Sample Post – Heinz Seeds

San Joaquin FARMS Leadership | Heinz Seeds | April 24, 2018

Location(s) of Field Day:
Stockton, CA

Field Day Host(s):
Heinz Seeds

Participating Partners/Mentors:
Ross Siragusa
Matt Leinfelder
Rich Ozminkowski
Ruben Garcia
Gary King
Iiona
Michelle
John M.
John F.

“The Heinz field trip was the best. It contained classroom background/learning, a tour of the farm, and a hands-on community project that involved feeding the hungry all around the world. It made my students feel as if their work was worthy.” – Darlene Corona, Lodi High

Our final field day for the San Joaquin FARMS Leadership Program was at Heinz Seeds in Stockton, CA. The field day began with an overview of the company given by Ross Siragusa the Global Director of Heinz Seed. Then we learned about Tomato Breeding 101 from Rich Ozminkowski and the global seed business. We then headed out from the conference room and Matt Leinfelder gave us a tour of the Heinz Seeds headquarters where we were able to see where the seeds were processed and stored, We also toured a few green houses and different labs where we learned about seed quality, pathology and tomato technologies. We then traveled a ways down the road to the Heinz Seeds farm were we saw different fields being planted in and tour more green houses. The students then were able to present their Community Action Projects and we had lunch with the Heinz Seeds staff. After lunch the SJ FARMS students participated in an event with the Heinz Seeds staff called Rise Against Hunger. Together we were able to package over 7,000 meals to feed the hungry!

“The Heinz field trip was the best. It contained classroom background/learning, a tour of the farm, and a hands on community project that involved feeding the hungry all around the world. It made my students feel as if their work was worthy.” – Darlene Corona, Lodi High

Davis Senior High School at Gilmer Farm

Participating School
Davis Senior High School

Partners/Landowners
Solano Resource Conservation District

Mentors
Nick Gallegar, NCRS Rangeland Management Specialist
Beth Hellman, UC Davis graduate student
Amanda Lindell, UCD graduate student
Laura McGowan, UCD graduate student
Ha Truong, NRCS Agricultural Engineer

Our third and final field day at Gilmer farm was a huge success both for our students and our hedgerow. After arrival, our day started off with a fun game of group juggle to get everyone moving a bit and thinking about each other’s names. Once we were all familiar, we jumped right into our plant pressing activity! Students walked along Dave Gilmer’s already established hedgerow, collecting a number of different native species as well as some invasive. Upon returning to the barn, students wrote descriptions of there plants on the back of cards and get them and the plants into our plant presses. Once those are dry and mounted, students will have their own plant pressings to take home and remember SLEWS with.

After plant pressing, everyone headed out to our hedgerow to see how many of our plants survived, as well as weed around our native plants. Students were diligent to make sure they removed as many weeds as possible without damaging their plants.

Following lunch, students had a full afternoon filled with learning activities. We began the afternoon with mentor interviews, a amazing chance for students to get to know their mentors a bit more and ask them in depth questions about their chosen field and how they got to where they are today. With interviews wrapped up, students got to encounter some wildlife in the form of our current native mammal and birds nest collection. After an initial inspection, each mentor group was assigned two animals that they got to present on to the rest of the group. To wrap up the day, students did a blind taste test with different kinds of citrus, some from the store and the rest local. After comparing the different fruit, everyone did made their best guess at which fruit was which.

We would like to thank our SLEWS mentors for enhancing the students field experience, and our gracious hosts at Gilmer Farm for engaging youth from Davis High School in their habitat restoration work.

Accomplishments
Weeding entirety of the hedgerow

“It was great to interview the mentors because it taught me it is okay to not know what I want to do for a career now, I can figure it out as my interests change.”