Staff Report

The Santa Barbara County Farm Bureau’s GAATE Foundation is looking for farmers and ranchers to participate in a pen pal program with classes of students.

The GAATE Foundation’s Ag Pen Pal Program educates students and teachers about their food, fiber and fuel through creating a personal connection between a farmer or rancher and a classroom. The ultimate goal of the pen pal program is to increase agricultural literacy in the county.  

The program asks that a farmer or rancher write or email an assigned classroom at least three times per year — fall, winter and spring. In addition to letters and emails, participants might also send videos or photographs, seed or fiber samples or even make a visit to the classroom. 

Classrooms are also asked to write or email their assigned farmer/rancher at least three times per year. 

It is not always possible to match a pen pal with a classroom within a drivable distance, so visiting via Skype is another option.

For more information, visit and click on the AG Pen Pal Program.