Mission, Vision and MCAE History

Mission Statement

Monterey County Agricultural Education, Inc. is a non-profit organization of agriculturalists, educators, and interested parties dedicated to fostering respect and appreciation of Monterey County's number one industry - AGRICULTURE.  It is our mission to bring together and educate urban, rural and agricultural communities.

Why Ag Education is Vital to the Future of Agriculture

Our agricultural industry has become so efficient that it is an invisible industry, one that some even consider unnecessary. Agriculture could live with that stigma, but increasingly, those who lack the knowledge of and respect for agriculture are making decisions that affect our ability to successfully do our job. For the future of our industry we—the agricultural industry—must increase the level of agriculture literacy and awareness in our community and our country. No one else will do it for us.

Our History

In the mid-1980's, a group of local agriculturalists recognized that some of the troubles facing agriculture stemmed from a lack of general understanding of the needs and benefits of agriculture. The personal connection to the farm, which most of the previous generations enjoyed, was lacking in the majority of the population. In fact, many were now several generations removed from the farm. Coupled with that lack of knowledge, was the fact that agriculture had become so efficient that the supermarkets were constantly filled with an abundant variety of healthy and delicious food. Having a continuous and plentiful food supply was no longer a concern. Agriculture had become an invisible industry.

To combat this wide - spread agricultural illiteracy, this local group began teaching the importance of agriculture through school visits. Driven by such industry leaders as Bill Barker, John Inman, Claudia Smith, Benny Jefferson, Dorothy Errea, Joanne Nissen, Mary Orradre and many more, the “Mobile Farm Story” became a much requested enrichment program. The program was so popular that it became overwhelming to manage. Out of this success, Monterey County Agricultural Education, Inc. was born, and The Farm Day Experience initiated. In 1991, the organization was incorporated as a 501©3, and became a pioneer in the field of agricultural literacy and awareness.

Monterey County agriculture has always been a world leader in progressive ideas, science and technology. It is also a leader in agricultural education. The founders of Monterey County Agricultural Education were two decades ahead of many in recognizing the significance of a community that understands the needs and benefits of agriculture. They also knew that accomplishing this monumental task fell to those in agriculture. No one else would step forward to provide the accurate and current information, or implement the education programs. In the years since the creation of Monterey County Agricultural Education, Inc., the value of the mission has become increasingly important locally, throughout the state and nationally. Today, most, if not all, agriculturalists comprehend the necessity of agriculture literacy and awareness programs; but, Monterey County is still one of the only counties in the nation to have an organization, not affiliated with a parent organization, dedicated solely to agricultural advocacy. The successes of Monterey County Agricultural Education continues to be recognized. In 2011 the organization was presented the much honored Excellence in Education award from the Monterey County School Boards Association as well as numerous other Certificates of Recognition from a wide variety of local, state and federal entities. We are very proud!