Farm Walk goes beyond its fences and into campus

Pierce College hosted the first Beyond Farm walk/Open House Sunday to offer the community a chance to learn more about the campus and its different programs and departments.

The Open House was held on the main campus while the Farmwalk was held on the 225 farm on west side of campus.

“I think the [open house/beyond farmwalk] is very successful, all you have to do is look at the parking lot and you’ll see it’s full,” Kathleen Burke, President of Pierce College said.

This was the first time that open house and farmwalk were combined into one event.

“We always wanted to have something broad. Not just the farm, but the entire college as an outreach to the community,” Burke said. We wanted an opportunity to really showcase the entire college, including the farm.”

Many departments and programs had booths set up where visitors could stop by and talk to students and staff who have knowledge and experience with their respective booths.

“Today’s event lets prospective students and families come out and learn about the school,” said Kimberly Castillo, member of Outreach and Recruitment. “They’ll get tours, and they get to go to each table to get stamps. At the end they get entered into a raffle for a chance to win prizes.”

Doreen Clay, public relations manager, said the budget for marketing was $27,000 and was satisfied with the turnout of the event.

“I spent $21,000 on radio advertising, on the number one station in the Los Angeles market for the student age group, KIIS-FM 102.7,” Clay said. “I bought three weeks of solid ads about 15 times a day leading up to the event.”

With two events on one day, Clay expected to see more people than the previous years.

“I also put ads in the LA Daily News and Valley News Group on the front page and online for three weeks,” Clay said. “And had the Daily News do email blasts to 100,000 people,

“I also made up to 20,000 postcards that students took out into the community,” Clay said. “Not to mention the free promotion of the Pierce facebook, Twitter, home page news and street electronic marquee.”

Visitors were given passports when entering the event. The passports were being stamped at each booth and attraction they visited.

“We want people to know that we do have a program. If they have family or friends that want to study here they can apply,” Abigail Watson, director of International Students, said.

It was the first time The International Students Program joined the Open House.

Chanéra Peck, pre-veterinary medicine major, was helping out at the Goatchella petting zoo on the farm.

“Everyone really loves the goats, especially the kids,” Peck said. “The petting zoo is probably the biggest attraction on this side.”

Northridge Toyota joined Pierce College and offered different prizes to visitors. Prizes included a chance to be entered into a raffle for a $500 Best Buy gift card to those who received 40 stamps on their passport. A $300 Amazon gift card was also offered to whoever earned the most “likes” on a social media post that involved the Open House/Beyond Farmwalk.

Diana Montenegro, business major, brought her daughter to the event in hopes for her to attend Pierce in the future.

“This is where I go. This is home,” Montenegro said.

“All the employees that I’ve spoken to have said that it’s been a really great event,” Burke said. We had an opportunity to showcase the students work.”