By: Anna Jackson, Farm to School Coordinator
Farm to School Program Logo Design Contest Winner: Lourdes Fernandez, Rio Mesa High School
Meet Lourdes, a Freshman at Rio Mesa High School who designed the winning logo for the District’s Farm to School Program. Over 300 students across the district entered designs for this contest, students, faculty, and staff voted for the winning design. She and the other top winners will be honored at the May 24th Board meeting. The 1st Place Grand Prize is a subscription for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box of fresh fruits and vegetables from the Abundant Table Farm in Camarillo to be delivered to her home. The 1st, 2nd, 3rd place winners are invited to a private tour of McGrath Family Farms and Channel Islands Art Studios, where they will learn from and meet a few artists in residence.
The 2nd Place winner is Edgar Valdez, from Channel Islands High School, and the 3rd Place winner is Jonah Tuazon, from Hueneme High School.
We sat down with Lourdes this week to get to know her better.
Congratulations on winning the contest! So tell us how you came up with the winning design?
I did a lot of thinking about it at first. I thought about how our school, Rio Mesa, is surrounded by farmland. Every morning when we come to school, we see the workers in the fields working to bring us the food we eat every day. I wanted to incorporate the people who do the actual farm work into my design, because they are important. The hands holding the basket represent the farmers and farmworkers who are handing us the food they’ve grown and picked. I added the colorful fruits and vegetables to represent what we grow in Ventura County. I wanted to make sure it looked bright and colorful, because that shows the vegetables are fresh and delicious.
And how did you actually create the design, by hand or on a computer?
I took a picture of myself holding a basket I have at home, and then drew it on my tablet, and added the fruits and veggies.
What does Farm to School mean to you?
It means that we want to get the best produce and keep our school healthy. Fresh fruits and vegetables are better than artificial foods that so many people eat. This program coming to our school is a step forward towards becoming healthier.
What hopes do you have for the future of the Farm to School Program?
I hope that we can continue to get fresher, better tasting fruits and vegetables for students. Knowing that produce is grown locally makes it taste better, and more students will eat healthier when the produce tastes better.
How can we encourage students to eat healthier diets?
By teaching healthy cooking classes so that students know how to prepare vegetables the ways that they like best. Lots of us eat Cheetos and foods with high fructose corn syrup, and we just need to realize that fresh fruits and vegetables can taste just as good and have better health benefits. Students really like the vegetables with chili powder, we should keep serving that!
Why do you love art?
I can create anything my imagination dreams of- I like to create stories, characters, and emotions. People can see what I like, it’s a great way to express yourself. I enjoy writing my own stories and illustrating them. My earliest memory of drawing is when I was four years old, but I became a serious artist in seventh grade. I archive all my old drawings; I keep boxes and boxes of them at home because I love to see my art progress. I get in a little bit of trouble sometimes because my most creative hours of the day are between 10pm and 4am, and I’m up late all the time working on different projects. So sometimes it’s hard to wake up early for school in the morning. That’s my most creative time because it’s really quiet, everyone is asleep but that’s the time my imagination is most awake.
Do you want to be a professional artist someday?
Yes! My dream is to attend Cal Arts in Valencia and study graphic design, visual design, and character design. It’s a good art school that a lot of big companies hire from, and it’s not too far from home.
Are your parents excited that you won the contest?
They told the whole family that I won, they are so excited. They’re really excited we won the CSA subscription of fresh fruits and veggies from the Abundant Table Farm in Camarillo, because my dad is a chef and he loves to cook. I’ve always enjoyed cooking with him. But I’m the first artist in the family, so this is really exciting for all of us.
Well, your first year of high school is almost over. How did it go? Different than you expected?
This year was better than I expected! I’ve made very good friendships that I treasure, but I still keep in touch with my old friends who go to different schools. I like Rio Mesa because there is so much school spirit and everyone treats each other like a family. That’s what I really enjoy about this school.