FARMS Leadership | Sacramento Valley | December 12, 2019
Location of Field Day: Oak Park Art Garden, corner of 14th and MLK in Sacramento
Field Day Hosts: Randy Stannard, Executive Director, Oak Park Sol Francisco Castillo, Union Pacific Railroad
Theme of the Day: Urban Farming
Summary: Sacramento FARMS Leadership students spent the day at the Oak Park Art Garden in Sacramento. The garden is a 1/3 acre, neighborhood managed community food forest and public art space. Families and residents from Oak Park and surrounding neighborhoods are invited to join us for wide array of interactive art and garden projects that will begin the transformation of this high visibility corner lot in the heart of Oak Park.
FARMS Leadership students laid mulch and learned about the community-supported neighborhood garden. Francisco Castillo of Union Pacific Railroad joined the students in their work and presented a $20,000 check in support of the FARMS Leadership program. The art garden will also become Sacramento’s first publicly accessible Community Food Forest project.
FARMS Leadership Program:
Sacramento Valley: October
Location of Field Day: Winters, CA
Field Day Host(s) and Mentors: Craig McNamara – Owner and Manager, Sierra Orchards Gus Mariani – Operations Manager, Mariani Nut Company Max Mariani – Production Manager, Mariani Nut Company
Production and Sustainability
Summary of the Day:
The Sacramento Valley FARMS Leadership Program kicked off
the 2019-2020 program year at Sierra Orchards in Winters, CA. Sierra Orchards
is home to Craig McNamara who founded the FARMS Leadership Program in 1993. The
field day began with an introduction to the Program and the Farm followed by
activities to introduce the students from different schools to one another. The
Sacramento Valley FARMS Leadership Program is made up of students from 5 high
schools in the Sacramento and Yolo counties; Luther Burbank, Grant Union,
Sacramento, River City, and Esparto High Schools.
After the activities concluded the group headed on down the
road to Mariani Nut Company. We were greeted by Gus and his nephew Max Mariani
who work at and manage the facility. They gave us an overview of the family
owned company and then took us on a tour. We were able to see the different stages
of production from when the walnuts were dropped off in shell to how they are
sorted and processed. They sell walnuts and almonds all over the world in
different forms including in shell, sliced, whole, flavored, etc. You name it
and they probably have a market for it. The students were then able to work on
the factory line and help the quality control team sort walnuts.
Following our tour of Mariani Nut Company we headed back
over to Sierra Orchards where we were met by Craig McNamara. Craig gave an
overview of Sierra Orchards and then took the Sac Valley FARMS group on a
tractor ride tour of the property. We went out into the orchard and were able
to see the crew harvesting as well as visit the huller and see walnut shipments
come in and be sorted and dried.
FARMS Leadership Program: Sacramento Valley: February 21st,
Location of Field Day: Davis, CA
Field Day Host(s) and Mentors:
Dan Sehnert – Department of Animal Science
Ed DePeters – UC Davis Professor and Master
Advisor for Animal Science major’s
Katharina Ullman – Director of UC Davis Student
Theme: College and Career Exploration
Summary of the Day:
Dan Sehnert, the UC Davis Department of Animal Science
Facilities Coordinator, welcomed the Sacramento Valley FARMS Leadership students
to UC Davis. The students were then split up into 4 groups and toured the Dairy
Cattle Facility, Horse Facility, Avian Hatchery, and the Meats Lab. At the
dairy the students were able to assist in treating a sick cow, see new born
calves, and help UC Davis student employees vaccinate. At the horse facility
the students were given a tour and learned about the different ways in which
horses are studied at UC Davis. Afterwards the students were given the
opportunity to groom the horse’s as well as see a week old foal that was bred
and born at the facility. At the hatchery student’s learned how to candle eggs
and were able to see different varieties of birds at different stages of
incubation. The final facility the students visited was the Meats Lab. Students
were given a tour, the different processing practices used to process cattle,
hogs and lambs were discussed and the students were able to sample some beef jerky
and snack sticks that the Meats Lab produced.
After the facility tours we all met back at the UC Davis
Cole Facility where Dr. Ed DePeter’s joined us. He discussed with the FARMS
Leadership students the college experience. Dr. DePeter’s is a professor at UC
Davis and went over the different classes and opportunities that both UC Davis
and the Animal Science Department offer. After our visit with Dr. DePeter’s we
headed to campus where the students had the opportunity to dine like a college
student at Tecero Student Dining Hall.
We concluded our day at the Student Farm and Market Garden.
Katharina Ullman, the Director of the Student Farm, welcomed us and gave the students
a tour. The students were able to learn about the different crops and herbs
grown at the Student Farm as well as see the Market Garden and learn about the
CSA program that UC Davis students implement.
FARMS Leadership Student Quotes:
“I had a lot of fun learning about the background and
specifics that go into horse breeding!” – Melina C.
“I really enjoyed working with the calves and getting to
help vaccinate them!” – Tyler R.