Leadership at Cargill

FARMS Leadership | Central Valley Central | Friday, March 6, 2020

Location of Field Day: Cargill, 3115 S Fig Ave, Fresno, CA 93706

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors: 
Pedro Lopez-Ramos, Human Resources
Jahnessa Anderson Lopez, Operations Supervisor
Katrina Robertson, General Manager
Christopher Vazquez, Cattle Buyer

Theme:  Labor in Animal Agriculture

Upon our arrival at Cargill, we met with Pedro Lopez-Ramos in human resources and Jahnessa Anderson Lopez.  They talked about how their education led them to the position they work for at Cargill now.  

We were then joined by Katrina Robertson, General Manager of the Fresno plant and she talked to us about how she came up with the company. Her original major was not in Agriculture.  She talked about how she grew with the company and became the general manager.  The three of them talked about how to be an asset for where your work is being flexible and willing to be a team player.  Following her talk, we took some much-needed pictures for a great day and thank her for joining us.  Following the talk, Pedro showed us a PowerPoint about the company.  He also showed us a video of the plant and what the line looks like when they break down carcasses.  Finally, during lunch, we had some other conversations and Pedro and Jahnessa were very gracious in letting us ask many questions that were left over from the video and PowerPoint.  

We left with some great Cargill swag and many memories.

Student Alondra Ortiz from Kerman High School said, “Cargill helped us see the reality of what is portrayed by non-Ag groups and the meatpacking industry. How the meat is processed and how it is being expanded to more than just meat but by using plant-based supplements.”

Advocating for Future Generations

FARMS Leadership | Central Valley South | Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Location of Field Day:
Sequoia Riverland Trust
Dry Creek Preserve
35220 Dry Creek Dr, 35220 Dry Creek Dr, Woodlake, CA 93286

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors: 
Bud Darwin, Education and Volunteer Director
Sam Weiser, Education Coordinator

Upon arrival, students met and interviewed Bud Darwin & Sam Weiser with Sequoia Riverland Trust. The students introduced Bud and Sam to the group and our day started. Students visited the Native Plant Nursery that is on-site.  They were able to see the different plants and shrubs that were grown there and why it is good to plant them at home to encourage pollination at their homes. Dry Creek Preserve is a 152-acre former gravel quarry located just northwest of Lemon Cove, CA in the town of Woodlake, CA.  The students were able to use iPads and their cell phones with the iNaturalist App. Students could upload pictures of anything they could find and the app community would then help identify what was found. Students did this on the 2-mile hike we took around the preserve. Students also learned how the combination of biological and environmental conditions were important to the local farmers who grazed cattle on this very land.  Students really enjoyed being able to bring the classroom, technology and electronics outdoors. Following the hike, we had lunch and de-briefed on the day. Bud & Sam shared volunteer opportunities with our students and the importance of finding something you enjoy doing when you grow up so you’ll never have to work a day in your life. Thank you for a terrific field day Sequoia Riverlands Trust!

Merging Businesses

Gar Bennett – Labor in the Agriculture Industry

FARMS Advanced Leadership Program | Central Valley | Friday, February 21, 2020

Location of Field Day:
Gar Bennett 8246 Crawford Ave, Reedley, CA 93654

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors:
Ralph Rendon, Chief Personnel Officer of Gar Bennett

Summary of the Day:

Before students even set foot onto the GAR Bennett Property in Reedley 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 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.

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. Rendon. He talked about his job as it relates to GAR and about the Business Merging with Bennett Irrigation. He went on to say they now are a one-stop-shop for the farmers they work with and it has expanded to the irrigation side of things. Congratulations GAR Bennett and Thank You for being such a great supporter of the FARMS Leadership Program.