The California Rangeland Trust partnered with Raley’s Family of Fine Stores to host an educational tour for Sunol Glen Elementary sixth grade class to visit their neighborhood Raley’s Supermarket and the Koopmann Ranch in Sunol, California.
“This program is one of the many examples of private ranches having an important impact on the local community,” [says Rangeland Trust CEO, Nita Vail.] “Studies have shown that 50 percent of kids over age six do not participate in outdoor activities, which poses a threat to our next generation of ranchers and lovers of the land. This program gives children the opportunity to go outside, learn to eat local, and understand the significance of conservation while getting students excited about the local ranching culture.”
The “Where Your Food Grows & Grazes” Ranch Tour Program provides hands-on experience in learning about nutrition, conservation, and healthy lifestyles. Sponsored by Raley’s, the students started at a local store to learn about the supermarket’s produce, meat, and egg departments and saw how food is relocated to their local grocery store. Afterward, students took a tour of the Koopmann Ranch, where the students learned about sustainable habitat, livestock management, beekeeping, beef by-products, and the importance of conserving rangeland through collaborative activities. These activities helped visualize the way rangelands are a healthy habitat for clean water, plants, wildlife and how ranchers positively affect California communities.
“Raley’s partnership with the Rangeland Trust allows us to show youth how their food is grown and at the same time, emphasize the importance of conserving agricultural lands. It’s a great combination of nutrition education, sustainability education, and workforce development,” [said Becca Whitman, Raley’s Community Relations Manager & Executive Director of Food for Families.] “We are committed to growing the next generation of healthy eaters and in that vein, we need ranchers who are focused on sustaining our land.”
“As a fifth-generation rancher in the Bay Area, I see the growing disconnect between consumers and agriculture,” [says Clayton Koopmann, rancher at Koopmann Ranch/Walking C Livestock and Rangeland Trust Board Member.] “This program provides us with an opportunity to share – where their food is produced, the hard work and daily care it takes to raise these animals, and the sustainable land management practices we implement to ensure healthy landscapes for future generations.”
California Rangeland Trust is a non-profit organization founded by a group of innovative cattlemen and cattlewomen in 1998 to conserve open space, natural habitat and stewardship provided by California’s ranches. Rangeland Trust is honored to have helped permanently protect over 320,000 acres of privately-owned rangeland. California Rangeland Trust partnered with Raley’s to provide these educational tours multiple times throughout the school year in order to provide food and rangeland education to students. This program is dedicated to educating the next generation of ranchers and rangeland enthusiasts on the organization and ranching community at large.