Nov 7 - Dec 31, 2019


To create opportunity for aspiring, limited-resource farmers through land-based organic agriculture education.

The Big Idea

ALBA is a farm business incubator on 100 acres of farmland in the heart of the Salinas Valley. Aspiring farmers, including mostly immigrant field laborers, come to ALBA to gain education and access to resources to pursue the dream of farm ownership. Consistent with our commitment to sustainable farming, ALBA plans to install solar panels on its 100-acre teaching farm to generate renewable energy to power for the irrigation pump and training center.

This is a big investment for ALBA, but it will lower costs in the long run. All the more so through generous contributions from fans of organic farming and admirers of hard-working farmers and farmworkers.

The son of sharecroppers from the state of Jalisco, Mexico, Tony Serrano was only three when he came to the U.S. It wasn’t long before Tony joined his father in the fields, developing a lasting affinity for farming. When it was time to 'grow up' and start a career, he soon realized office work was not for him. Instead he found ALBA, where his prospects took a turn back to his roots and eventually led to the launch of his own farm - JAS Family Organics. ALBA exposed Tony to organic cultivation practices, in which he strongly believes, saying “Everything is on the Earth for a reason.” While he admits that organic farming has its own unique challenges, Tony is driven by a love for farming, the Earth, and the food he grows. “It can be miserable,” he says, “but even the worst day on the farm is better than a day in the office”. Now farming 200 acres, he sees a lot of good days, too.

- Tony Serrano