Nursery & Greenhouse Management

On Tuesday, March 19, 2019, the South Central Valley group of the FARMS Leadership Program ended their year at TSL & Seed in Huron, CA. The schools represented at this field day were Lindsay High School, El Diamante High School and Mt. Whitney High School.
Upon arrival, students met with their coordinator Katie Wortman for a daily agenda, breakfast and to sign the thank yous for the day’s speakers. 3 students were today’s leadership team. Their job was to meet and introduce our speakers as well as help with organizing lunch clean up and thanking our speakers at the end of the day.

The FARMS theme for the day was learning about Greenhouse and Nursery Management. Students engage in experiential learning that demonstrates the balance between ag production, they learned about the size and scope including the economic impact of the agricultural industry in the county, state, and nation. Students also gained an understanding of the natural resources used in agriculture production and the ecological impact on the environment. We were excited to learn that the high humidity and misting water system was low usage at the 9 greenhouses on the property. Students were able to see the entire process of sewing seeds and see the different stages of those seeds and finally seeing them planted in the fields.

You Can’t Judge a Book by It’s Cover

FARMS Leadership| Central Valley | January 22, 2019

Participating Schools

El Diamante High School, Visalia CA

Mt. Whitney High School, Visalia CA

Location
West Hills College Lemoore

Partners/Mentors
Kris Costa, Dean of Career Technical Education
Tina Simas, Secretary, Student Services

Summary of the Day
We’ve been running the FARMS Leadership Program for 25 years, and yet every field day is something new. With almost 100 field days each year, that’s a lot of creativity on behalf of our partners and staff! Today’s field day at West Hills College Lemoore is an example of that. Students learned the history of the campus, the various and diverse services and programs they offer, were treated to an educational “etiquette” lunch, and then got to work in the automation lab!

“We were thrilled to have you here!”  – Kris Costa, Dean of Career Technical Education

“It was comforting knowing students have so much support here and their agenda wasn’t just come to West Hills Lemoore, but they encouraged our students to go anywhere, but if it happened to be here that would be awesome!” -Katie Wortman, FARMS Leadership Program Coordinator

An etiquette lunch provided by West Hills College, Lemoore.

Students learn about other career education opportunities at West Hills College, Lemoore

A fantastic day with El Diamante High School and Mt. Whitney High School at West Hills College, Lemoore

Ricardo Marmolejo, Director of Special Grants Program – Title V, West Hills College Lemoore leads a tour around the campus.

Hunter and Mia work diligently on their electricity project.

Eryk introduces Mrs. Kris Costa to the group. Mrs. Costa welcomes the group to West Hills College, Lemoore

Ooooby Fresno

On Tuesday, January 15, 2019, the Central Valley North FARMS Leadership group visited Food Commons Fresno.  Students learned about the history of T&D Willey Farm and how Ooooby Fresno came to be. Students worked on the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) line and packed CSA Boxes that Ooooby distributes to over 700 local community customers. Students participated in making their own marketing and social media posts. The students worked outside of their comfort zone by producing their own videos displaying the many different products inside that weeks Ooooby box. “I was very surprised how quickly the students ran with this sort of task.” Eric DeJong, Students then enjoyed lunch and visited Road 20 Farm where the students walked a muddy block 1 of the farm where they saw the operation in action.  Road 20 Farm organically grows 60+ varieties of crops at one time. It was an amazing day!

Road 20 Farm

Packing CSA Boxes


Agriculture and Research

Program: FARMS Leadership

Region: Central Valley North & South

Field Date: Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Location of Field Day: Kearney Research

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors:

Theme: Research in Agriculture

On, Tuesday, December 4, 2018, the Central Valley North and South FARMS Leadership Groups consisting of Madera High School, Madera Liberty High School, Kerman High School, Clovis East High School, Lindsey High School, Hanford High School, El Diamante High School and Mt. Whitney High School participated in a joint field day at Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Parlier CA.  At the beginning of the day the leadership team prepared introductions for the days hosts. Following introductions, students were split into three groups and rotated through three topic areas. They studieds Soils such as soil quality, healthy soils for healthy crops. The second area they studied Post Harvest Quality by answering the question of How suppliers know whether or not the fruits and vegetables that I buy will be ripe and flavorful?  And finally, the importance of grains, such as types of grains, whole grain nutrition and how they grow. At lunch time the hosts sat with the students and presented about their job and students asked all kinds of questions related to their work and how they got there. These questions lead to a great roundtable discussion. The hosts were very gracious with their time and answering all of the students questions. We had a great visit as always and are excited to return!

Enzo Olive Oil

Program: FARMS Leadership

Region: Central Valley North

Field Date: Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Location of Field Day: Enzo Olive Oil Company, Madera CA

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors: Jasmine Mahfoud & Vincent Ricchiuti

Theme: Olive Oil Harvest

Summary of the Day:  On Tuesday, November 13th the Central Valley North FARMS Leadership that comprised of Kerman High School, Madera South High School, Madera Liberty High School and Clovis East High School.  As the students arrived they enjoyed a breakfast snack, a leadership team was designated and students practiced introducing and thanking a speaker. Owner Vincent Ricchiuti and Quality Manager Kathryn Tomajan met with the students and went over everything in relation to the History of PR-Farms and ENZO Olive Oil Company.  We then toured the orchard and mill, we saw harvesting, saw the mill at work, where the tanks were stored and the bottling station. At the end of our tour Enzo provided an Olive Oil Tasting. Students returned to the meeting room and participated in a teamwork cup stacking game. After lunch Vincent and Kathryn joined us again with Field Manager Brenden.  We had a lovely conversation about their education, how they ended up at Enzo and what they thought about the politics of the High Speed Rail that goes straight through a piece of their land. This conversation lead to a basic round table discussion of everything under the sun. They were very courteous of our group and took their time answering all the questions we had for them.  This really showed that the students were honestly interested in their day and what they were sharing with us. After our questions, the leadership team who introduced each individual thanked them as well for their time they took with us today. Lastly, the students completed a Career Self-Assessment to see where their interests lie and how true they thought they were. We had a great day at and cannot wait to return!  Thank you Enzo and PR-Farms for a wonderful day!

UC Davis, Tulare

Program: FARMS Leadership

Region: Central Valley South

Field Date: Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Location of Field Day:  UC Davis Veterinary Medicine California Animal Health & Food Safety Laboratory System Center, Tulare CA

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors: Dr. John Adaska, Dr. Terry Lehenbauer, Kathy Glenn, Karen Tonook, and Ms. Gregory

Theme:  Vet Science

Summary of the Day:

On November 6, 2018, the South Valley FARMS Leadership Students of Hanford High School, Lindsay High School, El Diamante High School, and Mt. Whitney High School visited UC Davis Veterinary Medicine Tulare Campus. Upon arrival, students enjoyed a breakfast snack and were assigned to introduce our speakers for the day.  Students participated in a teamwork activity cup stacking game. Following our teamwork activity, we started our day. Our hosts were very impressed with how the students were very professional in introducing and thanking all of the days speakers. In the first session students were exposed to a Necropsy Video. Dr. John Adaska introduced the video and explained frame by frame the reasons and needs to do a necropsy on an animal.  In our second session, Dr. Terry Lehenbauer introduced the college to the students. He went over college requirements and the admission process. He also explained Academic Preparation & Pre-Veterinary Required Courses for being accepted into Vet School. In session 3, students were split into two groups and rotated through the topics of Milk Quality Testing and a PCR Testing. CAHFS operates as the State of California’s central reference laboratory for measuring dairy products for their wholesomeness and nutrient makeup. This quality assurance program ensures dairy products are compliant with regulations, protecting both the consumer and the producer. Real-time PCR is a second generation PCR platform with significantly improved testing characteristics. Introduced in 1996, it has revolutionized and replaced conventional PCR approaches to quantify DNA and RNA. Today, RT-PCR is the gold standard for quantitative PCR and is rapidly becoming accepted as the method of choice for PCR diagnostics.  After enjoying lunch, Ms. Gregory from Lindsay High School presented to the students about injections. Students were able to practice subcutaneous and intramuscular injections in a piece of citrus with a different gauge needles and water with food coloring. The students really enjoys this hands on activity as they could really use this in real life situations.  FARMS is so excited to have UC Davis Veterinary Medicine California Animal Health & Food Safety Laboratory System Center in Tulare as a partner educating students about Veterinary Medicine.

Terminus Dam

Title:  Food grows where water flows

Program: FARMS Leadership

Region: Central Valley Central

Field Date: October 23, 2018

Location of Field Day:  Kaweah Delta Water Conservation District

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors:  Shane Smith, KDWCD

Theme:  Importance of Water in Agriculture

On Tuesday, October 23, 2018, the Central Valley Central FARMS Leadership students from Patino High School and Sunnyside High School of Fresno Unified School District met for the first time of the 2018-2019 school year at the Kaweah Delta Water Conservation District.  Shane Smith, Project-Administrative Manager with the KDWCD met with the students at the home office. We then caravaned to the US Army Corps of Engineer office at the Dam. While here Mr. Smith led a presentation about the Kaweah Delta Water Operations, What the district does, Groundwater Recharge, Stormwater Layoff and storage facilities.  He also explained the importance of irrigation and Fuseaes known as Tipping Buckets and Flood Control Activities. Students were able to walk down and see the 6 – 1 million pound tipping buckets up close. After lunch students spent time in leadership activities. They learned how to properly shake hands and learned how to successfully introduce another student to the group.  Students did a great job and we all enjoyed our visit to the Dam! Giovanni Chavarria, a student from Patino high school said, “This was one of my favorite trips because I learned how dams work. Also, this was the first field trip I had EVER been on and I enjoyed every moment.  I learned how to correctly shake hands and how to introduce someone in a professionally.”

IPM and Citrus

IPM and Citrus

Program: Central Valley FARMS Advanced

Region: Central Valley

Field Date: Thursday, October 11th

Location of Field Day:  Lindcove Research & Extension Center

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors: Dr. Elizabeth E Grafton-Cardwell Ph.D.

Theme: IPM and Citrus

Summary of the Day: On Thursday, October 11, 2018, the Central Valley FARMS Advanced Group met for the first time during the 2018-2019 school year.  The students worked with Dr. Grafton-Cardwell, as she explained red scale. The students received a hands-on experienced looking at red scale under the microscopes.  With the deadly citrus disease, Huanglongbing expected to arrive in the near future in urban areas of California through a small insect called the Asian citrus psyllid, educating the public not to move plant material and watching for pests and diseases is critical.  Students then were able to get more hands-on experience in the local citrus orchard used by the Center for education. Students found the infected fruit on the trees from what they learned in the morning session. What a great first field day for all! The students are excited to learn more this year about IPM in the Central Valley.



Program: FARMS Advanced

Region: Central Valley

Field Date: Thursday, October 11th

Location of Field Day:  Lindcove Research & Extension Center

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors: Dr. Elizabeth E Grafton-Cardwell Ph.D.

Theme: IPM and Citrus

Summary of the Day: On Thursday, October 11, 2018, the Central Valley FARMS Advanced Group met for the first time during the 2018-2019 school year.  The students worked with Dr. Grafton-Cardwell, as she explained red scale. The students received a hands-on experienced looking at red scale under the microscopes.  With the deadly citrus disease, Huanglongbing expected to arrive in the near future in urban areas of California through a small insect called the Asian citrus psyllid, educating the public not to move plant material and watching for pests and diseases is critical.  Students then were able to get more hands-on experience in the local citrus orchard used by the Center for education. Students found the infected fruit on the trees from what they learned in the morning session. What a great first field day for all! The students are excited to learn more this year about IPM in the Central Valley.

All about Cotton!!

FARMS Leadership| Central Valley | October 9, 2018

Participating Schools
El Diamante High School, Visalia; Mt. Whitney High School, Visalia; Lindsay High School, Lindsay; and Hanford High School, Hanford.

Location
Tulare & Visalia, CA

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors
Farm Credit West, Tulare; Cardoza Farming Company; Mid-Valley Cotton Growers, Inc. and USDA Cotton Program Classing Office, Visalia

Summary of the Day
On Tuesday, October 9, 2018, the Central Valley South FARMS Leadership Program students enjoyed a fun-filled,  field day learning about the Cotton Industry. The students who consist of Lindsay High School, Hanford High School, El Diamante High School, and Mt. Whitney High School, started off at 9am meeting at Farm Credit West in Tulare. We were welcomed by Jonathan Kennedy, Senior Vice President.  Here students covered a few leadership activities such as practicing, how to properly introduce a host and thanking them for their time and sharing their knowledge with our students.

Next, the group caravanned to our field located south-west of Tulare where Cardoza Company was harvesting a cotton field.  Here, Curtis Lafler, a student from Hanford High School introduced Mr. David Cardoza, President of Cardoza Company. Mr. Cardoza talked with the group about the growing, maintenance and harvesting of cotton. Next, the group headed to Mid-Valley Cotton Growers, Inc., in Tulare, where we were welcomed by Stan Creelman.  Stan showed us the entire process from unloading the truck to accepting the cotton. It takes approximately 2 minutes of travel time to where the seed is removed and the cotton is put into bales ready to be shipped overseas where it is typically made into clothing.

One student said they learned how cotton farming is a sustainable practice, “I learned about how everything is recycled and reused, so nothing goes to waste”. Another student learned, “the fiber on the cotton seeds helps the cows digestion.” This fact refers to the nutrition component that we cover in the program. Finally, we traveled to the USDA Classing Office in Visalia, CA where we enjoyed a quick lunch provided by FARMS. Finally, we spoke to Greg Townsend, the Area Director of the USDA Classing Office. The students learned the process of how the machines now classify and grade the cotton.  We learned that this process used to be done completely by people and the last part of grading still is. We definitely enjoyed our day and thanks to all of our partners for the day; Farm Credit West, Cardoza Company, Mid-Valley Cotton Growers Association Inc., and the USDA Cotton Program Classing Office in Visalia, CA.

A Handful of Almonds…

(MADERA, CA) On Wednesday, September 26th, Students from the Central Valley North FARMS Leadership Program stepped out of the classroom to learn about the steps to harvesting almonds at Creekside Farming Company Inc. and learning about The Almond Company’s business.  Meeting for the first time were 30 sophomore and juniors students from Clovis East High School, Kerman High School, Liberty High School, and Madera South High Schools.

FARMS stands for Farming, Agriculture and Resource Management for Sustainability, which is a premier Leadership Program run by the Center for Land-Based Learning.  This statewide youth program connects high school students to California’s food system and teaches them leadership skills through a year of field days on farms, ranches and agribusinesses.  They get to explore college and career opportunities in agriculture, food and environmental science while helping them develop critical thinking skills through hands-on experiences. “It is so important for students to learn about the agriculture that surrounds them.”, said Katie Wortman, the FARMS Leadership Coordinator for the Central Valley.

The Madera County Farm Bureau provided the meeting space for the Leadership portion of the Field Day.  The day started out with the designation of leadership teams and students practicing the proper handshake.  Students got to know each other by interviewing each other and introduced each other as a preparation for introducing our individual speakers.  Each predetermined student interviewed each speaker of the day and introduced them to the group as a whole. Next, the group traveled to The Almond Company and were welcomed by Anthony Sagariballa, Director of Plant Operations and Jerry Magdaleno, Grower Relations.

Our students were treated to a company presentation, almond tasting, facility tour, and lunch. Finally, we ended our day with Creekside Farming. Jay Mahil, Owner and Eli Gallegos, Ranch Manager met us for an in-depth tour of harvesting Almonds. Students were able to watch how Almond trees are harvested including the shaking, sweeping and picking up of Almonds.  Almonds were then transferred to the truck and delivered to the processor. Our FARMS students did an excellent job asking questions and being engaged in the day.