Got BEEF!

Location: Redhouse Beef Bakersfield, CA 

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors: Debbie Wise – Owner 

Summary of the Day:

March 3rd 2022 Kern Farms Program visited Redhouse Beef in Bakersfield CA. Students from McFarland High School, West High School and Ridgeview Highschool came together to take a tour of their day-to-day operation. Redhouse Beef has a goal to serve high quality beef straight from farm to table. Redhouse cares for their land and animals and stewards their role in our food system. Redhouse is also known for their amazing chickens and their farm fresh eggs.

We started off going into the pasture where the mobile chicken coops were at. The chickens at Redhouse have a very important role. After the cattle come through and graze pasture and eat the majority of all the grass, the chickens come in next! The chickens rotate through all the pasture once the cattle are through with it to eat bugs, control fly population and provide fertilizer. They also eat the grass too and convert it all into amazing pastured eggs!

We then did a fun little hands-on egg activity with Debbie! Everyone got into groups and got some eggs and cracked into a clear cup and we identified all the different parts of the egg. Most of us realized parts we have never seen before but now we will know and point them out! Everyone enjoyed it so much! Some had different colored yolks from dark orange to lighter orange. Darker the yolk the more mature the hen is and has more nutrients than a lighter colored one is most likely a younger hen.

We then went onto BEEF! Pretty much their whole herd is 100% born and raised by Redhouse. Most of their cattle are black angus, Charolais and some red angus. Red house is involved in all the stages in life for the cattle. They are a finishing operation where their calves come down from the mountains and are weaned and finished here for a few months to a year until they are ready to harvest.
We got to walk through their chute system and how they move and process their cattle. The students got to operate and practice moving the hydraulic chute and how it would be when working cattle. The cattle come through the chute for numerous reasons. They could be getting preg checked, vaccinated, dewormed or getting some sort of treatment. Redhouse is an amazing family owned and operated business and everyone should go check them out and try their grass-fed beef!

FARMS Leadership Program | Kern County | Tuesday, October 19th

Field Day Partner:

AC Foods/Columbine Vineyards

Field Day Host
Louis Gonzalez-Director of Farming

Dave Watson-VP of Sales

John Carter-Director of Operations

Vincent Sorena-VP of Compliance

Dan Rosas-Quality Assurance Manager

Summary of the Day: On Tuesday, October 19th, 2021, the Kern County FARMS Leadership Program kicked off the year with a field day at AC Foods/Columbine Vineyards. Students from McFarland High School, West High School and Ridgeview Highschool came together to explore the different job opportunities that consists of managing a grape operation. We started off with Louis Gonzalez the Director of Farming as he went over many exciting things that we all learned about. We went into detail about the fertilizer that is used on the grapes and all the ingredients that are in it to make it so valuable. We got to see up close and touch the different additives to fertilizer that are used such as earth worm poop. They use an Aerobic Tea that blends all the ingredients of the fertilizer together with water and it is then pumped into the lines of the vineyards.

We then went over to the Sales Team of Columbine Vineyards and got to sit in and meet the VP of sales Dave Watson. They began to start and show us the pitch they would give to future buyers and anyone interested in their grapes. It was very interesting to see all the different data and reports they do to figure out what the consumers like best about picking the perfect bag of grapes. They have to be sure the label is perfect and placed in the correct spot as well. Presentation is everything!

We then went on to the vineyards and got to actually cut and pick our own bundle of grapes. They went on to show and tell us the specific characteristics the grape bundles must reach to be sale ready. We had to cut and trim to make the bundles uniform and eye appealing to the consumer. We also used a refractometer to practice measuring the sweetness in the grapes. We all had a great time and got to taste some AMAZING grapes!!!

Nuts in the North State

FARMS Leadership | Tehama, North State, and Kern| April 21, 2021

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors  Andersen and Sons Shelling: Vina, CA Karen Gundersen, Grower Relations Manager Kristin Coley, Food Safety and Marketing Jennifer Williams, Marketing Director with California Walnut Board and Commission

Hands-On Kit Components Variety ID Worksheet, 5 different walnut varietals, In shell walnuts for cracking and grading, Kernel Defects information sheet. Small mallet for cracking nuts.

Theme
Walnuts and Processing

Summary of the Day  This field day hosted by Andersen and Sons Shelling was extra special with Jennifer Williams with the California Walnut Board and Commission joining us. She started off the day by introducing herself and the California Walnut Board to the students and explaining the important role they play for all those involved in producing and processing walnuts. We then jumped into watching a wonderful video about Andersen and Sons as a company which gave the students a good overview of what to expect as Karen Gundersen and Kristin Coley took us on a LIVE tour of the HUGE and expanding facility in Vina, CA. Students were able to see everything from walnuts being cracked and sorted, to grading, and finally to the packing line where local walnuts were going into retail packages with large retail names on them! So cool!!

Along the way, we discussed the many career opportunities that Andersen and Sons offers. Many of which require only a high school diploma, however if students have an interest in exploring high education they learned about careers that needed a certificate as well as those which need a 4 year degree to hold. To wrap up the day, Karen did a fun and interactive walnut variety identification activity using the hands on kits each student had received prior to the field day. Who knew there were so many different varieties of walnuts?! Students then were encouraged to use the guide they were given to crack and sort the in shell walnuts they received to see what kind of work goes into deciding what a farmer get paid for his walnuts.

We couldn’t be more thankful for partners like Andersen and Sons and the support we get from the Walnut Board to help educate our youth on the importance of not only where our food comes from, but how much work goes into getting it from the orchard to your trail mix or granola.

If you would like to join in on this field day…click HERE!