Nuts in the North State

FARMS Leadership | Tehama, North State, and Kern| April 21, 2021

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors  Andersen and Sons Shelling: Vina, CA Karen Gundersen, Grower Relations Manager Kristin Coley, Food Safety and Marketing Jennifer Williams, Marketing Director with California Walnut Board and Commission

Hands-On Kit Components Variety ID Worksheet, 5 different walnut varietals, In shell walnuts for cracking and grading, Kernel Defects information sheet. Small mallet for cracking nuts.

Theme
Walnuts and Processing

Summary of the Day  This field day hosted by Andersen and Sons Shelling was extra special with Jennifer Williams with the California Walnut Board and Commission joining us. She started off the day by introducing herself and the California Walnut Board to the students and explaining the important role they play for all those involved in producing and processing walnuts. We then jumped into watching a wonderful video about Andersen and Sons as a company which gave the students a good overview of what to expect as Karen Gundersen and Kristin Coley took us on a LIVE tour of the HUGE and expanding facility in Vina, CA. Students were able to see everything from walnuts being cracked and sorted, to grading, and finally to the packing line where local walnuts were going into retail packages with large retail names on them! So cool!!

Along the way, we discussed the many career opportunities that Andersen and Sons offers. Many of which require only a high school diploma, however if students have an interest in exploring high education they learned about careers that needed a certificate as well as those which need a 4 year degree to hold. To wrap up the day, Karen did a fun and interactive walnut variety identification activity using the hands on kits each student had received prior to the field day. Who knew there were so many different varieties of walnuts?! Students then were encouraged to use the guide they were given to crack and sort the in shell walnuts they received to see what kind of work goes into deciding what a farmer get paid for his walnuts.

We couldn’t be more thankful for partners like Andersen and Sons and the support we get from the Walnut Board to help educate our youth on the importance of not only where our food comes from, but how much work goes into getting it from the orchard to your trail mix or granola.

If you would like to join in on this field day…click HERE!

Redhouse Beef!

FARMS Advanced & Leadership Program | Kern County | Tuesday, March 23rd

Field Day Partner:

Redhouse Beef

Field Day Host
Debbie Wise-Owner

Maddie Herndon-Ranch Manager

Summary of the Day: On Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021, the Kern County FARMS Advanced and Leadership Program from McFarland High School had a Regional Zoom field day with Redhouse Beef. Redhouse Beef is located in Bakersfield, CA and they operate a grass-fed beef operation. Their main goal is to serve high quality meat straight from the pasture to your table. Our video tour included walking around the ranch seeing the facilities where the cattle are raised on and how they are fed properly. We ran through the process of tagging, weighing and treating the cattle as they come through the chute and how to correctly do so. Redhouse also has grass fed chickens where they sell their eggs and they also have separate chickens that are meat hens and will be sold as grass fed. They like to keep stress free environment for the herd and the flock to help them maintain the best. If you have not tried any products from Redhouse you must! We are so thankful for their time and hope to go back in person next year!

Maggenti Show Goats

Maggenti show goats raises about 250+ of Boer Goats. They’ve been raising  Boer goats for about 10 years now. They sell year round too local and out of state kids for market projects. Showing livestock brings families and friends together while creating everlasting memories.  Their goal is to create competitive goats in a fun and healthy environment.

Raising livestock is a full time job. The animals depend on you everyday to supply their food and water. We will kid out babies year round and sell them in lives auctions or an online sale throughout the year. We typically sell casterated males which are called wethers. We will sell wethers for livestock shows once they are weaned around four to five months old. They will then go to their new family where they will be raised and fed and prepared for show. We usually keep all our females to help grow the herd and to replace older females.

We also do a lot of Artificial insemenation work and Embryo Transfer. To help increase your herd quality most people will Flush an amazing female goat and put her embryos into what we call Recip also known as a surrogate. You can get anywhere from 1 to 30+ embryos from one flush on a Donor female. This benefits your program by allowing you to multiply that breeding by one flush rather than having just 1 baby from that Donor. These Recips will then carry the babies for 5 months and kid them out and raise them.

Embryos under the microscope.

There are other important factors that go into raising livestock. You have to be sure to stay up to date on vaccinations and deworming protocols to make sure they stay healthy and don’t run into any health issues. We start vaccinations when they are a day old to boost their immunity and to keep them healthy. Health is the number one key to keeping your herd reproductive.

During the zoom meeting we went into detail on how to read a feed tag. A feed tag gives you all the ingredients and information you need to know what your animal is eating. It is very important in the livestock world to know and keep track to what our animal is taking in. We went through step by step and learned how to properly read a feed tag from top to bottom. The students also received a sample bag of some goat feed to identify what they thought was each ingredient listed on the feed tag. We had a great time and loved seeing the babies!!