FARMS Leadership Program | Kern County | Tuesday, October 19th

Field Day Partner:

AC Foods/Columbine Vineyards

Field Day Host
Louis Gonzalez-Director of Farming

Dave Watson-VP of Sales

John Carter-Director of Operations

Vincent Sorena-VP of Compliance

Dan Rosas-Quality Assurance Manager

Summary of the Day: On Tuesday, October 19th, 2021, the Kern County FARMS Leadership Program kicked off the year with a field day at AC Foods/Columbine Vineyards. Students from McFarland High School, West High School and Ridgeview Highschool came together to explore the different job opportunities that consists of managing a grape operation. We started off with Louis Gonzalez the Director of Farming as he went over many exciting things that we all learned about. We went into detail about the fertilizer that is used on the grapes and all the ingredients that are in it to make it so valuable. We got to see up close and touch the different additives to fertilizer that are used such as earth worm poop. They use an Aerobic Tea that blends all the ingredients of the fertilizer together with water and it is then pumped into the lines of the vineyards.

We then went over to the Sales Team of Columbine Vineyards and got to sit in and meet the VP of sales Dave Watson. They began to start and show us the pitch they would give to future buyers and anyone interested in their grapes. It was very interesting to see all the different data and reports they do to figure out what the consumers like best about picking the perfect bag of grapes. They have to be sure the label is perfect and placed in the correct spot as well. Presentation is everything!

We then went on to the vineyards and got to actually cut and pick our own bundle of grapes. They went on to show and tell us the specific characteristics the grape bundles must reach to be sale ready. We had to cut and trim to make the bundles uniform and eye appealing to the consumer. We also used a refractometer to practice measuring the sweetness in the grapes. We all had a great time and got to taste some AMAZING grapes!!!

BITE SIZE POTATOES!

FARMS Advanced & Leadership Program | Kern County | Thursday, December 3rd, 2020

Field Day Partner:

Tasteful Selections

Field Day Host
Lindsey Mebane-Food Safety Manager

Summary of the Day: On Thursday, December 3rd, 2020, the Kern County FARMS Advanced and Leadership Program from McFarland High School had a zoom field day with Tasteful selections. Tasteful Selections began with multi-generational potato farmers. They then took the opportunity to expand the potato category to meet the needs of your busy day to day consumer for easier and convenient meals.

Today Tasteful Selections is the leader of the unique potato category. They grow bite-sized potatoes as a convenient source of nutrition and variety for everyday meals. Tasteful Selections just recently had their 10-year anniversary. They are growers, packer, and shipper of the bite-sized potatoes. They do it ALL!!!

This family farming company had one goal in mind, which was to fit busy life styles by growing bite-sized potatoes to consume and taste great! They have over one hundred varieties of potatoes with multiple colors. The process of growing the bite-sized potatoes only takes 75-90 days till they harvest them. The potatoes stay bite-sized because the growth is stopped when they harvest them. Bite-sized potatoes are a vegetable packed full of nutritional powers! They include Vitamin C, B6, Iron, Protein and provide more Potassium than a banana. These potatoes are gluten free, high in fiber and rich in minerals with no additives or GMOs. Tasteful Selections products are located in over 1500+ retail stores across the country. 

GRIMMWAY FARMS

FARMS Advanced & Leadership Program | Kern County |Wednesday, November 18th, 2020

Field Day Partner:

Grimmway Farms

Field Day Host
Jeff Huckaby- President
Kayla Rivera-Financial Analyst

Summary of the Day: On Wednesday, November 18th, 2020, the Kern County FARMS Advanced & Leadership Program from McFarland High School had a Zoom field day with Grimmway Farms. The day before, the students were hand delivered kits from Grimmway that consisted of a variety of their fresh produce including their number one product carrots. They were also given a swag bag which included Grimmway hats, lanyard, notebook and more! 

As the students joined the meetings, they were being introduced to our Hosts Jeff Huckaby and Kayla Rivera. As we began, we started off talking about the history of the company. Grimmway Farms is Family owned and headquartered in Bakersfield, California. Grimmway Farms traces its roots to a produce stand opened by the Grimm brothers in early 1960s. Grimmway is a global leader and the world’s largest producer of carrots, and also supplies more than 65 organic USA grown crops year-round. Grimmway is committed to caring customers, honoring sustainable practices and preserving natural resources for future generations.

They migrate across regions that allows them to grow products every day of the year.  They are proud to grow 100% of their produce in the USA.

The students began to ask about internships and future job positions for later on after high school. They were very excited about this field day hearing about all the different type of careers that take part in making Grimmway the successful company they are today. We had a great field day with Grimmway we learned so much!

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