Rotary Club of Walnut Creek To Host Agricultural Tour for Cal Berkeley International Students

 

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October 16, 2018
The Rotary Club of Walnut Creek is sponsoring an all-day agricultural tour of Contra Costa County for 45 foreign students and visiting scholars who are living at the International House (I-House) at UC Berkeley. A popular Rotary tradition and highly anticipated annual event begun in the late 1960s, this year's tour takes place on Saturday, October 27.
 
Boarding a bus in Berkeley, the group will head east through the Caldecott Tunnel for a full day exploring Contra Costa's diverse agricultural regions. For many international students and professors, this will be their first time experiencing anything east of Berkeley. Plans are to visit a working family farm, wholesale nursery, produce packing plant, olive oil ranch, and winery. The last stop on the tour is the historic Borges Ranch in Walnut Creek where participants will get a feel for living and working on a California cattle ranch in the early 20th century. Established in 1899, Borges is listed on the National Register of Historical Places and is currently owned by the City of Walnut Creek. The evening ends with a barbecue dinner before boarding the bus and heading back to Berkeley.        
 
Much has changed during the past fifty years since the Agricultural Tour Program first began. In the 1960s, Contra Costa County was quite rural with agriculture as its primary industry. The housing boom of the late 20th century turned huge agricultural acreage into subdivisions. Power plants and other industries also sprang up. But agriculture is still relevant in Contra Costa County and so is this program, which is aligned with Rotary's mission to provide humanitarian service and to advance goodwill and peace around the world.
 
"We are spreading international goodwill by helping international students and visiting professors gain a glimpse of Americana that they don’t get at UC Berkeley," says Sabine Webb, Rotarian and director of the International House Agricultural Tour Program, who studied at Cal as an international student from Austria. "For me, it is full circle to be able to welcome foreign students and to have the privilege of introducing them to a culture they are not accustomed to. Through this tour, we are also helping them develop friendships with others—helping them understand each other and their cultures."
 
Rotary Club of Walnut Creek, www.rotarywc.org
Pledging itself to Service Above Self, Rotary International is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who come together to make positive, lasting change in communities at home and abroad. With more than 34,000 clubs worldwide, Rotary International is now the largest private nonprofit organization in the world. On the local level, among a wide number and variety of activities, the Rotary Club of Walnut Creek hosts student exchange programs, provides student scholarships, works with Meals on Wheels, and holds an annual Crab Feed fundraiser with proceeds donated directly back to community and international service efforts. Internationally, Rotary Club of Walnut Creek works to eradicate polio; deliver safe, healthy water to underserved communities; and provide wheelchairs to needy disabled children, teens, and adults in Central America.
 
Contact:
Sabine Webb, Director, International House Agricultural Tour
sabine@swebb-law.com