Lakeside Organic Gardens donates $2 million toward education programs

reprinted from:   Produce News, first published January 11, 2016

VV_Profile_Lakeside-Organic-Gardens-LogoDick Peixoto’s dream of having an educational facility to showcase organic farming is closer to becoming a reality. He and the Peixoto family have contributed $2 million dollars to the development of an organic and sustainable agriculture learning center. This center will be a resource for people interested in starting an organic farm, learning about organic farming or those just interested in seeing how their food is grown organically. The facility, which is still in the planning stages, will incorporate education, history, techniques and future innovations of organic farming. All aspects of organic and sustainable agriculture will be benefited, including careers in organic farming.

Lakeside Organic Gardens announced these plans in conjunction with the $2 million gift to the Pajaro Valley non-profit organization Agri-Culture Inc. Lakeside will be working directly with Agri-Culture Inc. to facilitate the development of the fund and learning center.

The purpose of this learning center in the Pajaro Valley is to educate, train, teach and otherwise advance public knowledge of all aspects of organic and sustainable farming practices, including jobs and careers. This development will open up many great opportunities for the organic agriculture community to collaborate.

“The public has shown us a strong interest in organic and sustainable agriculture,” Dick Peixoto, founder of Lakeside Organic Gardens, said in a press release. “I feel strongly that the proposed learning center will create opportunities that will allow the public to advance its knowledge while encouraging careers in organic agriculture through education and focused training programs.”

In receiving the gift, Agri-Culture Inc. President Steve Bontadelli said, “We are honored to be chosen to help Dick Peixoto and his family fulfill their dream of providing educational programs focused on organic and sustainable agriculture. Our area has been the leader in organic and sustainable agriculture. It’s wonderful that the program Dick Peixoto envisions will benefit the public, the industry and our local area.”

“Other individuals, corporations, foundations, etc. that see the importance of this vision are encouraged to donate to the fund so that more programs can be provided,” Jess Brown, executive director of Agri-Culture, added in the release.