BEEF. IT’S WHAT’S FOR DINNER.

FARMS Advanced Program | Kern County | Thursday, February 27, 2020

Location of Field Day:
Red House Beef
649 Enos Ln Bakersfield, CA 93314

Field Day Host
Maddie Herndon- Ranch Manager
Debbie Wise- Owner

Summary of the Day: On Thursday, February 27, 2020, the Kern County FARMS Advanced Program from McFarland High School visited Redhouse Beef. We started off the day meeting with their herd manager Maddie Herndon. Maddie started off the tour by telling us the history of the company and when it began. Next, she explained all the different breeds of cattle and described each of their breed characteristics. The majority of their herd is Angus and Red Angus cattle. These two breeds are known for being the best for meat production. We learned a lot about the marbling of meat which is the fat and gives meat a lot of its flavor. We then met with the owner Debbie Wise who explained more about the beef side of the company. Debbie has a lot of knowledge about the agriculture industry and it was very interesting listening to all she had to say.

We then moved onto the grass-fed chickens they raise at Redhouse. The hens are rotated throughout the pasture along with the chicken coop on wheels. It is very impressive. These Red House hens were so pampered living a fat and happy life. There where different varieties of chickens which means they lay different colored eggs. The girls graze on bugs, clover, and grass that make their yolks a bright orange color. Everyone loved them so much that we had to take a picture with them!

Finally, we walked the orchards to look at the almond trees. They were blooming so it was great to see them in this stage. About 20% of the flowers you see on the almond trees will then turn into almonds. The weather plays a huge role in the production of the almond’s trees. Too much chill can knock off the blooms and set them back. A crucial step is the pollination of the trees. Honey bees play a major role with around 80% of the United States crop depending on them for pollination. All bees in the colony have their own jobs. We talked a little about the jobs and how crucial each bee is to the colony. The bee colonies consist of a single queen bee, hundreds of male’s drones and 20,000 plus female worker bees. It was amazing to hear how a small creature has such an important job and how their hive works.

This was an informative experience and we are grateful for our amazing hosts at Redhouse Beef. Thank you! We look forward to our next visit!

Leadership at Cargill

FARMS Leadership | Central Valley Central | Friday, March 6, 2020

Location of Field Day: Cargill, 3115 S Fig Ave, Fresno, CA 93706

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors: 
Pedro Lopez-Ramos, Human Resources
Jahnessa Anderson Lopez, Operations Supervisor
Katrina Robertson, General Manager
Christopher Vazquez, Cattle Buyer

Theme:  Labor in Animal Agriculture

Upon our arrival at Cargill, we met with Pedro Lopez-Ramos in human resources and Jahnessa Anderson Lopez.  They talked about how their education led them to the position they work for at Cargill now.  

We were then joined by Katrina Robertson, General Manager of the Fresno plant and she talked to us about how she came up with the company. Her original major was not in Agriculture.  She talked about how she grew with the company and became the general manager.  The three of them talked about how to be an asset for where your work is being flexible and willing to be a team player.  Following her talk, we took some much-needed pictures for a great day and thank her for joining us.  Following the talk, Pedro showed us a PowerPoint about the company.  He also showed us a video of the plant and what the line looks like when they break down carcasses.  Finally, during lunch, we had some other conversations and Pedro and Jahnessa were very gracious in letting us ask many questions that were left over from the video and PowerPoint.  

We left with some great Cargill swag and many memories.

Student Alondra Ortiz from Kerman High School said, “Cargill helped us see the reality of what is portrayed by non-Ag groups and the meatpacking industry. How the meat is processed and how it is being expanded to more than just meat but by using plant-based supplements.”

Merging Businesses

Gar Bennett – Labor in the Agriculture Industry

FARMS Advanced Leadership Program | Central Valley | Friday, February 21, 2020

Location of Field Day:
Gar Bennett 8246 Crawford Ave, Reedley, CA 93654

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors:
Ralph Rendon, Chief Personnel Officer of Gar Bennett

Summary of the Day:

Before students even set foot onto the GAR Bennett Property in Reedley they completed a Pro-Scan Survey. The ProScan Survey is an instrument designed by Professional DynaMetric Programs, Inc. (PDP) to measure the major aspects of self-perception, including an individual’s basic behavior, reaction to environment, and predictable behavior. GAR uses this survey on every employee that is hired so when they are hired they are aware of their behavior and if they would be a good fit for the company and other employees to work with.

Each student was able to go through their completed results with Ralph explaining each and every aspect of the survey. The students were blown away by how it accurately predicted their behavior.

After all of the students studied their test results we broke for a quick Lunch break. After lunch we had a roundtable question and answer session with Mr. Rendon. He talked about his job as it relates to GAR and about the Business Merging with Bennett Irrigation. He went on to say they now are a one-stop-shop for the farmers they work with and it has expanded to the irrigation side of things. Congratulations GAR Bennett and Thank You for being such a great supporter of the FARMS Leadership Program.