Join the Double Your Impact Challenge

In the month of May, Gills Onions will match all donations up to $12,500 for every dollar donated to Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture (SEEAG) as part of SEEAG’s third annual Double Your Impact Challenge.

“The generosity of our friends at Gill’s Onions means SEEAG will receive as much as $25,000 to support our Farm Lab program,” says Mary Maranville, SEEAG’s founder and CEO.  “Farm Lab is a combination of classroom learning and farm field trips where students learn all about the origins of their food, particularly locally-grown food. The money raised will enable us to reach more students across Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.”

A Mission to Teach and Share

Gills Onions is a long-time supporter of SEEAG’s agricultural education programming that has reached over 60,000 elementary school students since its founding in 2008. All SEEAG programs are 100 percent cost-free to schools and students.

“Teaching students about how food is grown and the benefits of eating locally-produced fruits and vegetables is one way to improve the health of our kids,” says Steve Gill, Gill’s Onions president and SEEAG board member. “Once kids learn about the farming and harvesting process and the benefits of fresh produce, they get excited about eating a more healthy diet.”

How You Can Help

All “Gill’s Onions Double Your Impact Challenge” matching donations go toward student learning:

Double Giving Levels:

  • $25 donation doubles to $50 – Print summer camp booklets for 100 students
  • $50 donation doubles to $100 – Pack farm-fresh resource bags for 200 students
  • $100 donation doubles to $200 – Send 200 students home with vegetable seedlings
  • $250 donation doubles to $500 – Fill up the SEEAG van for two weeks of summer camp travel
  • $500 donation doubles to $1,000 – Provide fresh snacks and materials for 800 students
  • $1,000 donation doubles to $2,000 – Covers the cost of six buses to bring students to Farm Lab

 For more information or to donate, visit www.seeag.org/doubleyourimpact.

Ready to try onions grown “The Gills Way”? Contact our sales department to learn more. 

Get Ready to Celebrate National Ag Week

Each of us is impacted by agriculture every day. The food we eat, the clothes we wear, and many of the products we use are all available because of Ag. But too many people are unaware of just how important this industry is. So, this year, Gills Onions invites all Americans to join us in celebrating National Ag Week, March 22–28, 2020. 

The Part We Play in American Agriculture

The most recent U.S. Census Bureau statistics show that there are 438,396 American men and women who work as farmers and ranchers. They represent the lifeblood of our industry, and they are working harder than ever. In 1960, the average U.S. farmer fed about 26 people. Today, that number has grown to 155 people. In order to keep up with America’s population growth, the Ag industry will need to grow more food in the next 50 years than in the past 10,000 years combined. That means that today’s growers need to produce twice as much food as all the farmers before them, and they have to do it without depleting precious natural resources. 

At Gills Onions, we operate one of the largest fresh-cut onion processing plants in the world, and we’re proud to lead the charge for agricultural conservation and innovation. We are increasing plant yields per acre and decreasing the amount of land required for growing. Our innovative seed development reduces the need for pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. We have embraced drip irrigation and integrated pest management while converting our onion waste into usable energy. Our most important mission — and the mission we share and celebrate with the rest of the agriculture industry — is delivering delicious and healthy foods to our fellow Americans. 

Meet Our Favorite Farmers

Steve and David Gill are the perfect definition of “boots on the ground” farmers. The entire Gill family represents a true legacy of farming, and, like so many other farmers, are an example of what makes Ag worth celebrating. 

Steve and David are fourth generation California farmers. They grew up on their father’s small farm in King City, California, and together they expanded the family farming operation to more than 20,000 acres with an additional 10,000 acres operated with other farming partners. From the very beginning, the Gill brothers have focused on one primary component in their farming: quality. They have become successful because they practice what they preach. 

Today, Steve and David own dozens of  agricultural companies ranging from western vegetable farming operations to vineyards and wineries. They are vertically integrated from their own seedling nursery, farming, harvesting, cooling, shipping, transportation, and fresh-cut produce as well as juice and plants. Our founders are intimately involved in daily farming operations. They continue to operate Gills Onions as a family owned and operated company, and we all feel like we are part of the family. 

Celebrate National Ag Week with Us

National Ag Week is the perfect time to celebrate all the things that make our company — and all of agriculture — so wonderful. At Gills Onions, we will be celebrating our employees who make everything we do possible. We’ll also be celebrating the communities that support us, use our products, and partner with us each day. 

We hope you’ll join us in celebrating the power that comes from knowing where your food comes from. Raise awareness, and challenge others to become engaged and educated about the impacts of Ag. You might consider attending a local National Ag Week or National Ag Day (March 24, 2020) event. You can also share your thoughts on social media with the hashtag #AgWeek. Take time to check out an agriculture-themed podcast, vlog, or social influencer. 

However you choose to celebrate, thank you for supporting American agriculture!

Ready to try onions grown “The Gill Way”? Contact our sales department to learn more.

Join Gills Onions in Celebrating National FFA Week

The National Future Farmers of America (FFA) is the largest youth organization in the world. But don’t let the name fool you. FFA isn’t just for students who want to be farmers. While many FFA members do go on to enter careers connected with the agricultural industry, they also become doctors, teachers, scientists, and business owners. 

Every February, FFA chapters across our nation celebrate National FFA Week, “a time to share what FFA is and the impact it has on members every day.” 

We’re proud to take this opportunity to tell you more about Gills Onions’ personal connection to FFA and our joint commitment to developing future leaders through agricultural education. 

What FFA Is All About 

FFA is “an intracurricular student organization that prepares members for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.” Members live by the motto, “Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, and Living to Serve.” 

You’ll find local FFA chapters all over the United States. These chapters are chartered by public schools and overseen by a faculty advisor. Student officers are elected annually by the chapter members. 

Local chapters make up state associations which operate under the federally-chartered National FFA Organization. State associations host their own competitions and award programs. 

During their time in FFA, students can specialize in a variety of areas that relate to the agricultural industry and participate in Career and Leadership Development Events as well as a Supervised Agricultural Experience. These events cover topics like:

  • Agricultural Communications
  • Agricultural Sales 
  • Agronomy
  • Environmental & Natural Resources 
  • Public Speaking 
  • Floriculture 
  • Food Science & Technology 
  • Forestry 
  • Marketing Plans
  • Nursery/Landscape 
  • Veterinary Science 

In a nutshell, FFA brings communities together to work and learn about where their food comes from and the important impact agriculture makes in everyone’s lives. 

Launching Careers in Agriculture 

“I was born and raised in agriculture, but hands down, the only reason why I am working in agriculture today is because when I was in 8th grade, a high school Ag teacher came to my school to recruit for FFA,” Megan Jacobsen, Gills Onions’ VP of Sales & Marketing says. “When he started talking about the FFA creed and the words, ‘I believe in the future of agriculture,’ that was the introduction that set the path for the rest of my life.”

Each student in FFA participates in a Supervised Agricultural Experience, or SAE. For many students, that experience is showing an animal. But, her freshman year of high school, Megan chose Ag Communications, a combination of marketing, public relations, and advocating on behalf of agriculture. It became her major in college, and it’s what she does for Gills Onions today. 

“I wanted to be an advocate, and FFA introduced me to what it meant to be a true advocate for the industry,” Megan says. “The only reason I even thought to choose Ag Communications as a career was because it was my project in FFA.”

Megan is the perfect example of the lasting impact FFA can have on students’ lives. Kids from major metropolitan cities and kids from rural farming communities alike can work together and connect with the natural resources that surround them. 

FFA exposes students to all the intricacies of the agricultural  industry. It goes beyond just the food we eat. The clothes we wear, the flowers we buy on Valentine’s day, and even the landscaping we do in our front lawns all come back to agriculture. 

Supporting Our Local Chapters 

Gills Onions and our parent company, Rio Farms, are proud to support our local California FFA chapters. We believe that any FFA chapter’s success is dependent upon the involvement of the local Ag community. 

These chapters hold special significance to our company. The King City and Greenfield FFA chapters in the Salinas Valley are located where Steve and David Gill founded their first company, and the Santa Paula FFA is located near the Gills Onions processing facility in Oxnard. 

Our leadership and employees show up to auction days at local fairs. We assist on student projects, provide sponsorships, and volunteer at events. Our employees are involved with the chapters in their own hometowns as well.

“Many of these students have met Steve and David Gill,” Megan says. “Now, when they go to the store and see our logo, they have a connection with where that product really came from, and they might think to themselves, ‘Maybe I could work at a place like Gills Onions someday.’”

By simply being engaged, we know we can help develop future leaders in many industries, including agriculture. So, join us in celebrating National FFA Week by supporting your local chapter today!

Ready to try onions grown “The Gill Way”? Contact our sales department to learn more.