By Patricia Gomez
The raging fires that hit Northern California in early October, and the Santa Rosa High School Ag Farm saw the lasting effects. The farm was used by FFA members who raised market goats and sheep and by the horticulture class.
The farm, a grand sixty-two acres, is now only 6 acres. Four barns burned down, which had about 45 to 50 thousand dollars in equipment. The house that was on the property in which SRHS agriculture teacher Dawn Stornetta lived in, is also unfortunately gone. All the trailers and new trucks did not make it. Ten rows of the vineyard were burnt up, as well as all of the fruit trees, and hot plants. The well is also gone and that in itself is $60,000. By how things are looking, it will take about a year or two to replace everything lost.
The insurance company and district had a meeting so that they could figure out where the next steps were for the insurance and what their coverage was. The hope is that the Ag department will have the barns, house, trailers, trucks, and vineyards up and running as soon as possible.
After the news was released that the fires had affected the farm, many FFA chapters across the state immediately donated truckloads of supplies such as toiletries, clothes, water, food, and feed. Ag teacher, Stornetta says, “The amount of support that was given was overwhelming. We have the community wanting to help, whether it’s the vine companies or groundwater pump and well wanting to help put the pump in. Those kinds of things of helping us once we get to the point where were we can put everything back in.” The majority of the supplies that were given to the Santa Rosa High School students who lost their homes came from the donations from the FFA chapters. To this day there are still many supplies that are available for whoever may need it.
The Ag department is working on a fundraiser dinner that will take place on January 20th and the point of that dinner is to bring the agriculture community together, and encourage people help in the extensive process of rebuilding the farm.