Westchester resident and Venice High School horticulture teacher Diane Pollock, the 2008 winner of the Agriculture-in-the-Classroom award, will be the guest of honor at the California Farm Bureau Conference in Burlingame Tuesday, December 9th.

Pollock was named the award winner in the high school category of Agriculture-in-the-Classroom, a national foundation that connects agriculture to education. The requirements for the award are rigorous and demanding, according to the Farm Bureau.

Pollock said she feels privileged to be honored along with some of the top agriculture teachers in the state.

She oversees the horticulture program at the Venice High Learning Garden.

“Diane provides a unique opportunity for urban students to become aware of the benefits of gardening in terms of health and fitness and as a pathway to a career,” said Venice High School principal Lonnie Wallace.

When Pollock began teaching at Venice High 14 years ago, she “inherited” a one-acre plot that had been dormant for nearly 15 years, a school spokesperson said. The plot consisted of waist-high weeds, run-down buildings and numerous feral cats.

Today, the Learning Garden incorporates high school garden areas as well as community oriented garden areas. The community garden areas also include UCLA classes, Chinese herb gardens and a Mediterranean garden. The Venice High Learning Garden is overseen by a garden manager supported entirely by the Learning Garden Foundation.