CARPINTERIA, Calif. – AUGUST 14, 2015 –The art of a good negotiation comes about when all parties experience a win. This was exactly the case today, when Art Overgaag, founder of Hollandia Produce, placed the winning bid for Alfonso Perez’ hog at the Ventura County Fair Live Stock Auction and then immediately donated the animal t to the Ventura Food Share, a non-profit food bank.
Perez is a 16 year old Carpentaria High School student and an active member of the Future Farmers of America (FFA), an organization dedicated to agriculture education. As part of his educational training, Perez raised the hog he named “Boots” for the last five months, feeding and caring for its daily well-being. While it was difficult for Perez to be emotionally detached, he found solace in knowing the animal will help feed needy families. Perez will use the proceeds of the sale to help fund his college education.
Alfonso Perez (pictured left) shares a bitter sweet moment with Art Overgaag and his prized hog Boots, who was purchased by Overgaag and donated to the Ventura County Food Bank to help feed the needy and help fund Perez’ dream of a college education.
“I was placed in the program [FFA] initially, but then I quickly discovered it was my passion, said Perez. “ It’s a great program and it really teaches me about responsibility. We are told early on not to get attached to the animals, but I did. So, today it was sad and hard to let go.”
Hollandia Produce has been a long-time, avid supporter of both the FFA and the local food banks. In fact, last year, Hollandia Produce, which grows hydroponically greenhouse living butter lettuce and other leafy greens, donated nearly 100,000 heads of its signature living butter lettuce and living watercress to the Santa Barbara Food Bank.
“We believe strongly in giving back to our community,” said Pete Overgaag, Hollandia Produce CEO. Programs like FFA and the Food Bank are instrumental in shaping our industry and future in a positive way. If we can lend a hand along the way, we’re happy to do it.”
Food Share owns and operates 26,482 square feet of warehouse space including a 1,176 foot cooler and 1,176 square foot freezer, one loading dock and 15 trucks. Each day FOOD Share processes over 31,000 pounds of donated food.
Formerly known as Future Farmers of America, the National FFA Organization is a school-based program that fosters leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. Agriculture teachers become advisors to local FFA chapters, which students join. Members participate and learn advanced career skills in 45 proficiency areas ranging from food science and technology to agricultural communications, wildlife management and production agriculture.
About Food Share of Ventura County
Established in 1983 as a 501c3 non profit, FOOD Share is a critical member of our community in providing food and support to the hungry of Ventura County. FOOD Share distributes over 9 million pounds of nutritious food per year via our 150+ non-profit partners, government programs, and outreach programs. FOOD Share receives food and monetary donations via individual donations, corporations, foundations, grants, the USDA, and our generous Ag community. FOOD Share along with its partners is dedicated to alleviating the critical issue of hunger. FOOD Share is a Charity Navigator non-profit.
About Hollandia Produce
Founded in 1970, Hollandia Produce, L.P. is family owned and operated agricultural business specializing in hydroponically greenhouse grown vegetables. Located in Carpinteria, California, the company grows, ships, and distributes its certified organic label Grower Pete’s, and its Live Gourmet® line of products, which are harvested with their roots intact to preserve freshness. The company’s signature crops, Living Butter Lettuce, Living 3-in-1 Lettuce and Living Red Butter Lettuce are all delivered to market in the company’s award-winning clamshell packaging, which serves as a mini-greenhouse to reduce damage, shrinkage and contaminants. As living plants, these products have exceptional long-lasting freshness that retains flavor and color much longer than comparable varieties in the produce department. For more information, visit: www.hollandiaproduce.com.