California Wine Country's Unique Approach: Turning Vineyards Into Classrooms

Yellow Line

The picturesque vineyards of California's Lodi region are famous for more than just their world-class wines. A new national documentary titled "How a California Wine Region Is 'Growing Futures' By Turning Vineyards Into State-of-the-Art Classrooms" by The 74 Million delves into an innovative education initiative that merges the wine-making industry with high school education.


The documentary highlights the Growing Futures Initiative, a collaboration between Lodi Unified, Delta College, and the Lodi Winegrape Commission. This initiative focuses on equipping the region's youth with skills and knowledge tailored to the viticulture and agriculture sectors.

The goal? Preparing them not just for any job, but for fulfilling careers in their local industry. Don Shalvey, CEO of San Joaquin A+, emphasized the organization's commitment to this cause. “Our primary focus is to ensure that our youth can pursue their passions and be financially stable in adulthood. Partnerships like the Growing Futures Initiative are vital in making this a reality,” Shalvey stated.

A notable success of this initiative is the summer pilot program, designed to provide both students and employers a taste of a holistic internship experience. This program is a stepping stone to a broader vision where high school students, through dual-enrollment, will earn college credits even before graduation.

Stuart Spencer, the Executive Director of the Lodi Winegrape Commission, expressed the community's enthusiasm. “The Lodi winegrowers are eagerly embracing this venture. We understand the importance of nurturing local talent. It's not just about sustaining our industry but ensuring the well-being and prosperity of our entire region.”

This collaborative approach between education and industry stands as a testament to the importance of community-driven efforts in shaping the futures of young individuals. The Growing Futures Initiative promises a brighter future, not just for the students but for the entire Lodi wine-making community.

For further details about the Ag. Partnership Board and the CCL Vision, more announcements on the program can be found on their website.

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