Educating The Community For Over 30 Years
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Ag History Project Seeks Public Input for New Attraction

Museum considers plans to develop new attraction

Watsonville – The Agricultural History Project (AHP), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the history of agriculture on California’s Central Coast, will be asking for the public’s input over the next several months as part of a feasibility study to determine whether to add a living history farm experience near its center and museum at 2601 East Lake Avenue in Watsonville on the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds.

“We’ve had this idea for nearly 30 years, so now we’d like to gauge the level of community interest and support for a living history farm,” said John Kegebein, chief executive officer of AHP.

In the first phase, AHP will hold six discussion groups to gain feedback from representatives of the agricultural community, education, tourism and other interests. Then, over the summer, a wider public opinion survey will be conducted online through the AHP website.

“We will want to know what benefits people might gain from this type of experience, for example, as a family or school activity, and what types of things they would like, such as small farm animals or farming demonstrations. When the survey is posted on our website, we want to hear what people have to say.”

Kegebein said it was the original intent of the AHP to create a living history farm when it was established in 1986 to help educate people about farm life and animals, and the history of agriculture in the Central Coast region.

Today, AHP features a museum and an extensive collection of vintage tractors, coaches, farm equipment, tools, archival photographs and displays that tell the story of the region’s agricultural heritage.

“We think an interactive living history farm experience would provide a fuller understanding of how earlier generations produced food for their table and their local communities,” Kegebein said. “But it will take local and regional support, and that’s what we hope to learn more about in this study.”

The feasibility study, funded by a grant from Community Foundation Santa Cruz County, is being conducted by Jennifer Pettley Marketing Communications.

The Agricultural History Project is open every Second Saturday of the month from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and other days by appointment. For more information, visit or call (831) 724-5898.

Our Spring 2015 newsletter is jam-packed with good news. Here’s our CEO Message by John Kegebein, CEO. The trim work on the front of the Borina Barn was finished during the first week of March. It has been three years from the time we started building until it was finally finished. To some people itseemslike a long time, but all of the work was accomplished by volunteers!

I want to take this time to thank the volunteers who helped put on all of finishing touches to the building: Tom Stickel, Alex Biondi, Dallas Laatsch, Barney Stephens and Lynne Grossi. Thanks also goes to Stan Nielsen for the survey work, Jim Scurich for the use of his Boom Lift and David Kegebein for the use of his Scissor Lift. A big THANK YOU to all.

Traditionally, when we finish a project we have a party to celebrate our accomplishments and the completion of the Borina Barn is no exception. On Saturday, Aug. 1 we will dedicate both the Building and the Founding of the Agricultural History Project with a Barbecue and some very special speakers. Sandy Lydon, who wrote the preface for Mike Wallace’s book, “The Borina Family of Watsonville,” will be here to speak about the Borina family and their contribution to agriculture. We will have another very special guest speaker — Jim Panetta. It will be a special honor and pleasure to have Jim because his Dad, then Congressman Leon Panetta, spoke at our very first event 30 year ago. At that event, Fred Silva had a team of horses pulling a one-row cultivator and I have a great picture of Congressman Panetta driving those horses! We are planning to again have Fred Silva’s Draft Horses at the celebration. So be sure to mark Saturday, Aug 1 on your calendar and watch for more information about the Celebration.

More headlines include:
Day On The Farm, May 9, to Feature Farming Techniques from both the Past and Future
Easter Bunny Plans Visit to Ag History Project on April 11
It’s Time to Party! Borina Tractor Barn Gets Finishing Touches and Agricultural History Project Celebrates 30 Years!
AHP Receives $10,500 Grant For Feasibility Study of a Living History Farm
Like to Help Children Learn? The Ag History Project Need Your Help
Lecture Series this Summer
Do You Know Who Fits This Description?

For our complete newsletter, read it on our website:

Agricultural History Project
Center & Museum

2601 East Lake Avenue
Watsonville, California 95076

Open EVERY 2nd Saturday 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. for Second Saturday on the Farm

Tuesday - Saturday by Appointment Only
9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Call (831) 724-5898 or (831) 566-2817

Group tours may be arranged in advance by appointment.

Facilities are handicapped accessible.

Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and major holidays.