FARMS Leadership Program | Kern County | Tuesday, January 30, 2020
Location of Field Day: UC Davis Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center 18830 Rd 112, Tulare CA
Field Day Host Dr. Melissa Macias Rioseco Karen Tonooka Jennifer Crook
Theme Veterinary Science
Summary of the Day: On Friday, January 30, 2020, the Kern County FARMS Leadership Program from McFarland High school started off their year at the UC Davis Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center. We first met with Dr. Melissa Macias Rioseco and started watching a Necropsy (an Autopsy on an animal) video of a calf. She was explaining to us the different organs throughout the video and what was abnormal as the kids were trying to diagnosis what was wrong with the sick calf. No one got sick haha! They loved it! The calf ended up having pneumonia and the kids guessed it correctly.
We then met in the Milk Quality lab with Karen Toonka as she talked about in detail how they take their milk samples and diagnosis the issue going on in the dairy. They can test for almost anything in a little sample of milk. They start off by taking a tiny drop and putting the milk into a dish and incubating it for 24-48 hours as the bacteria soon grows inside the dishes. They then take samples under the microscope and solve the problem by figuring out which pathogen is causing the issue. The students loved it! They got to look under the microscope at a bacteria called Mycoplasma. They described it as looking at a fried egg. It has a cell in the middle with a clear membrane wall around it.
We then moved onto the PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) lab with Jennifer Crook. She went into detail on molecular biology. Using small samples they are able to make copies of short sections of DNA where they are then able to identify bacteria, viruses and much more. It was great to see the lab and all the machines they use on completing these steps. Lots of information to take in and the kids loved every second of it!
We then went back to our starting point to have some delicious lunch and snacks. After lunch we did a fun activity that the students loved! We were practicing being veterinarians and giving intramuscular and subcutaneous injections to our orange patients. We started off with green food coloring and was giving a subcutaneous shot. A subcutaneous shot is a injection given under the skin. When we then cut into the oranges the green food coloring should be on the perimeter of the skin. We then used red food coloring for the intramuscular shot. A intramuscular shot is an injection given directly into the muscle. When cutting open the orange the red food coloring should appear in the meat of the orange. This showed the kids different ways shots are given in the livestock world. Everyone showed their true vet skills and did it correctly! Thank you UC Davis Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center for a day filled of great information and fun for myself and the kids! Can’t wait to come back we loved it!
Program: Sacramento Valley: November 14th, 2019
Location of Field Day:
Field Day Host(s) and
Haley Friel – Director of Outreach and Education
at Full Belly Farm
Sierra Reading – Director of Outreach and
Education at Full Belly Farm
Summary of the Day:
Today’s field day was at Fully Belly Farm’s in Guinda, CA.
The Sacramento Valley FARMS Leadership Program was welcomed by Haley Friel and
Sierra Reading, the directors of Outreach and Education at Fully Belly Farm. We
took a tour of the 400-acre farm and learned about the different crops grown
and the practices in which they use to keep the farm organic and sustainable. Full
Belly Farm is planting, growing and harvesting over 80 crops year around
keeping them very busy. Full Belly sells there produce to 4 main markets; wholesalers
who buy pallets of produce at a time, to CSA (community Supported Ag) members, at
local farmer’s markets, and to bay area restaurants. Full Belly Farm picks
their produce to order so it is always fresh and they currently have 1,200 CSA
On our tour we were able to see their mobile chicken coops
where the farm is raising organic chicken eggs that sell for $9.00 a dozen. The students were also able to see the pigs,
sheep and cattle raised at at Full Belly Farm and see where the produce is
washed and prepped for sale. We also visited the flower shop where not only are
fresh flower’s made into bouquets, but flowers are also dried and made into
After lunch we went out into a field where peppers were
currently being grown. We harvested and cleaned bouquets of peppers that will
be dried and sold. The students also learned about soil and compost. At Full
Belly Farm they us 10,000 pounds per acre of compost every year.
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.