The Big Orange

FARMS Leadership | Central Valley | February  15, 2022

Location of Field Day:
Citri Care – 43294 Road 120, Orosi CA 93647

Participating Schools:
Sunnyside High School, McLane High School, Kerman High School , Firebaugh High School, and Patino High School

Field Day Hosts and Mentors:
Katy Miller – Office Manager

Theme: Leadership-Hard and Soft Skills, Food Production and Consumer Science

Summary of the Day:  On Tuesday, February 15th, students from the Central Valley Central FARMS Leadership Program received a tour of family-owned and operated agricultural business, Citri-Care.

FARMS leadership students began the day developing their community and leadership skills through a team-building activity and a soft skills vs. hard skills activity. This gave students experience on effectively managing a project and learning how people can bring different skills to a group.

Katy Miller, the Office Manager, spoke to the students about her background in agriculture, the varieties grown and sold at Citri-Care, and offered advice to the students. She highlighted how temperature, light, water, air, and nutrients affect citrus plants’ growth.

Katy then gave students a farm tour of the citrus and exotic citrus varieties grown at Citri-Care. Students were able to analyze and taste different citrus varieties such as Mandarinquats, Limequats, Calamondins, Blood Oranges, Pink Lemons, Minneola Tangelos, Lemonade Lemons, and more! They also got to see Buddha’s Hand citron and Australian Finger Limes grown on trees.

Buddha’s Hand Citron
They smell so delicious and can be used as a garnish!
Australian Finger Limes
Cut open a finger lime and little lime beadlets flow out and look like caviar, but with a citrus POP!

At the end of their farm tour, Katy allowed the students to pick and take home their favorite varieties to share with their friends and families. The day closed with a delicious lunch provided by Citri-Care staff and more citrus tasting! FARMS Leadership wants to thank Katie again for the educational and hands-on tour. Be sure to visit The Big Orange https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Big-Orange/118342878239222.

UC Davis Exploration: What’s the next step for our FARMS students?

FARMS Leadership | Sacramento Valley & San Joaquin | February  22, 2022

Location of Field Day: UC Davis – Davis, CA

Field Day Host and Mentors:
Aggie Ambassadors – Co Hawes, Student Leadership Program Coordinator, with Student Leads
UCD Goat Facility – Benjamin Rupchis, Goat Facility Manager
UCD Student Eco Farm – Student Leads

Theme: Sustainable Ag & Environmental Sciences College Pathways

Sac Valley and San Joaquin FARMS students teamed up on a sunny February day to explore the sustainable ag and environmental science world that UC Davis has to offer. After a breakfast of muffins, blood oranges, and kiwis and a lively introductory game of Dance Your Name Out, we dove into a leadership workshop. Co Hawes, the Student Leadership Program Coordinator for Aggie Ambassadors, and Aggie Ambassador students Sara and Somora led us through the Pipeline activity. Two groups of students practiced teamwork, problem-solving and communication skills to transport a marble across the room without actually touching it. After plenty of strategizing, dropped marbles and re-strategizing, students emerged victorious.

Next, FARMS students had some time to connect directly with Aggie Ambassadors, asking them any and all questions they had about college life. Aggie Ambassadors shared their experiences as women in STEM, with balancing school responsibilities, personal lives and mental health, with the many helpful resources UC Davis has to offer, and the joys and challenges of campus life.

We then ventured to the Goat Facility where Benjamin Rupchis toured us around, introducing us to many goat friends along the way. Benjamin shared that the facility is mainly run by students and houses three separate goat herds: a dairy herd, a meat herd and a transgenic research herd, with around 150 goats total. We also learned how the Goat Facility works with the school’s Brewery Certificate Program and Student Farm to make the best possible use of leftover brewery grains and farm produce to feed the goats!

After loving on some goats, we rolled over to the student-run Eco Farm. Student leads Thea and Jon introduced us to the farm’s gorgeous chickens, showed us the inner workings of the farm’s aerobic and anaerobic compost systems, toured us around the produce gardens, and taught us how to harvest from the farm’s U-Pick flower garden.

After a peaceful lunch in the sunshine amongst the farm’s bees, butterflies, and thriving greenery, we strolled across the street to the Student Market. FARMS students were eager to purchase locally student grown produce and marveled over the colorful turnips, radishes, greens, rutabagas and daikons across the market table.

During our closing circle, students shouted out their highlights: loving on goats (of course), the lively pipeline activity, meeting students from another school, and learning about the sustainable efforts of the Eco Farm. Thanks UC Davis partners for a great day!

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!

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