Cotton!! The fabric of our life.

FARMS Leadership | Central Valley South | Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Location of Field Day:
Farm Credit West – 200 E Cartmill Avenue, Tulare, CA 93274
Cardoza Company – 8410 Avenue 184, Tulare, CA 93274
Mid Valley Cotton Gin – 626 W Cartmill Ave, Tulare, CA 93274
USDA Cotton Classing Office – 7100 West Sunnyview Avenue, Visalia, CA 93291

Strategic Partner:
California Cotton Association – 1521 I St. Sacramento CA 95814

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors: 
Jonathan Kennedy & Ryan Camara – Farm Credit West
David Cardoza – Cardoza Company
Wade Van Hooser – Mid Valley Cotton Gin
Greg Townsend – Cotton Classing Office

Theme: 
Leadership, Cotton Harvesting, Cotton Packing & Cotton Classing

Summary of the Day:
On Wednesday, October 23, 2019, the Central Valley South FARMS Leadership Program students enjoyed a fun-filled,  field day learning about the Cotton Industry. The students who consist of Ms. Callias’ class from Hanford West High School started off at 9am meeting at Farm Credit West in Tulare. We were welcomed by Ryan Camara, Vice President, Credit Lending.  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 next stop, located south-west of Tulare where Cardoza Company was harvesting a cotton field.  Here 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 Wade Van Hooser. Wade 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 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 Classing Office in Visalia, CA.

All about Almonds

Program: Leadership

Region: Central Valley

Field Date: Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Location of Field Day: Madera County Farm Bureau, The Almond Company & Creekside Farming Company

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors: Christina Beckstead, Anthony Sagariballa, Jerry Magdaleno and Jay Mahil.

Theme: Leadership activities, Almond Harvesting, Marketing, Sales and Storage

Summary of the Day:
(MADERA, CA) On Wednesday, October 9th, 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 Firebaugh High School, LeGrand High School, and Madera South High School. 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 and introduced each other in preparation for introducing our individual speakers and hosts. 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, Jerry Magdaleno, Grower Relations and Erika Inzunza, Food Safety and Quality Control. Our students were treated to a company presentation, almond tasting, facility tour, and lunch by The Almond Company and Harris Enterprises in Madera CA.  During lunch students sat with Jerry, Anthony and Erika and were also joined Maria from Human Resources.  Students were able to ask more indepth questions.  Finally, we ended our day with Creekside Farming. Jay Mahil, Owner 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.

Water Banking

Program: FARMS Leadership Program

Region: Central Valley North and Central Field

Date: Tuesday, March 21, 2019

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.