Nutrien AG Solutions

FARMS Leadership & Advanced: Kern County: April 27th, 2022

Location: Bakersfield, CA

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors:
Dominic Antongiovanni – Branch Manager
Meagan Dewar- Crop Consultant

Summary of the Day:

April 27th 2022 Kern Farms Program visited Nutrien Ag Solutions in Bakersfield CA. Students from McFarland High School, West High School and Ridgeview Highschool and Bakersfield Christian Highschool came together to take a tour of their day-to-day operation. 

We started off going to their research farm and having breakfast with everyone. We then started with introductions and got to know about the Nutrien team and what we were going to be learning throughout the day.

We started off being introduced to Dillon he manages the Drone portion of the company. These drones are high tech as you can get! They can see more than the human eye! They can detect disease before the tree or plant shows symptoms. It will let know where and what tree needs to be fertilized. The drone also scans a whole orchard going back and forth down the rows and takes individual pictures of each tree. Everyone was loving this and had so many questions about the drone.

We then went on to how fertilizer is administered to the almond trees. We first went over the varieties of almond trees they have at the research farm which were Monterey and Nonpareil. All of the produce at the research farm were for conventional use. We then got to see how they pump the fertilizer into the underground pipes that then flow along through the drip tape and go down the rows of trees. You can see the darker substance through the clear tube going down towards the tree. They do one row at a time so they can make sure the fertilizer is being distributed correctly and make sure it’s all running smoothly.

We then moved on to see the bell peppers on the research farm to see the different varieties of bell peppers. They have red impact, Magellan and Super Beitar peppers. At the research farm they have different types of fertilizer trials going on so they can see what works best and helps grow the peppers to their full potential. They have different rows with certain fertilizers and varieties so they can test out some new options. When they do this, they are looking for certain disease that may occur so they can help try prevent them from occurring. 

The seniors then went off with Dominic to the head office and talked more on summer internships and job shadows and such. While we were there, we got to see the big containers which hold all the different types of fertilizers. We then saw the big mixer where they mxi the ingredients needed for certain fertilizers. 

It was an amazing day with Nutrien Agriculture Solutions and we learned so much and got to learn all about what they do and got information of future job opportunities for the students.

Got BEEF!

Location: Redhouse Beef Bakersfield, CA 

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors: Debbie Wise – Owner 

Summary of the Day:

March 3rd 2022 Kern Farms Program visited Redhouse Beef in Bakersfield CA. Students from McFarland High School, West High School and Ridgeview Highschool came together to take a tour of their day-to-day operation. Redhouse Beef has a goal to serve high quality beef straight from farm to table. Redhouse cares for their land and animals and stewards their role in our food system. Redhouse is also known for their amazing chickens and their farm fresh eggs.

We started off going into the pasture where the mobile chicken coops were at. The chickens at Redhouse have a very important role. After the cattle come through and graze pasture and eat the majority of all the grass, the chickens come in next! The chickens rotate through all the pasture once the cattle are through with it to eat bugs, control fly population and provide fertilizer. They also eat the grass too and convert it all into amazing pastured eggs!

We then did a fun little hands-on egg activity with Debbie! Everyone got into groups and got some eggs and cracked into a clear cup and we identified all the different parts of the egg. Most of us realized parts we have never seen before but now we will know and point them out! Everyone enjoyed it so much! Some had different colored yolks from dark orange to lighter orange. Darker the yolk the more mature the hen is and has more nutrients than a lighter colored one is most likely a younger hen.

We then went onto BEEF! Pretty much their whole herd is 100% born and raised by Redhouse. Most of their cattle are black angus, Charolais and some red angus. Red house is involved in all the stages in life for the cattle. They are a finishing operation where their calves come down from the mountains and are weaned and finished here for a few months to a year until they are ready to harvest.
We got to walk through their chute system and how they move and process their cattle. The students got to operate and practice moving the hydraulic chute and how it would be when working cattle. The cattle come through the chute for numerous reasons. They could be getting preg checked, vaccinated, dewormed or getting some sort of treatment. Redhouse is an amazing family owned and operated business and everyone should go check them out and try their grass-fed beef!

FARMS Leadership Program | Kern County | Tuesday, October 19th

Field Day Partner:

AC Foods/Columbine Vineyards

Field Day Host
Louis Gonzalez-Director of Farming

Dave Watson-VP of Sales

John Carter-Director of Operations

Vincent Sorena-VP of Compliance

Dan Rosas-Quality Assurance Manager

Summary of the Day: On Tuesday, October 19th, 2021, the Kern County FARMS Leadership Program kicked off the year with a field day at AC Foods/Columbine Vineyards. Students from McFarland High School, West High School and Ridgeview Highschool came together to explore the different job opportunities that consists of managing a grape operation. We started off with Louis Gonzalez the Director of Farming as he went over many exciting things that we all learned about. We went into detail about the fertilizer that is used on the grapes and all the ingredients that are in it to make it so valuable. We got to see up close and touch the different additives to fertilizer that are used such as earth worm poop. They use an Aerobic Tea that blends all the ingredients of the fertilizer together with water and it is then pumped into the lines of the vineyards.

We then went over to the Sales Team of Columbine Vineyards and got to sit in and meet the VP of sales Dave Watson. They began to start and show us the pitch they would give to future buyers and anyone interested in their grapes. It was very interesting to see all the different data and reports they do to figure out what the consumers like best about picking the perfect bag of grapes. They have to be sure the label is perfect and placed in the correct spot as well. Presentation is everything!

We then went on to the vineyards and got to actually cut and pick our own bundle of grapes. They went on to show and tell us the specific characteristics the grape bundles must reach to be sale ready. We had to cut and trim to make the bundles uniform and eye appealing to the consumer. We also used a refractometer to practice measuring the sweetness in the grapes. We all had a great time and got to taste some AMAZING grapes!!!

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