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Raley’s Family of Fine stores has launched a new program to provide field trips for young students to local livestock cattle ranches and farms. Dubbed "Where Your Foods Grows & Grazes," the program, in partnership with California Rangeland Trust, will create a hands-on learning experience in agricultural education, conservation, nutrition and healthy lifestyles.
“When children have a respect for where their food grows and grazes, they are both inspired and empowered to make healthier choices,” said Chelsea Minor, spokeswoman for W. Sacramento, Calif.-based Raley's. The program, which will connect students with fresh, healthy and local food, underscores the regional grocer's commitment to helping customers "understand the connection our communities have with food production. Many students lack a basic understanding of where fresh food comes from, and even fewer have ever stepped foot onto a farm or ranch," noted Minor.
“The reception from both local schools and ranchers has been overwhelming,” said California Rangeland Trust spokesman Randy Gustavus. “The ranchers also love that we are bringing students out to learn more about their industry in hopes that they may pursue a career in agriculture.”
The day long, all-inclusive field trips will include the following components:
- Transport participants from local school by bus to a nearby local livestock cattle ranch
- Introduction to the ranchers and how a cattle ranch operates
- Knowledge of healthy, local foods
- A walk through the grasslands to learn about pastures, flowers, wildlife and how they benefit from sound good ranch management practices
- A healthy lunch and refreshments
- Visit to a local Raley’s location to learn about fresh food in the grocery store
The program, which will host six field trips to local California Rangeland properties throughout the fall semester, will begin in Sacramento and Yolo Counties for students in the Washington Unified, San Juan and Sacramento City school districts.
After the initial rollout, Raley’s – which operates 126 stores in Northern California and Nevada under its namesake banner, as well as Bel Air Markets, Nob Hill Foods and Food Source – said it hopes to expand the program to other regions it serves.