PLANT Foundation awarded CDFA Specialty Crop Grant Grant will support introduction of California grape production program

Contact: Elizabeth Giannini                                                                                                                                                    


Visalia, Calif. -The PLANT Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching children science through agricultural examples, has been awarded a Specialty Crop Block Grant by the California Department of Food and Agriculture. This two-year project will produce a fresh and innovative approach to introducing the science of viticulture to students across the United States, with special emphasis on California grape production.

To be successful in a global economy, children must become fluent in the technologies revolutionizing our lives and work. Using modern educational technologies, including interactive video conferencing, streaming video, apps and games, the PLANT Foundation, through its Farm Academy programming, sharpens critical thinking skills as well.

“Giving kids the gift of critical thinking and understanding the world around them not only helps them to grow and thrive, but also ensures a sustainable future for our planet, its people, and its farmers,” saidPLANT Foundation Chairman Dino Giacomazzi.

Fowler Packing (Fresno, Calif.) is one of many companies that supports the PLANT Foundation’s grape production project. “The career awareness aspect of the program will encourage students to consider a career in agriculture, and in particular, the table grape industry,” said CEO Justin Parnagian. “The initiative will make them aware of the science, technology and education needed for these jobs. We are always searching for good employees, and believe this early awareness will produce a pipeline of educated, trained and enthusiastic employees.”

The California grape production grant is one of 83 projects funded by the California Department of Food and Agriculture in 2018, which awards grants ranging from $25,000 to $300,000. The selection process is a competitive one, and the PLANT Foundation is honored to be among those trusted to carry the message about the importance of California agriculture to the rest of the world.


PLANT Foundation is a national non-profit organization formed to solve one of the most pressing issues facing agriculture today: how to interest the next generation of scientists, innovators and problem solvers in pursuing careers that will advance the agriculture industry. The PLANT Foundation launched Farm Academy in 2009 to create a connection between the science and technology of agriculture and the science and technology of everyday life for kids. Its programs lead to a future where students see opportunities in agricultural careers, becoming the innovators of tomorrow and solving problems facing farming.

Elizabeth Giannini