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Dyk introduces thousands of kids to farming
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AgVenture coordinator Janet Dyk was given several awards at the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors meeting for her dedication to the AgVenture Program. - photo by GLENN KAHL

Janet Dyk two decades ago wanted to make sure that school kids had a connection to farming and understand where their food came from.

Dyk has been honored by the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors for helping launch AgVenture event and then coordinating for the past six years. AgVenture has introduced farming to thousands of third grade children from Lodi, Escalon, Tracy, Lathrop, Manteca, Stockton and Tracy.

She was hired six years ago by county Ag commissioner Scott Hudson to organize and oversee three events in Manteca, Stockton and Lodi covering 11 school districts and 617,000 students.  

Dyk said she had expected one award but totally didn’t expect what she was about to receive from governmental representatives.

One certificate she received was from the San Joaquin County Farm Bureau that read, “The agricultural industry is fortunate to have such a strong ambassador.”

The children visited three different venues including the Manteca School Farm, the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds and the Lodi Grape Festival Bowl.  

It was nearly 20 years ago that she first approached the principal at New Haven School with her idea for “Farm Days” that she hoped to stage for the children at that campus.  She said Norm Hixon was principal then.  Dyk clearly remembers his response: “Go for it!”

She received a Board of Supervisors proclamation saying, “In honor of your service to the agriculture community in San Joaquin County and to the many school children who learned about the importance of agriculture to our local economy and the quality of life through the AgVenture program. Congratulations!”

A certificate from Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen added, “It opens the agricultural world to these students, teachers and chaperones.  It takes nearly 900 volunteers to keep the program running and without your oversight this program would not have had the success it has enjoyed.”

State Senator Cathleen Galgianai also lauded Dyk, “for your many years of public service, your dedication to the agriculture program and your commitment to the education of the children of the San Joaquin County. 

Congressman Jeff Denham wrote on his proclamation from the House of Representatives commending her on her leadership as the AgVenture Coordinator.  “Your strong involvement, knowledge and leadership are to be applauded.  Thank you for being an inspiration and an example of distinction to those around you.”