FARMS Advanced Program | Central Valley | Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Location of Field Day: Lindcove Extension Research Center 22963 Carson Ave, Exeter, CA 93221
Field Day Host(s) and Mentors: Dr. Elizabeth E Grafton-Cardwell Ph.D. – Director of Lindcove REC & Research Entomologist UC Riverside Kurt R. Schmidt – Principal Superintendent of Agriculture Don Cleek – Agricultural Supervisor Stephanie Doria – Staff Research Associate I Adam Kagy – Agricultural Technician
Summary of the Day: On Wednesday, January 15, 2020, the Central Valley FARMS Advanced Program visited with the folks at the Lindcove Extension Research Center (LREC). We were greeted by Kurt Schmidt. Mr. Schmidt explained that the Lindcove Extension Research Center (LREC) greenhouses, orchards and packline are used by researchers for a variety of studies including developing new citrus rootstocks and scions, evaluating the effects of the local environment on rootstock and scion combinations, screening seedless varieties of mandarins, detecting freeze damage of fruit, and analyzing chemical treatments for pests and post harvest diseases. After learning about what LREC does we went into the citrus grove with their picking crew to learn more about labor in the citrus industry. We learned that there were no mechanical ways of picking and that the labor into the picking was very time consuming and dependent on how quickly they worked and how accurately they picked the best pieces of fruit. We then took what the students picked on their own to the packline to see the automated machines and new technology at work. The California citrus industry, through the California Citrus Quality Council, donated a complete citrus packing line to the LREC in 1995. This 5,000 square foot facility has available for research an FMC high-pressure scale washer, Brogdex waxing and drying equipment, and a Compac fruit-grading unit that can measure number, size, weight, shape, color, texture, density, ºBrix, grade of fruit, and other parameters. This equipment also allows analysis of fruit from individual trees. Students were excited to take some fruit home to enjoy. We thank the team at Lindcover Extension Research Center again for their time and commitment toward our students and our program.
FARMS Advanced Leadership Program | Central Valley | Thursday, December 5, 2019
Location of Field Day: Westside Produce – 785 12th Street, Firebaugh CA 93622
Field Day Host(s) and Mentors: Garrett Patricio – Vice President of Operations & General Counsel Salvador Alaniz, Director of Harvest Brandy Nunez, Facility Manager Rosa Meza, Food Safety Manager
Theme: Labor in Agriculture is the statewide year long theme
Summary of the Day: Upon arrival to Westside Produce the ladies of the FARMS Advanced Leadership Program were welcomed by Garrett Patricio and his small off-season staff. Mr. Patricio talked about how the new changes in labor laws will affect his business and the people who work for him. He specifically mentioned that Agriculture jobs generally fall under two wage orders (8 & 14). In his line of work and business he and his managers have to be particularly careful to always abide by the laws as Order #8 addresses Post Harvest Handling and Order #14 addresses Agricultural Occupations. These Orders have different work hours, overtime pay and doubletime pay. He also addressed the concerns over the Changes and Challenges as there is a shrinking workforce versus an increase of Mechanization as well as a reduced work week versus an increased minimum wage. Following the visit about Labor at Westside Produce we were treated to lunch and Westside Produce – Tri hats. Following lunch we took a short walk to see the packing shed and solar panels. The ladies were also interviewed one on one with Mr. Patricio as a part of the FARMS Advanced Program Job Training Program. They did a great job! Finally, we took some group pictures and were sent home with Fresh Pomegranates! Thank you again, Garrett for your generosity in hosting us for the day.
FARMS Leadership | Central Valley Central | Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Location of Field Day: Kaweah Delta Water Conservation District – 2975 Farmersville Rd, Farmersville, CA 93223
Field Day Host(s) and Mentors: Shane Smith – Kaweah Delta Water Conservation District, Project-Administrative Manager
Theme: California’s Water & Natural Resources
Summary of the Day: On Wednesday, September 13, 2019, the Central Valley Central FARMS Leadership students from Patino High School, Sunnyside High School, Kerman High School and Reedley High School met at the Kaweah Delta Water Conservation District. Students participated in a few Leadership activities in interviewing and introducing each other in practice and preparation of introducing our field day hosts. Shane Smith, Project-Administrative Manager with the KDWCD met with the students at the home office and shared a short powerpoint presentation with the students on why the dam was built. Mr. Smith also presented the Kaweah Delta Water Operations, What the district does, Groundwater Recharge, Stormwater Layoff and storage facilities. The group caravaned to the US Army Corps of Engineer office at the Dam. While here Mr. Smith also explained the importance of irrigation and Fuse Gates known as Tipping Buckets and Flood Control Activities. Students were able to walk down and see the 6 – 1 million pound tipping buckets up close. After lunch students spent time asking final questions about the day. We all enjoyed our visit to the Dam!
Summary of the Day: On Tuesday, October 15th, students from the Central Valley Central FARMS Leadership Program stepped out of the classroom in their first field day of the year. Students started off the day with leadership activities in introducing each other that would, in turn, give students experience when presenting the field day hosts and speakers. Katy Miller then spoke to the students about Citra Care and how they started growing the “Mega Kiwi”. We learned that Kliewer Packing has a genetic patent and has hired Citri Care to grow this amazing fruit. After this short talk, Mrs. Miller took us to the canopy field where the kiwi was being grown. Students were able to see the Mega Kiwi being grown and had the opportunity to pick one Mega fruit and compare it to a regular size kiwi fruit. Students were then treated to a lovely lunch at Martha’s in Orosi CA. After lunch, we met with Jerin Kliewer of Kliewer Packing. Mr. Kliewer showed the students the packing process from the trucks to the packaging.
Field Day Host(s) and Mentors: Anna Spivak, Mark Krebsbach & Brian Brower
Theme: Personality Index Quiz, Mock Interviews and Truck Driving Laws and Regulations
On Wednesday, October 2, 2019, the first field day of the Central Valley FARMS Leadership Advanced Program was held at Western Milling in Goshen CA. Here the 6 ladies from Patino High School, Central Valley Christian High School and Kerman High School participated in Western Millings Personality Index Quiz presented by Human Resources Anna Spivak. Ms. Spivak went into detail with our Advanced students on how to read the results and what type of career would fit their individual personalities. During lunch, provided by Western Milling, Mark Krebsbach, Commodity Trader and Ms. Spivak held mock interviews with our students. The ladies received first-hand experience of introducing themselves to prospective individuals in an interview typesetting. Following lunch and this short exercise, Brian Bower and Mr. Krebsbach spoke about new labor laws and regulations for truck drivers. Today was a very informational day for us all and we appreciate the team at Western Milling for taking time out of their busy schedule to teach us what is important to know about the industry and hiring process.
Students from the FARMS Advanced Leadership Program spent the day at Bee Sweet Citrus in Fowler CA with Monique Bienvenue. Upon arrival we were whisked away to the field for a field presentation with one of their Pest Control Advisors. He talked with the students about IPM and Citrus. Following the field presentation we drove back to the packing facility and walked through the facility. After a short lunch, Monique shared with the students tips about Resumes, Interviews and Social Media. The students took a lot away from their day with Monique. It’s good for students to learn about these things from the industry professionals.
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.
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.
On Tuesday, January 15, 2019, the Central Valley North FARMS Leadership group visited Food Commons Fresno. Students learned about the history of T&D Willey Farm and how Ooooby Fresno came to be. Students worked on the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) line and packed CSA Boxes that Ooooby distributes to over 700 local community customers. Students participated in making their own marketing and social media posts. The students worked outside of their comfort zone by producing their own videos displaying the many different products inside that weeks Ooooby box. “I was very surprised how quickly the students ran with this sort of task.” Eric DeJong, Students then enjoyed lunch and visited Road 20 Farm where the students walked a muddy block 1 of the farm where they saw the operation in action. Road 20 Farm organically grows 60+ varieties of crops at one time. It was an amazing day!
On, Tuesday, December 4, 2018, the Central Valley North and South FARMS Leadership Groups consisting of Madera High School, Madera Liberty High School, Kerman High School, Clovis East High School, Lindsey High School, Hanford High School, El Diamante High School and Mt. Whitney High School participated in a joint field day at Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Parlier CA. At the beginning of the day the leadership team prepared introductions for the days hosts. Following introductions, students were split into three groups and rotated through three topic areas. They studieds Soils such as soil quality, healthy soils for healthy crops. The second area they studied Post Harvest Quality by answering the question of How suppliers know whether or not the fruits and vegetables that I buy will be ripe and flavorful? And finally, the importance of grains, such as types of grains, whole grain nutrition and how they grow. At lunch time the hosts sat with the students and presented about their job and students asked all kinds of questions related to their work and how they got there. These questions lead to a great roundtable discussion. The hosts were very gracious with their time and answering all of the students questions. We had a great visit as always and are excited to return!
Location of Field Day: Enzo Olive Oil Company, Madera CA
Field Day Host(s) and Mentors: Jasmine Mahfoud & Vincent Ricchiuti
Theme: Olive Oil Harvest
Summary of the Day: On Tuesday, November 13th the Central Valley North FARMS Leadership that comprised of Kerman High School, Madera South High School, Madera Liberty High School and Clovis East High School. As the students arrived they enjoyed a breakfast snack, a leadership team was designated and students practiced introducing and thanking a speaker. Owner Vincent Ricchiuti and Quality Manager Kathryn Tomajan met with the students and went over everything in relation to the History of PR-Farms and ENZO Olive Oil Company. We then toured the orchard and mill, we saw harvesting, saw the mill at work, where the tanks were stored and the bottling station. At the end of our tour Enzo provided an Olive Oil Tasting. Students returned to the meeting room and participated in a teamwork cup stacking game. After lunch Vincent and Kathryn joined us again with Field Manager Brenden. We had a lovely conversation about their education, how they ended up at Enzo and what they thought about the politics of the High Speed Rail that goes straight through a piece of their land. This conversation lead to a basic round table discussion of everything under the sun. They were very courteous of our group and took their time answering all the questions we had for them. This really showed that the students were honestly interested in their day and what they were sharing with us. After our questions, the leadership team who introduced each individual thanked them as well for their time they took with us today. Lastly, the students completed a Career Self-Assessment to see where their interests lie and how true they thought they were. We had a great day at and cannot wait to return! Thank you Enzo and PR-Farms for a wonderful day!