Strawberries, Drones, Fumigation & the Ag Commissioner

FARMS Leadership | Monterey and Santa Cruz | February 7, 2019

Participating Schools:

  • Gonzales High School
  • North Salinas High School
  • Soledad High School

Location:

Ag Commissioner’s Office, 1428 Abbott St. Salinas, ca

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors:

  • Barbara LaVake – TiCal Field Day planner and support.
  • Dennis Lane – TriCal
  • Abbie Asche – TriCal
  • Carolyn O’Donnell –  California Strawberry Commission
  • Henry Gonzales – Monterey County Ag Commissioner
  • Kevin Hill – ParaBug
  • Chandler Bennett – ParaBug

Summary of the Day:

Pests and disease are agricultures biggest adversary. Producers of all kind are always battling or protecting crops from bugs and killer diseases. FARMS Leadership Students met with Carolyn O’Donnell to learn how the Strawberry commission plays a key role in promoting strawberry consumption and sharing the amazing benefits of eating strawberries as a part of a healthy diet.

“Today I learned that 88% of straberries are grown in California.” – Annabel Uribe

First up, TriCal Inc. a family owned business that provides soil fumigation services to sterilize the soil before strawberry plants are placed in their beds. Students learned about TriCal and their commitment to their employee’s safety and well being by paying applicators a living wage with benefits and full-time year-round work. Students spoke with employees and learned about the different jobs TriCal offers. We were able to see the applicator machines and personal safety gear. Abbie Asche talked about her job as a Pest Control Advisor (PCA) with TriCal. Abbie explained the leading diseases that need soil fumigation, like nematodes, bacteria, fungi, and insects. TriCal’s motto is Healthy Fields, Healthy Yields. TriCal is a leader in regulatory requirements that help ensure the health of the consumers and growers.

“Today I learned about TriCal and what it takes to be a PCA or a CAA.” – Brenda Vasquez

Who regulates and permits TriCal to do what they do? The Ag Commissioner. Henry Gonzales is the Ag Commissioner for Monterey County and presented to students about what he does and the career pathway that brought him to the position of Ag Commissioner. Students were extremely engaged and interested in hearing about how Henry Gonzales grew up in Salinas at a local high school.

Continue reading Strawberries, Drones, Fumigation & the Ag Commissioner

IPM & Pro-Scan Survey

FARMS Advanced Leadership Program

Region: Central Valley

Field Date: Thursday, January 31, 2019

Location of Field Day: GAR Tootelian Inc

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors: Ralph Rendon, Karen Musson, Brent Parolini

Theme: IPM

Before students even set foot onto the GAR Property they completed a Pro-Scan Survey.  The ProScan Survey is an instrument designed by Professional DynaMetric Programs, Inc. (PDP) to measure the major aspects of self-perception, including an individual’s basic behavior, reaction to the environment, and predictable behavior.  GAR uses this survey on every employee that is hired so when they are hired they are aware of their behavior and if they would be a good fit for the company and other employees to work with.

Each student was able to go through their completed results with Ralph explaining each and every aspect of the survey.  The students were blown away by how it accurately predicted their behavior. Students also said it said similar things as the True Colors survey they took at Fresno State just a week earlier.

After all of the students studied their test results we broke for a quick Lunch break. After lunch we had a roundtable question and answer session with Mr. Parolini a Pest Control Advisor for GAR Tootelian.  He talked about his job as it relates to IPM the Advanced Topic of the year. Students ever went more in depth in answering questions about IPM and how it is related to Regulation, Sustainability, Footprint, Media, Water, Careers, Technology & Innovation, Labor and Politics.  This was a great field day and the students and myself learned a lot about ourselves and IPM.