Cotton is the most popular natural fiber. It's in the clothes we wear, and the beds we sleep in; it's in the food we eat; it's in our soaps and cosmetics and even used in animal feed. Yet, few people know how or where cotton is grown, what the fiber looks like in the field or how cotton is transformed from field to fiber and final products.
Each fall the Sustainable Cotton Project offers a Cotton Farm Tour through the San Joaquin Valley to gain a behind-the-scenes look at the many sides of cotton production. Tour attendance enables participants to meet the farmers and scientists, see cotton being harvested and ginned and learn about the practices of Cleaner Cotton™.
2023 Cotton Farm Tour
Presented by the Sustainable Cotton Project (SCP), California College of the Arts (CCA) with funding from Cotton Incorporated
You’ll see cotton in the field and cotton harvesting along with a tour of a cotton gin, lunch at Cardella Winery and take-home samples of cotton fiber. Throughout the day, leading industry experts and professionals will present an inside perspective about the many facets of cotton cultivation and processing, addressing issues such as water use, carbon sequestration and biologically based cotton farming practices.
We’ll visit the Del Bosque Farms Farm Stand where you will meet with owner and SCP grower Joe Del Bosque. The farm stand offers fresh, organic and sustainably grown produce (so be sure to bring your shopping bag). Joe will share his story about becoming a farmer and landowner. He has served the farming community in many capacities including California Latino Water Coalition, Ag Safe, and is currently on the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research Board dedicated to increasing partnerships vital to U.S. agriculture. He will share his thoughts on local agriculture and answer all your farming questions.
Lunch is included at the beautiful Cardella Winery in Mendota. Snacks and water will also be provided on the bus.
Guests are responsible for their own travel and hotel arrangements. Rooms are available for you to book at the Best Western Apricot Inn, 46290 W Panoche Rd., Firebaugh, CA. The hotel provides a complimentary breakfast for guests. Space in the hotel is limited, so please call (559) 659-1444 to reserve your room as soon as possible. Let them know you are part of the SCP/CCA cotton tour.
Cost + other info
The cost for this tour is $70 per person, which includes travel, lunch, and snacks. Space on the tour is limited. Please reserve your spot by clicking on the following link:
The tour begins promptly at 8:30 AM at the Best Western Apricot Inn. Please gather in or just outside the lobby. Breakfast/registration begins at 7:45 AM. Please wear close-toed shoes for walking in fields, and bring a hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent if you wish. The tour ends around 3:00 - 4:00 PM.
If you have any questions, please contact Marcia Gibbs, SCP Director, at (530) 370-5325, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SCP tours bring industry executives in direct contact with activists, policy makers, and members of the public, students, farmers, scientists and even local doctors to foster conversations. This in person experience breaks through the polarized rhetoric of activists and prevalent brand marketing, and provides science-based information so people understand the challenges of cotton production in California and work together with farmers to enable change.
You'll walk through a cotton field, observe machine harvesting, hear directly from farmers what it takes to grow Cleaner Cotton™, tour a cotton gin, and take home samples of cotton fiber. Throughout the day, leading industry experts and professionals will present an inside perspective about the many facets of Cleaner Cotton™ cultivation, such as the use of beneficial insects, and habitats, trap crops, water use, cover crops, regenerative methods in a mechanical cotton system, and the current state of the market for Cleaner Cotton™ fiber.
Whether you work in the textile industry, are a member of the public, an educator, student or designer, join us on our next tour to see how the fiber is grown and made ready for its use in the market.
Everyone, who ever attended one of SCP's farm tours, cites it as a memorable and life changing experience.
Contact us for more information.