Thank you sponsors, donors, supporters, attendees, volunteers and partners for making our 2017 "Housing Our Agricultural Workforce" event a HUGE success!
On September 21, 2017 we hosted our annual event to support affordable housing in Ventura County. The focus was on Housing Our Agricultural Workforce. Held at the historic Camarillo Ranch, the event highlighted the high cost of living and lack of affordable housing which negatively impacts BOTH the farm worker families and agriculture businesses. County residents have clearly shown that farmland is dear to the allure of our region. Without adequate, affordable housing this labor force and industry is at risk. Evening highlights included:
HECTOR LUJAN, CEO of Reiter Affiliated Companies, the world's largest fresh multi-berry producer, spoke about the agriculture industry's commitment to its employees. He discussed the inter-relationship between economic business success and the health and well-being of the workforce, especially in light of the high cost of living, especially housing, in the Ventura County area.
JOE MENDOZA, Director of Special Populations Educational Support Department at the Ventura County Office of Education gave a moving presentation of the typical living conditions and hardships that many agriculture labor families endure. Because of exorbitant housing costs, over-crowding, multiple families sharing space, living in garages, limited access to utilities and amenities, are all too common-place.
The FROM HARVEST TO HOME short movie was presented. This 9-minute video discusses the agriculture industry in Ventura County and the daily life of its workers. Much thanks to House Farm Workers! for lending us this video. View the video on YouTube youtu.be/RPtKLdLBky4 or the House Farm Workers! website housefarmworkers.org/resources/ CHEF TIM KILCOYNE of ScratchVentura prepared farm-to-table appetizers, dinner and dessert using local ingredients. Served by the Camarillo Future Farmers of America, the evening proved to be especially delicious.
XAVIER MONTES "Big X" harpist provided musical entertainment during the reception and dinner hours.
INSTITUTION ALE and local wineries (Four Brix, Herzog, Opolo, Panaro Bros., Plan B) provided refreshments for the event. A big thank you to Theresa DesLaurier and David Thatcher for volunteering as our bartenders.
We raised over $6,000 in our AUCTION. We sincerely thank Elena Brokaw, our auctioneer, the generous folks who donated the items and those that purchased them: Two-Trees excursion - donor Rich & Bonnie Atmore, buyer Hector Lujan ♦ Crowne Plaza beach getaway - donor Doug Wood, buyer Steve & Janice Boggs ♦ Opolo Inn wine country getaway - donor Dave Nichols, buyer Melissa Sayer ♦ Las Posas Country Club Golf Foursome - donor Josh Young, buyer Michael Zuckerman ♦ Original art "farmworker" - donor Gail Pidduck, buyer Steve & Janice Boggs ♦ Original art "the nest" - donor Susan Petty, buyer Leslie Leavens ♦ Tomas Otero art "cala lilies" - donor Pete Placencia, buyer Arcy Karufman.
We raised $1,300 from our RAFFLE of 20 centerpiece boxes (made from reclaimed wood and items) and filled with local agriculture product. Thank you to those that sponsored and filled these boxes: Andreini & Co. ♦ B&B Do-it-Center, Camarillo ♦ Bright View Tree Company ♦ Casa Barranca Organic Winery ♦ Coastal Pipco ♦ Deardorff Family Farms ♦ Epicurean Olive Oils ♦ Four Brix Winery ♦ Green Thumb Nursery ♦ Heritage Honey ♦ Herzog Wine Cellars ♦ Matilija Law ♦ Petty Ranch ♦ Plan B Wine Cellars ♦ Relm Wine Beer Bistro ♦ Red Door Winery ♦ The Boggs Group ♦ Trader Joes, Camarillo ♦ We Olive ♦ Ventura Coast Brewing Company ... and the George Thompson Diamond Co. for a special raffle item! And a very special thank you to the almost 200 people that attended the event and our event volunteers, including: the students of the Camarillo Future Farmers of America led by Sam Swanson, the event committee members, VCHTF Board of Directors and Staff, and event volunteers helping with set-up, bartending, registration and clean-up.