Growing up with her mom – a passionate organic gardener – and helping with fruit trees, vegetables, and flowers, Jessica Vaughan developed a desire to dedicate her life to horticulture. While her career in the industry didn't follow a straight path, her time in the Horticulture Department led Jessica to exactly where she knows she should be.
Jessica spent 12 years in a successful high tech advertising career. During some of her years at Google, she helped nonprofits develop their ad campaigns. She loved what she was doing but started feeling that she had accomplished what she wanted to. It was time to make a change. Jessica started exploring many of her hobbies to help identify her next step, including taking a variety of horticulture classes.
"I realized I am destined to do something with plants. Also, the looming population boom is in the forefront of my mind … how do we provide for all of these people? I had enjoyed helping those nonprofits that were focused on finding sustainable solutions for feeding people."
She researched different horticulture programs that could help move her into growing the most produce possible in a sustainable way. Jessica is practical, saying "I wanted to learn correctly from experts how to grow food organically."
On choosing Cabrillo College: "The Horticulture program completely exceeded my expectations. I could get my hands in the dirt, and the faculty was outstanding."
Jessica started the program thinking she wanted to be a field grower, but her greenhouse and hydroponics classes led her to focus on controlled environment agriculture as a way to grow more food on less land. She couldn't get away from organics, so she has consistently worked on how to make hydroponics organic. Jessica had multiple job offers after graduation. She worked for five years at Jacobs Farm/del Cabo getting their hydroponic system to work organically, leading to consistent production and is now a Grower Consultant at LumiGrow, Inc.
View Jessica's videos on LinkedIn.