FARMS Leadership Program: North State: February 5th,
Location of Field Day: Guinda, CA
Field Day Host(s) and Mentors:
Haley Friel – Director of Outreach and Education
at Full Belly Farm
Theme: Sustainability and Organic Farming Practices
Summary of the Day:
We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day to be spent
at Fully Belly Farm’s in Guinda, CA. The North State FARMS Leadership Program
was welcomed by Haley Friel, the director of Outreach and Education at Fully Belly
Farm. We then took a tour of the 400-acre farm and learned about the different
crops grown and the practices in which they use to keep the farm organic and
sustainable. Full Belly Farm is planting, growing and harvesting over 80 crops
year around keeping them very busy. The students were able to see the pigs
raised at at Full Belly Farm and see where the produce is washed and prepped
for sale. They even were able to sample so freshly picked produce including
oranges, carrots and several other crops some of which we brought back to add
to our salads at lunch.
After lunch we went over to the barn where the sheep are
currently being housed during lambing season. The North State FARMS students
were excited to see lambs that were a few days old as well as some that were
just hours old. One ewe even started to go into labor while we were there
visiting. Once we left the sheep barn we gathered some baskets and headed over
to the mobile chicken coops. We concluded our day collecting baskets full of
organic chicken eggs which are currently being sold for $9.00 a dozen.
FARMS Leadership | Kern County | November 13, 2018
17702 Bear Mountain Blvd, Bakersfield, CA 93311
Field Day Host(s) and Mentors:
B.J. Schoneveld, Owner Lakeview Farms
Roy Dowd, Director – CalBio Energy Facility O&M, & Digester Research
Jamie Jarrett Ph.D., Dairy Nutritionist – Alpha Dairy Consulting
Science in Agriculture
Summary of the Day:
Students from Frontier High School, West High School, Independence High School, Ridgeview High School, and Bakersfield Christian High School gathered for breakfast at the Kern County Ag Pavilion, after we loaded the bus to head out to Lakeview Dairy. When we arrived, we hit the ground running with an overview of the 9,500 head dairy farm and a tour of the milk house. Owner, B.J. Schoneveld, shared the technology used using the EID Ear Tag Reader. Students were able to see reports generated from the field with the EID Tag Reader and learn about the importance of tracking health and genetics. Students then walked to the barns where cows were served their morning feed. They were shocked with how many things they recognized in the feed – carrots, cotton, and almond hulls. They smelled the sourness of the feed. We noticed the temperature of the barn. Mr Schoneveld has tried a new approach with the cows in climate control. He has placed share cloth and fans strategically in the barn to not only keep the cows cool, but to keep their food cooler as well. This has made a huge difference in their production and feed intake. Cows like eating cooler feed. Happy cows make happy milk. We then went into the newborn calf pen where students were able to touch and take photos with the newly born calves. These calves are shipped to Hanford where they will be fed and cared for until they are old enough to return to the dairy for milk production. After touring the barns, we met Roy Dowd who introduced us to the manure digester.
Lakeview’s partnership with California Bioenergy is a cutting edge approach to sustainability. Not only does it process the manure, allowing the farm to recycle the solid matter for bedding, but it also allows them to use the liquid to create energy through bacteria and gas production. The water that is cycled through then is used to clean parts of the dairy. This approach will allow them to partner with other diaries creating a cohort of dairies who will be working with PG&E on the energy output, thus getting paid for the energy they create. We discussed the many careers in this up and coming field. Mr. Dowd was born and raised in went to college in Bakersfield. Learning about how he achieved his goals was a learning for the students. What’s more appetizing that discussing manure? We were served a fantastic lunch provided by Lakeview Farms. During lunch we met Nutritionist, Jamie Jarrett.
She shared her career journey with the students and the colleges she attended. She was an alumni of one of our participating high schools which was a connection point for students. She then took us to the feed area. Here there were mountains of ingredients/commodities used in the cow feed. She brought out 4 buckets of different mixed feed and discussed the fat content and nutritional value of each mix. She had students pick up a handful and share what they saw and asked why they thought they might feed that item. Items included carrots that they get from neighboring farms as well as almond hulls. Students have eaten carrots but almond hulls a new idea for them. Students know about almonds, but not in their natural state – coming from a shell and hull. We talked about the sustainability this offers – where nothing is wasted. Students came away with an understanding of the care and efforts made to get milk into our homes. They learned about the science used to make a smaller footprint on the earth. They also learned about the sustainability efforts being made by other farmers, like the almond farmer, to be sure that nothing is wasted.
Summary of the Day:
Did you know that 98% of all olive oil sold and produced in the USA comes out of this one little olive oil plant in Artois, CA?
With clear blue skies and a crisp cool morning the fall weather at California Olive Ranch made for the perfect kick off our 2018-19 FARMS Leadership field days! While we were anticipating olive harvest to have started, this was lesson #1 learned….agriculture doesn’t follow a calendar! However, California Olive Ranch didn’t disappoint. Students had the opportunity to explore everything from orchard to finished product and every detail in between. One benefit to harvest not starting yet, was each student got to not only sit in the driver’s seat of an OXBO harvester, but they all operated the hydraulics and got a true lesson in what a harvester operator does.
“They showed us the machine that harvests the olives and they let us ride it, it uses 100 gallons of diesel!!” -Bryan Romero Gonzales, Orland High School
We then learned all about the different olive varieties, pruning and what affects when harvest will begin. It is up to the orchard managers to decide when the olives are at optimal oil content, so harvest can begin. Once harvest begins it runs 24/7 for roughly 45 days! During this season 55,000 to 65,000 gallons of olive oil are made every day and put in stainless tanks that can hold 175,000 gallons each. Throughout the year this oil is bottled and shipped worldwide.
“I learned that technology helps facilitate olive oil production especially in large quantities!” – Itzel Favela, Red Bluff High
A day at an olive oil plant isn’t complete without learning the art and technique of olive oil tasting, right? We were able to finish up our day with the full experience of tasting olive oil like professionals. Talk about a memorable field day! I have to say we made amazing memories! Thank you California Olive Ranch from all of us with Tehama County FARMS Leadership!