williamson, VP Holt Ag Solutions hands over the keys to a 115 HP Kubota to Maureen Thompson, California Farm Academy Training Program Manager.

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Holt Ag Solutions made a significant donation of equipment and cash to the Center for Land-Based Learning in support of the Growing our Future  Campaign.  This donation includes two tractors and implements that will meet the needs of the California Farm Academy Training Program and the Farm Business Incubator Program at Land-Based Learning’s new headquarters site at The Maples in Woodland.

“The beginning farmer training program has unique needs compared to a typical commercial farming operation,” said Maureen Thompson, Training Program Manager.  “The team at Holt came out for a site visit, saw our fields and got a good understanding of what our needs were. They came up with a list of equipment that is perfect for all aspects of our program.”

The Center for Land-Based Learning’s Growing Our Future Campaign will support construction and renovation costs of the new statewide headquarters and farming operation and establish an Innovation Fund that expands the organization’s programming to take full advantage of the new site’s growth opportunities. The new facility will include 30 acres of prime farmland for beginning farmer training and a farm business incubator, a 5,400-square-foot administrative office, classrooms and meeting space, expanded produce handling and storage facilities, and a hub to grow statewide partnerships and new ventures.

Staff from Holt Ag Solutions was on hand to deliver the equipment in person during the regularly scheduled California Farm Academy class for the beginning farmers. Students, program alumni, and staff had the opportunity to learn about how to operate the equipment, which includes a 115 horsepower tractor, flail mower, shank ripper and a reversing tiller. An additional 39 horsepower cultivating tractor and disc ring roller is on order and will be delivered in the next few months. A $10,000 cash contribution was also included in the donation.  Holt will be providing service and technical staff to support these farmers as they grow and develop their own operations, or become farm managers throughout the state.

“We believe the Center for Land-Based learning will help keep Agriculture as a predominant industry in California by providing the basics of both farming techniques and running a business,” said Eric Williamson, Vice President, Holt Ag Solutions. “We are pleased to be able to partner with such a unique and successful program.”

The equipment will be used and housed at the Farm on Putah Creek, the current headquarters for Land-Based Learning, until fall, at which time it will be moved to The Maples and readied for the 2020 growing season. The new building and renovations are expected to be completed by March 2020, with a move-in date soon thereafter.

“We are very proud to partner with Holt Ag Solutions, as they are a trusted equipment supplier and leader in the agricultural industry,” said Mary Kimball, Center for Land-Based Learning Executive Director.  “The ability for our beginning farmer trainees to be able to use state-of-the-art machinery in order to learn the trade is exceptional and provides them with the best possible start to their new careers. We are honored that they have chosen to invest in the Growing our Future Campaign, and in the future of agriculture in this very direct way.”


Center for Land-Based Learning

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. From new farmers and entrepreneurs who need access to land and capital, to high school students just starting to explore career paths, the Center for Land-Based Learning provides the training, direction and resources that lead to success.

 

The Center for Land-Based Learning is the largest organization of its kind in the state. Our broad spectrum of programs, services and audiences make the Center for Land-Based Learning a unique driver of California’s workforce development, conservation efforts and agricultural economy.

About Holt Ag Solutions

With roots back to 1931, we have partnered with our customers, bringing equipment solutions and the best product support in the Agricultural industry. Holt Ag Solutions represents Agco, Class and Kubota brands of farming equipment along with leading manufacturers of implements.  HAS serves the Northern California Central Valley from locations in Merced, Salida, Woodland, Willows and Richvale.  www.holtags.com

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