Santa Cruz Tech Beat


Cabrillo to hold grand opening for newly renamed Horticulture and Agriculture Technology Center


March 5, 2019 — Aptos, CA

Cabrillo College renames Environmental Horticulture Center and Botanical Garden as the Horticulture and Agriculture Technology Center

Grand Opening Event Wednesday, March 20, 2019, 5-7 p.m.

With the start of spring semester this past January, Cabrillo College has officially launched a new Associates of Science degree in Sustainable Agriculture Technology. In addition to launching the new degree, Cabrillo’s Horticulture Department has refurbished 3,000 sq. ft. of greenhouse space with LED lighting from LumiGrow, built a new 2,000 sq. ft. greenhouse with state of the art solar panel technology from Soliculture of Scotts Valley, and has built an indoor, vertical farm, with the help of the Construction and Energy Management department, all to support the curriculum for the new Sustainable Agriculture Technology degree.

As part of this launch, Cabrillo College will rename its Environmental Horticulture Center and Botanical Garden as the Horticulture and Agriculture Technology Center to reflect its new programs and facilities.

Cabrillo will hold a Grand Opening and Launch Event for the new Horticulture and Agriculture Technology Center and its new Sustainable Agriculture Technology degree on Wednesday, March 20th, from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m., Cabrillo Aptos Campus, 6500 Soquel Drive, Aptos. The speaking program will begin at 6:00 p.m., and will feature remarks from Congressman Jimmy Panetta. The event will also include tours of the Center and new greenhouse spaces.

“We are geographically located between the technology juggernaut of the Silicon Valley and two of the most important food production regions of the world: the Pajaro and Salinas Valleys,” said Peter Shaw, Cabrillo College Horticulture Department Chair. “Thus, we have a unique opportunity to play an important role in the development of the agricultural technology industry and provide holistic education and relevant training for the labor market demands that this emerging industry needs.”

Cabrillo’s interdisciplinary Sustainable Agriculture Technology degree is housed within the Horticulture Department and includes core curriculum from six departments, including:

  • How Things Work in Engineering
  • Technology Tools in Computer Science
  • Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in Geography
  • Computer Network Fundamentals in Computer and Information Systems (CIS)
  • Excel in Computer Applications/Business Technology
  •  Horticulture classes in:
    • Greenhouse Design and Operation
    • Irrigation Systems and Management
    • Hydroponic and Substrate Production, and many more

The degree is designed to prepare students for a career in the emerging Agriculture Technology (Ag Tech) Industry. The course of study will cover all aspects of technology and horticultural study, including hydroponics, aquaponics, organic substrate production, GIS/GPS, water and energy conservation, managing data in spreadsheets, computing, and connecting technology tools and data streams on farm.

Students will finish this degree program prepared for careers as Precision Agriculture Technicians, Greenhouse Managers, Hydroponic Growers, Farmers, Ranch or Operations Managers, First Line Supervisors for Agriculture and Horticulture Industries, and Biological Technicians, among others.

This program is designed for those wishing to go directly into employment in the Agriculture, Horticulture, and Ag Tech industries. Students wishing to transfer into four-year programs can study in Cabrillo’s Horticulture Department with the Agriculture Plant Science Associate of Science degree for Transfer (AS-T).

“Cabrillo College is a leading workforce developer for Santa Cruz County,” said Matt Wetstein, President and Superintendent of Cabrillo College. “As technology plays an increasingly pivotal role in the County’s agriculture industry, we are providing Cabrillo graduates with the skills and education needed to work, succeed, and continue to innovate in Agriculture Technology.”

The financial support to create this degree, revise the curriculum, build instructional infrastructure, and provide student support services has been funded by United States Department of Education Title III, Hispanic Serving Institution, Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Articulation grant award number P031C160032, locally titled, “Sustainability in STEM” and awarded to Cabrillo College for work between 2016 – 2021.

If you’re interested in attending the Launch Event on March 20th, please RSVP to the Cabrillo College Foundation by sending an email to or by calling 831-479-6338.

For more information, please visit:


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