Colleges and Careers in Agriculture

Program: FARMS Leadership Program

Region: Central Valley North

Field Date:  Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Location of Field Day: Fresno State

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors:  Dr. Susan Pheasant, Director, Institute for Food and Agriculture

Theme: Food Science, Leadership and the WET Center

On Tuesday, April 2, 2019, students from Kerman High School, Madera South High School and Madera Liberty High School met on the Fresno State Campus for the last Field Day of the 2019 Farms Program Year.  As always a student volunteer introduced, Dr. Susan Pheasant, she is the Director of the Institute for Food and Agriculture at Fresno State. She welcomed our students and the program and says we are welcome at any time.  Our first session of the day took place at the Food Science building. Students participated in 3, 20-minute rotations studying dietetics, culinology and the overview of the food science program. Our second session we met back at the meeting room with Dr. Avery Culbertson where she presented to students about a leadership workshop and studying the personalities of different individuals. Dr. Avery was very pleased that our students were trained in introducing and thanking each speaker. She said, “Not a lot of adults can do this and for you, as high school students to be comfortable in doing that type of thing, shows how well trained you are”.  After lunch, the students walked over to the WET Lab at Fresno State to see different tests they were performing.

Bulldogs and Agriculture

FARMS Program |
Kern and Central Valley Regions |January 25, 2019

Participating Schools
Kern County:
Frontier High School
Bakersfield Christian High School
Independence High School

Central Valley:
Hanford High School
Kerman High School

Summary of the Day
Do you think Bulldogs know about Agriculture? The Fresno State Bulldogs are pros! Our Central Valley and Kern County FARMS Advanced students learned a lot about their character and about Integrated Pest Management as we toured the Fresno State Ag Department.

We started the day gathering in the Ag One Meeting Room. Introductions were made between students through an Ice Breaker activity. This helped the two regions come together, however many of the students knew each other already due to the connectivity through social media and the FFA world.

A Leadership Team was established in the group and they were given the task to interview and then introduce our hosts, Michelle Perez, and Rick Chacon. Fresno State offers a class in True Colors, a personality development tool aiding in team development. Students were amazed at the outcome and how it validated how they think and act. They also were led through an exercise in understanding the other personality traits and how to work with those traits. Students discussed how they might use this tool in the workplace or even in their social circles and families.

We broke for lunch and then made our way out to the farm to study the pistachio and almond trees. We talked about identifying the Naval Orange Worm and the devastating effects it can have on the industry. We talked about the practices used to protect against it as well.

Dr. Jacob Wenger taught about the Naval Orange Worm

We also discussed the shaking process in almonds and were able to witness the equipment used to shake the trees. Ranch Manager Rob gave us a tour of the campus’s working orchard where we discussed the importance of the care and maintenance in order to keep harvesting on track.

From the field, we went to the Jordan Lab. This state of the art lab has been a great addition to the campus and we were fortunate to get a behind the scenes tour. The lab allows for in-depth ag research. The professional nature of the lab is something the students noticed right away. One lab was dedicated to the study of the Naval Orange Worm. Dr. Wenger shared his knowledge and how they are considering working on a way to make the worm glow for earlier detection. They use the smallest of needles to inject the worms to change their DNA then breed this new gene We were able to study the different life cycles of the worms.