On Monday, April 8, 2019, Patino and Sunnyside High School students joined at Reedley College for the last field day of the 2019 FARMS Leadership Program. A student volunteer introduced Mr. Kent Kinney, the Forestry Professor at Reedley College. We then joined a Fish and Wildlife Biology Lab Class in fishing for count in the colleges pond. After this exercise, students joined the mule packing team in the barns. Each group of 4 students watched the Mule Packing demonstration before demonstrating it themselves. The students were taught how to properly pack the mule for overnight adventures and in case of undesirable weather to keep their supplies dry for the trip. Finally, our day ended with a guided River Walk on the Kings River with students from the Forestry Lab class. Students have to know all of the type of trees and shrubs seen out on the walk and taught our students and then quizzing them. What an amazing day at a college that is practically in our own backyard.
Location of Field Day: Meyers Water Bank, Firebaugh CA
Field Day Host(s) and Mentors: Jason Dean
Theme: Water for Farming
Upon arrival, students ate breakfast and participated in an introduction and Thank You Presentation. Following meeting our host partners, the students watched a video on Meyers Water Bank presentation as well as a Video Display & Discussion led by Jason. We were then joined by a falconer and her 2 birds. She displayed the birds and explained how they are used in rodent control on farms and wildlife preserves. We were then taken to the actual site and enjoyed lunch and a nature walk. Finally, students participated in a hands-on student service project for Meyers Water Bank and then we closed the day with presenting Thank You’s to our hosts.
Location of Field Day: Peterson Packing House, Kingsburg CA
Field Day Host(s) and Mentors: Vernon Peterson
Theme: Packing House, Chickens and a Trout Release
Summary of the Day:
Our day started off with a tour of the Petersons Citrus Packing House, where students rotated between Quality Control, Administration, Security, and Loading. The students rotated between the 4 jobs for about 30 minutes each. In quality control, students learned how to test the citrus to the specifications for sale in each category. In the admin office, students learned how to bill, shipping/receiving and distribution works. At some points, the packing shed will run 24 hours a day. In the security office, students learned how to keep the machines running and that the employees were carefully completing the tasks at hand. Finally, students help load and keep track and pack the pallets that went onto the trucks and out to the stores.
After lunch, Mr. Peterson took us to his family’s chicken ranch. He showed the students how quickly the chickens grew and how his employees cared for the chickens and the houses they lived in. He showed us how technology-based is houses were as they continuously kept a temperature of about 70-90 degrees depending on how old the chickens were.
Finally, students from the FARMS (Center for Land-Based Learning) program at Patiño School of Entrepreneurship took a field trip in February to Peterson Organic Farms and the Kings River North Riverside access point. The students learned about organic farming practices and assisted with the Kings River Conservation District and Kings River Conservancy (KRC) trout release to plant and repopulate the Kings River. Students had the opportunity to meet local leaders and watch the KRC video about education and the role of the river.
Field Day Host(s) and Mentors: Mark Krebsbach | Chad Pinter | Eric Brandenburg | Buster Freeman |
Theme: Grains and Milling
On Tuesday, February 19th the Central Valley South FARMS Leadership Program consisting of El Diamante High School, Lindsay High School and Mt. Whitney High School met at Western Milling in Goshen CA. Students were treated to breakfast burritos upon our arrival. The leadership team was determined and they were in charge of introducing our hosts for the day. We were welcomed by Mr. Chad Pinter, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at Western Milling along with his welcome Mr. Pinter presented the company overview. Next, the students were split into two groups and rotated through a Mill Tour with Buster Freeman and a Retail Tour with Todd Willeke. After our Mill and Retail Tours, we met back in the conference room with Mark Krebsbach, Ag Leadership Foundation Class 48. During lunch, the students sat with individuals from different departments at Western Milling. We were joined by Reina Carbajal, Human Resources; Rene Urquia, Environmental Health and Safety Director; Rebecca Norred, Office Manager; Stan Dillon, Maintenance; Joel Karlin, Economist. They talked about and asked questions of how they got into agriculture, their college choices and what they did during their workday at Western Milling. Then a student from each group introduced their guest to the whole group and they told the entire group what they did at Western Milling and how it’s different from where they thought they would be. Finally, Mark Krebsbach led a “Who am I” workshop asking the students to tell the group about who they are. Students did share what they wanted about themselves with the group. It was a great time for the students to be vulnerable. They really opened up to the group about themselves and did a great job. We appreciate what Mark and his colleagues at Western Milling do for our group. As always it is a great day we spend at Western Milling.
Upon arrival, the students practiced more leadership staples as well as learning to write thank yous and properly Thank our hosts. After the actual SJVC Students got on to the floor to work with the animals we divide our students into 3 groups. In each 20 Minute rotation students were put through a learning demonstration. The different areas were Dental, Contrast Study, Physical Exam, Jerry Dog Surgery, Scrub in Demo and finally, students dissected Owl Pellets. We were treated to a Pizza Lunch provided by SJVC. After lunch students completed a career questionnaire and we discussed the CAP Presentations and talked about possible FARMS Advanced opportunities.
Student Chuyeng Xiong said, “My favorite trip that I went on was to SJVC pet tech program because we got to see how the nurses perform x-rays on the animals and care for the pets. The practice routine examinations on the pets I found interesting but did not like to watch. Learning how to properly handle the lab equipment and lab samples were cool too.”
Field Day Host(s) and Mentors: Dr. James Throne; Dr. Craig Ledbetter
On Tuesday, December 6, 2018, the Central Valley Central FARMS Leadership Program that consists of Patino High School and Sunnyside High School visited the USDA Ag Research Center. In the morning, students brushed up on their Leadership and Introduction skills. We were then joined by Dr. James Throne for Center overview. He shared with the group what this USDA location does day in and day out and how they are funded. The students were then split into two groups and rotated through these two topic areas: Insect acoustics and Almond Breeding. Students enjoyed a Baked Potato Bar lunch and then finished out the day at the Second Rotation as Outlined Above. Students were able to ask questions that may not have been answered by Dr. James Throne & Staff
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.”
(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.