College Farm Backers Plan Rally Sunday

Proponents of the Pierce College farm will gather Sunday to rally community support to preserve the land for farming and as an educational laboratory for agriculture students.

The group plans to demonstrate from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at De Soto Avenue and Victory Boulevard, carrying banners and encouraging people to stop by to learn about the farm and sign a petition to support saving the land from development.

"A lot of people say they want to help but are not sure how to invest their time to save the farm, so we're going to help them with ideas," said Marla Scripter, a student organizer of the effort.

Several sections of the original farmland have already been sold to private developers. At issue now are three parcels on the 240-acre site, one of which has been considered for a golf driving range.

Farm supporters also fear that with the college facing tough budget cuts, reductions in the agriculture department budget would have dire consequences and be disproportionate to those in other areas of the campus.

Administrators have denied targeting the department or the farm for cutbacks.

One goal of the group, organizers said, was to make the farm economically self-sufficient so that it is less vulnerable to budget cuts.

For more information on the campaign, call (818) 700-4767.

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