Flowers, Shrubs & Veggies, Oh My!

Program: FARMS Leadership Program

Central Valley North

Tuesday, February 27, 2019

Belmont Nursery, Fresno CA

Jon Reelhorn & Danielle Handler

The students started the day in the retail location with Leadership introduction activities.  Following the Leadership activities, we toured the propagation sight where we took a small tour, learn about heating beds and the way they manipulate the plants to grow.  Students tried their hand at running the planting machine by planting and labeling some said: “it’s not as easy as it looks”. Next, at the Henderson location students were able to work at a different planting machine and learned to graft on a piece of scion wood.  After lunch at the first retail location, students walked around to see what was available for retail purchase. Students asked a lot of great questions. Then the students worked on inventorying the retail location. Students had to count and recount all of the plants that they had for sale.  Danielle explained that staff members keep count every week on what has been sold and what needs to be reordered. Students said it was a tedious job but appreciated so many different types of plants.

A little bit of this and that….

Program: FARMS Leadership Program

Region: Central Valley Central

Field Date: Thursday, February 21, 2019

Location of Field Day: Peterson Packing House, Kingsburg CA

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors: Vernon Peterson

Theme: Packing House, Chickens and a Trout Release

Summary of the Day:

Our day started off with a tour of the Petersons Citrus Packing House, where students rotated between Quality Control, Administration, Security, and Loading.  The students rotated between the 4 jobs for about 30 minutes each. In quality control, students learned how to test the citrus to the specifications for sale in each category.  In the admin office, students learned how to bill, shipping/receiving and distribution works. At some points, the packing shed will run 24 hours a day. In the security office, students learned how to keep the machines running and that the employees were carefully completing the tasks at hand.  Finally, students help load and keep track and pack the pallets that went onto the trucks and out to the stores.

After lunch, Mr. Peterson took us to his family’s chicken ranch.  He showed the students how quickly the chickens grew and how his employees cared for the chickens and the houses they lived in.  He showed us how technology-based is houses were as they continuously kept a temperature of about 70-90 degrees depending on how old the chickens were.  

Finally, students from the FARMS (Center for Land-Based Learning) program at Patiño School of Entrepreneurship took a field trip in February to Peterson Organic Farms and the Kings River North Riverside access point.  The students learned about organic farming practices and assisted with the Kings River Conservation District and Kings River Conservancy (KRC) trout release to plant and repopulate the Kings River. Students had the opportunity to meet local leaders and watch the KRC video about education and the role of the river.

Feeding Animals in Agriculture

Program: FARMS Leadership Program

Region: Central Valley South

Field Date: Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Location of Field Day: Western Milling Goshen CA

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors: Mark Krebsbach  | Chad Pinter | Eric Brandenburg | Buster Freeman  |

Theme: Grains and Milling

On Tuesday, February 19th the Central Valley South FARMS Leadership Program consisting of El Diamante High School, Lindsay High School and Mt. Whitney High School met at Western Milling in Goshen CA.  Students were treated to breakfast burritos upon our arrival. The leadership team was determined and they were in charge of introducing our hosts for the day. We were welcomed by Mr. Chad Pinter, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at Western Milling along with his welcome Mr. Pinter presented the company overview.  Next, the students were split into two groups and rotated through a Mill Tour with Buster Freeman and a Retail Tour with Todd Willeke. After our Mill and Retail Tours, we met back in the conference room with Mark Krebsbach, Ag Leadership Foundation Class 48. During lunch, the students sat with individuals from different departments at Western Milling.  We were joined by Reina Carbajal, Human Resources; Rene Urquia, Environmental Health and Safety Director; Rebecca Norred, Office Manager; Stan Dillon, Maintenance; Joel Karlin, Economist. They talked about and asked questions of how they got into agriculture, their college choices and what they did during their workday at Western Milling. Then a student from each group introduced their guest to the whole group and they told the entire group what they did at Western Milling and how it’s different from where they thought they would be.  Finally, Mark Krebsbach led a “Who am I” workshop asking the students to tell the group about who they are. Students did share what they wanted about themselves with the group. It was a great time for the students to be vulnerable. They really opened up to the group about themselves and did a great job. We appreciate what Mark and his colleagues at Western Milling do for our group. As always it is a great day we spend at Western Milling.