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!!!
FARMS Advanced & Leadership Program | Kern County | Tuesday, March 23rd
Field Day Partner:
Field Day Host Debbie Wise-Owner
Maddie Herndon-Ranch Manager
Summary of the Day: On Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021, the Kern County FARMS Advanced and Leadership Program from McFarland High School had a Regional Zoom field day with Redhouse Beef. Redhouse Beef is located in Bakersfield, CA and they operate a grass-fed beef operation. Their main goal is to serve high quality meat straight from the pasture to your table. Our video tour included walking around the ranch seeing the facilities where the cattle are raised on and how they are fed properly. We ran through the process of tagging, weighing and treating the cattle as they come through the chute and how to correctly do so. Redhouse also has grass fed chickens where they sell their eggs and they also have separate chickens that are meat hens and will be sold as grass fed. They like to keep stress free environment for the herd and the flock to help them maintain the best. If you have not tried any products from Redhouse you must! We are so thankful for their time and hope to go back in person next year!
Maggenti show goats raises about 250+ of Boer Goats. They’ve been raising Boer goats for about 10 years now. They sell year round too local and out of state kids for market projects. Showing livestock brings families and friends together while creating everlasting memories. Their goal is to create competitive goats in a fun and healthy environment.
Raising livestock is a full time job. The animals depend on you everyday to supply their food and water. We will kid out babies year round and sell them in lives auctions or an online sale throughout the year. We typically sell casterated males which are called wethers. We will sell wethers for livestock shows once they are weaned around four to five months old. They will then go to their new family where they will be raised and fed and prepared for show. We usually keep all our females to help grow the herd and to replace older females.
We also do a lot of Artificial insemenation work and Embryo Transfer. To help increase your herd quality most people will Flush an amazing female goat and put her embryos into what we call Recip also known as a surrogate. You can get anywhere from 1 to 30+ embryos from one flush on a Donor female. This benefits your program by allowing you to multiply that breeding by one flush rather than having just 1 baby from that Donor. These Recips will then carry the babies for 5 months and kid them out and raise them.
There are other important factors that go into raising livestock. You have to be sure to stay up to date on vaccinations and deworming protocols to make sure they stay healthy and don’t run into any health issues. We start vaccinations when they are a day old to boost their immunity and to keep them healthy. Health is the number one key to keeping your herd reproductive.
During the zoom meeting we went into detail on how to read a feed tag. A feed tag gives you all the ingredients and information you need to know what your animal is eating. It is very important in the livestock world to know and keep track to what our animal is taking in. We went through step by step and learned how to properly read a feed tag from top to bottom. The students also received a sample bag of some goat feed to identify what they thought was each ingredient listed on the feed tag. We had a great time and loved seeing the babies!!