A Well Rounded Look at Shasta College

FARMS Leadership | Tehama | Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Location of Field Day
Shasta College: 11555 Old Oregon Trail, Redding, CA 96049

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors
Becky Roe, Sr. Project Coordinator Economic Workforce Development John Schmidt, Regional Director Advanced Manufacturing Betsey Ray, Registered Apprenticeship Coordinator

College Exploration

Summary of the Day While career exploration is one of our main focuses during the FARMS program, we also prioritize showing students the college and certificate options they have in our local areas. Today, we met at Shasta College which is a junior college located in Redding, CA and had an extremely hands on day exploring their Ag and natural resources degrees, what they have to offer for those interested in Heavy Equipment and Logging, as well as the Advanced manufacturing program with a focus on welding, diesel tech, and automotive.

Our morning started with a fun icebreaker called “the human knot”. Students laughed while they worked together trying to untangle themselves out of the knot they initially created. Next, the students were broken into groups and given fancy SWAG bags that included a Shasta College drawstring bag, Shasta College water bottle, and some information brochures about the college. As we broke up one group went to explore the Ag and Natural Resources Department, another went to the training grounds for heavy equipment, and the last one went to see advanced manufacturing, diesel tech, welding, and auto-shop. Each group had the opportunity to rotate through each department and enjoy hands on activities.

The Shasta College student farm is where the majority of the Ag and natural resources kids spend their time. While we visited the farm we enjoyed a wonderful stroll around learning about all the animals they house such as pigs, cattle, goats, and chickens and how they are incorporated into labs and the hands on learning. We also saw the greenhouses where many of the plant science students do labs. Students heard about how their are actual students that live in dorm style housing on the farm and earn their rent by caring for these animals throughout the year. This is a great opportunity to save money and learn many new skills required in the Ag production industries as well as many plant science areas.

After a brief walk to the heavy equipment training grounds, students were introduced to what degrees and certificate programs utilize this hands on training experience. Just this year, a new program was added that gives students the training and knowledge needed to successfully begin a career in the logging industry. These training grounds are where each student gets first hand training on the actual equipment they will be operating in the forests to help harvest one of our most renewable resources, wood. In true FARMS style, each student had to chance to jump in the excavator and take it for a spin! What a memorable experience.

The last area we headed to was the Advanced Mechanics buildings which house their welding shop, diesel mechanic labs, as well as their automotive department. Here students rotated through and heard from the college professors about the labs that were currently in session. We had to chance to mingle with the current college students who were working on various projects and here what led them to choose Shasta College and some of their favorite things!

This day was so much fun and hands on. We wrapped it up by all the groups coming back together and practicing some public speaking by sharing with everyone what their favorite part of the day was and some things they learned. Thank you to Shasta College for hosting an amazing day! We look forward to bring more students in future years!

The Role of Farm Bureau and How Farm Credit Supports Farmers

FARMS Leadership | Tehama | Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Location of Field Day
Tehama County Farm Bureau : 275 Sale Lane, Red Bluff, CA 96080

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors
Kari Dodd – Tehama County Farm Bureau Manager Shelley Macdonald – Vice President at Farm Credit

Agriculture Support Careers

Summary of the Day Who supports our farmers? Is there anyone who advocates for the farmer when lawmakers are working on imposing new rules and regulations that will affect our agriculture and natural resource industries? When these questions are asked most students have no idea. This is where Kari Dodd, our local Farm Bureau Manager comes to us as a great resource. Spending a day at the Farm Bureau Office is an excellent way for students to learn first hand the important role they play in our agriculture community. Students learned a bit about the history of Farm Bureau what it means to be a “grass roots organization” and how they focus on policy making beginning at the county level. She shared about how they serve their members locally by keeping them informed on all the up and coming laws, rules, and restrictions, they send out a weekly publication called AgAlert and a monthly magazine called California Bountiful, as well as offer educational programs to our local schools and youth. Quite a bit of time was spent discussing Farm Bureau’s role in Sacramento and the opportunities they offer for members and students to sit on on sessions at our state level as well as bigger trips to Washington DC to be able to observe our national government at work.

As our students begin to find their “group” often times it’s a real adjustment to move away to college. Kari shared about her experiences with being a part of Young Farmers and Ranchers, which includes both men and women ages 18-35 and promotes leadership. As part of this leadership development the students learned the proper way to shake a persons hand in a confident, professional way. Kari shared how mand of these skills are taught and practiced during time with YF&R and therefore can only benefit your professional and self development. Becoming part of YF&R can give students that sense of purpose as well as a group of like minded people to mingle with when faced with moving for college, a job, or any other reason. Most counties nation wide have a YF&R program or one in a neighboring county and even some colleges have clubs that associate with this program.

We wrapped up our day with a fun, hands on presentation by Shelley Macdonald the Vice President of our local Farm Credit. Shelley, who also teaches for Shasta College, did an activity where the students were broken up into groups of 3-4, and then given a pile of newspapers with the instructions to build the tallest tower they could. It was amazing to watch them work together and Shelley was so proud of how they all actively participated and no one sat back and watched! She shared about how Farm Credit works, and the services they offer to their members. With the average age of most ag appraisers nearing retirement, she spoke about the career opportunities available and what type of education they require.

The students walked away from the day with a greater appreciation for these organizations and how they support the agriculture and natural resources industries. They also learned about careers and opportunities that are available as well as how important starting to network at a young age is. You never know who’s hand you shake one day might be your future boss.

Milk. It does a body good.

FARMS Advanced | Tehama | Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Location of Field Day:
Duivenvoorden Farms – 19490 Draper Rd. Cottonwood, CA 96022

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors:
Ali Duivenvoorden – Public Relations Manager Mark Duivenvoorden – Owner/Herd Manager

Food Safety and Production, Labor

Summary of the Day: To kick off our Tehama County FARMS Advanced year, we visited Duivenvoorden Farms which is a raw dairy in Cottonwood, CA that has been in operation for over 50 years! As we arrived, Mark and Ali Duivenvoorden (and a whole herd of dogs) greeted us and were excited to share their knowledge and love for the dairy industry. We jumped right into the daily operation by joining Mark in the milking parlor to learn some background as well as see first hand the heart and passion that is poured into this local business. It was very touching to hear Mark tell the story of the family dairy that begun over 50 years ago when his parents immigrated from Holland and started the dairy, to him and his wife Lori taking it over in 1993 and now his son and daughter-in-law being a part of the daily operations as well. With the dairy industry being in decline in CA they were faced with finding a niche market to sell their milk in, which is why in 2009 they began selling herd shares which allowed local families to purchase the raw milk for consumption to in 2017 going full retail and building a processing facility to bottle their raw milk for retail sale at markets all over the north state!

The Duivenvoordens herd consists currently of 35 milking cows who all have names. We had the opportunity to learn the process of milking the cows and even try our hand at milking one! We then followed the stainless milk lines to the room where the milk is cooled from 102 degrees to below 50 degrees and stored in a large agitator until it is bottled and distributed twice a week. As you can imagine, with the small scale family business this is a very high labor intensive process. which Ali shared that the days they bottle and distribute, they are all hands on deck to ensure the highest quality milk is delivered to each store.

In order to achieve high quality and consistent flavor, the Duivenvoordens really go the extra mile in care and feeding of their herd. We learned how there cows have access to pasture 365 days a year and are completely grain free! They are fed high quality alfalfa hay year round and fodder during the winter months. What is fodder? In their case, it is barley seeds that are wet and allowed to sprout and grow in trays with no soil which turns into a mat of highly digestible forage for the cows. They are fed this during the months that there pasture grass is primarily dormant, to allow for consistent cream percentage and taste of the milk year round.

To wrap up our day, we took a tour of the farm where we fed the cows, visited the pigs that they feed any “dump milk” or milk that for many reasons doesn’t go into the main tank, and climbed the pile of rice hulls that they use for bedding in the free stalls that the cows can rest in. After this fun and hands on tour, Ali treated us to a glass of their delicious, cold, raw milk and we even made our own butter!

Thank you Duivenvoorden Farms! We had a wonderful day of learning and making memories! Looking forward to another visit during your Milk and Cookies day!