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The Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association generates opportunities for farm workers and limited-resource, aspiring farmers to grow and sell crops from two organic farms in Monterey County. Our mission is to advance economic viability, social equity and ecological land management among limited-resource and aspiring farmers. In pursuing its mission, ALBA aims to contribute to a more just and sustainable food system through the development of: 1) human resources that will be tomorrow’s farmers and sustainable agriculture leaders; 2) growing marketing alternatives for small-scale, limited-resource farmers; and 3) the enhancement of biological diversity and protection of natural resources - all necessary components of such a food system.
Our overall goal is to create greater economic opportunities for small farms while promoting ecological land management and healthy local foods. Objectives accomplished in pursuit of this goal include training in organic farm production, marketing, record-keeping, labor law, pest management and numerous other topics related to operating a small farm business.
ALBA owns and operates a farmer training facility in the heart of the Salinas Valley 'Salad Bowl of the United States’ in Monterey County:
The Rural Development Center (RDC) is located on a 110-acre organic farm between Salinas and Chualar, and serves as ALBA headquarters, with recent additions including a resource center and classroom, maintenance workshop and produce cooler and distribution facility. The farm is home to the Farmer Education and Enterprise Development (FEED) program where aspiring and beginning farmers learn about organic farming, business planning and marketing. Typically, more than 30 farmers cultivate organic strawberries and an array of vegetable crops at the RDC. During their tenure here, we help the farmers establish and transition their small farm businesses to other locations.