The Santa Paula Rotary recently announced the cancellation of the 2014 Faulkner Farm Pumpkin Patch "due to actions taken by the University of California and the Hansen Trust Advisory Board" Approximately 20,000 people visit the patch each year.
According to the press release, the Santa Paula Pumpkin Patch Committee attempted to work with the Hansen Trust to permit the Pumpkin Patch to run for an additional transitional year while a new venue was sought. But "UC chose to discriminate against the Rotary Club by establishing new conditions and barriers which are not uniformly applied to other UC campuses and property throughout the state, or even at the Hansen Trust, making it impossible for the Rotary operated Faulkner Farm Pumpkin Patch to continue" according to the Rotary. More background on the situation at www.faulknerfarmpumpkinpatch.com/information.html.
To justify its actions, UC/Hansen Trust stated that the professional exhibits provided by the Resource Conservation District, United Water Conservation District, Limoneira, CoLab, Calavo, the Cattleman’s Association, Rincon-Vitova Insectaries, Associates Insectary, FFA petting area & Briggs 4-H seed exhibit were of poor quality and no educational value. The educational hayride script and school program, developed by Hansen Trust staff, were also deemed educationally meaningless. Interestingly, 63% of the people visiting the Pumpkin Patch last year (a significantly higher number than the total visiting the farm for the entire remaining 11 months of the year) said they learned something new about agriculture during their visit.
To learn more, visit www.faulknerfarmpumpkinpatch.com. The Rotary Club of Santa Paula encourages the public to share your thoughts about the actions taken by UC and the Hansen Trust with Ms. Janet Napolitano, President, University of California, Office of the President, 1111 Franklin St, Oakland, CA 94607 or President@ucop.edu.