FARMS Leadership | San Joaquin | Friday, April 2nd, 2021
Location(s) of Field Day: CAL-Waste – Galt, CA
Field Day Host(s) and Mentor(s): Leesa Klotz – Education Coordinator
Summary of the Day: This San Joaquin FARMS Field Day and Leadership Lesson begins with a historical tour of garbage and waste management in the United States. Beginning with the New York Department of Street Cleaning in 1881, America’s history of sanitation and waste management is actually much newer than many would believe. Our host, Lisa Klotz, guides us through a Virtual Tour of the operations at CAL-Waste and emphasizes, the Moby Duck Spill, the importance of being a conscious consumer, the amount of plastics in the average human diet, and the ways CAL-Waste is doing its part to preserve our planet.
This event concludes with a Leadership Lesson that focuses on FARMS students’ professional development. FARMS students complete a free “16Personalities” personality test, the U.S. Department of Labor’s “CareerOneStop” Interest Assessment, and use the inventory of their proficiencies to deduce their potentials for presented career paths.
‘Click’ the links below for your very own personality and interest assessments:
Bi-Regional FARMS Advanced | Monterey, Santa Cruz, and Tehama Region| March 15, 2021
Location(s) of Field Day: Redding & Watsonville, California
Participating Schools from Monterey & Santa Cruz Region: Soquel High School Gonzalez High School
Field Day Hosts and Mentors: Carmelo Sicarios – Raspberry Planning Manager James Moller -Strawberry Foundation & Breeding Nursery Manager John Pierre – Agronomist and Nursery Supply Manager Isabel Andrade – Administrative Clerk Cristal Verduzco – Senior Supply and Raspberry Forcast Manager Diego Nieto – Entomologist Research Scientist
Theme: Careers in Berries
Summary of the Day: Since we are virtual this year we had a unique opportunity to combine two of Driscoll’s operations, the Nursery in Redding, Ca, and the Headquarter operations in Watsonville, Ca. This field day brought FARMS Advanced students from two different regions together to learn about multiple careers. All students received a kit with Driscoll’s swag and some raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries.
Students received a company overview from Carmelo Sicarios who has been in the industry for 30 years. Students heard from James Moller spoke about the nursery side of Driscoll’s and talked about the life cycle of the Driscoll’s strawberry which begins with breeding and selecting varieties to produce. Strawberry plant production is quite complicated and involves many different steps before plants get to the fields. The Driscoll’s Nursery produces 410 million strawberry plants that are planted at various sites throughout California, Florida, Mexico, China, Australia, and Europe.
Next up was John Pierre and he gave us a great presentation on what he does as an Agronomist. Like many folks in Ag, he didn’t intend to be in the ag industry but rather stumbled upon Ag in college. John explained that his job requires him to have knowledge of a combination of things like genetics, plant nutrition, soil science, physiology, Ag economics, and much more. Most of John Pierre’s work with Driscoll’s has been working with raspberries, which is his favorite berry to work with.
“Raspberries are pretty cool, we’re able to do a lot of crazy things with them that you wouldn’t even think is possible.”
We were very lucky to have Isabel Andrade speak with students about her work as a clerk in the nursery. She has a very important job with multiple administrative responsibilities that keep the office functioning like a well-oiled machine. Isabel encouraged students to learn a second language because it will help them in their future careers.
Cristal Verduzco started her presentation by sharing all the colors of raspberries. Cristal shared her background and her memories of playing in the fields with her mom as a young girl. Ag was a part of her life at an early age. In high school, she pursued opportunities in ag by participating in FARMS Leadership which really influenced her choice to pursue ag as a career. Cristal shared some very important advice for students to go after things that they are passionate about even if it’s not agriculture. She emphasized networking and internships as key to career success.
“What I tell my nieces and nephews is, that in life you are going to have to work. You might as well work doing something that you love. Right?”
Our final speaker was Diego Nieto representing the Entomology Research Department at Driscoll’s. Diego talked about how his research supports growers to help manage pests in the field and minimize the use of chemical controls like miticides and pesticides. He introduced students to different kinds of pests that he works with. The first was the white grub which can be controlled by adding nematodes to the soil to feed on the white grub. Diego talked about multiple biological controls that help growers with pests, like using parasitic wasps that take care of the spotted winged fruit fly and using beneficial mites to combat spider mites. Diego’s advice for students is to work on their writing skills. He explained that oftentimes writing is overlooked as a key skill for success in whatever you do.
I am always impressed with the passion and excitement Driscoll’s employees have for the work that they do. We appreciate the knowledge and advice that all the speakers brought to our field day. Thank you Driscoll’s for a fabulous virtual field day!
FARMS Leadership | San Joaquin x Sacramento Valley | Friday, March 26th, 2021
Location(s) of Field Day: Sierra Pacific Industries – Lincoln, CA
Field Day Host(s) and Mentors: Francisco Castillo – Senior Director Public Affairs, Union Pacific Railroad Mark Luster – Community Relations Manager, Sierra Pacific Industries Katie Luther – Workforce Development & Communication Coordinator, Sierra Pacific Industries
Theme: Personal Development, Personal Branding, and Building Your Network … Sawmill Operations, Professional Skill Sets, and Career Planning
Summary of the Day: This double-header, San Joaquin and Sacramento Valley Leadership Lesson and Field Day, event featured two public relations professionals from two of California’s heavy industry sectors. Union Pacific Railroad is the largest railroad in North America, covers 23 states and, since its completion in 1869, remains a fixture in the logistics of most commodities to this day. Sierra Pacific Industries is a family-owned company, they are the second largest land-owner in North America (yes, I do mean the ENTIRE CONTINENT of North America), and remain a leader in the lumber manufacturing industry for more than 70 years. Though the Virtual Tour only explores a fraction of the jobs available with Sierra Pacific Industries, it should be noted that Sierra Pacific’s land holdings span from as far north as Burlington, Washington to Keystone in California. In the latter portion of the Q&A session with Mark Luster, we delve into the subject of female representation within the ranks of the Sierra Pacific workforce and request feedback from some of our FARMS Leadership students.