July 7, 2020 (Santa Rosa, CA) – Following the passing of long-time Petaluma dairy farmer Alvin James Hansen in 2011, his estate formed a Foundation to honor his passion for agricultural education programs serving youth. The Trustees of the Alvin James Hansen Foundation recognized that SRJC is in a unique position to train and educate the next generation of students to advance sustainable agriculture and natural resource management in Sonoma County. The group was excited to collaborate with the SRJC Foundation Ag Trust and the SRJC Ag and Natural Resources Department to award a $500,000 grant establishing the SRJC Shone Farm Agricultural Education Fund.
Founded in 1969, the SRJC Ag and Natural Resources department has grown to be one of the largest community college agriculture programs in California with more than 3,000 students enrolled annually across nine different programs offering a variety of certificates, associated degrees, and transfer majors. SRJC’s Shone Farm, a 365-acre learning outdoor laboratory with farmland, pasture, vineyards, and riparian forest, has been undergoing a pivotal shift to an instructional and experiential student-centered campus.
The generous multi-year grant from The Alvin J. Hansen Foundation will provide flexible funding allowing the farm to sustain, enhance, and increase student enterprise projects, student internships, outreach to pre-collegiate youth, instructional equipment & supplies, and other special projects. The funds will be distributed over three years and require a $500,000 match. The Hansen Trust awarded an initial gift of $175,000 and will match the remaining amount over time. The SRJC Foundation Ag Trust is actively pursuing match funding and is optimistic that other major donors will step up to support the future of agricultural education in Sonoma County.
“The Trustees of the Alvin James Hansen Foundation are pleased to honor Alvin Hansen’s vision by partnering with the SRJC Foundation to support agricultural education at Shone Farm. Alvin Hansen was passionate in his support for youth in agriculture and the Sustainable Agriculture Center at Shone Farm will provide quality agricultural education for future generations,” said Thom Knudsen on behalf of the Trustees.
Benjamin Goldstein, SRJC Dean of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Culinary, said, “We are beyond grateful for the vision and confidence of the Hansen Foundation. This partnership and funding will honor Mr. Hansen’s legacy with support for agricultural education in our community for many years to come.”
Fundraising to support all students and programs at SRJC is directed by the Santa Rosa Junior College Foundation. Through its advocacy, fundraising, investment management, and stewardship of funds, the Foundation helps SRJC to provide access to high-quality college education and support for the workforce of the future.
For more information about the Santa Rosa Junior College Foundation and ways to support students, faculty, and programs, visit foundation.santarosa.edu or contact Executive Director J Mullineaux at 707-527-4797 or email@example.com.