FARMS Leadership | North State | February 11, 2020
Field Day Locations:
Sunsweet, Yuba City
Yuba College Career Technical Education (CTE) facilities, Linda
Theme of the Day:
California Plums, Food Manufacturing,
Jobs in every field in Ag, Community college CTE opportunities
What an exciting day at Sunsweet
and Yuba College! We started with some fun teambuiling- a game of what we like
to call “duct tape octopus pictionary.” The day continued with an intro video and
presentation about Sunsweet from Jamie Dickerson, Director of Human Resources.
She explained the history of the company, some of the ways they continuously remain
the leader in the prune market, and the variety of jobs available at the Yuba
City facility for all educational backgrounds. We then got to put on lab coats
and hair nets to tour the facility! The students were pretty awe struck at all
the machines and at how many different stores and countries prunes were being
packed for and waiting for shipment! We stood in a storage room with ¼ of the
worlds demand for prunes in crates around us waiting to get packed and shipped!
After a final Q and A session with
Sunsweet employees about how to get a job there, and general advice about
working in agriculture and in the Yuba City region, we headed to Yuba College. Here,
we got a tour from CTE instructor Dan Turner and learned about the welding and
advanced manufacturing programs. The students learned that you don’t need to
have taken welding courses in High School in order to enroll in the program at
college. They also learned about what jobs the various CTE degrees and
certificates offered by Yuba College could prepare them for.
It was a fun and informative field day and we
are grateful to our hosts from Sunsweet and Yuba College for sharing their time,
facilities and wisdom with us!
FARMS Leadership Program:
Sacramento Valley: October
Location of Field Day: Winters, CA
Field Day Host(s) and Mentors: Craig McNamara – Owner and Manager, Sierra Orchards Gus Mariani – Operations Manager, Mariani Nut Company Max Mariani – Production Manager, Mariani Nut Company
Production and Sustainability
Summary of the Day:
The Sacramento Valley FARMS Leadership Program kicked off
the 2019-2020 program year at Sierra Orchards in Winters, CA. Sierra Orchards
is home to Craig McNamara who founded the FARMS Leadership Program in 1993. The
field day began with an introduction to the Program and the Farm followed by
activities to introduce the students from different schools to one another. The
Sacramento Valley FARMS Leadership Program is made up of students from 5 high
schools in the Sacramento and Yolo counties; Luther Burbank, Grant Union,
Sacramento, River City, and Esparto High Schools.
After the activities concluded the group headed on down the
road to Mariani Nut Company. We were greeted by Gus and his nephew Max Mariani
who work at and manage the facility. They gave us an overview of the family
owned company and then took us on a tour. We were able to see the different stages
of production from when the walnuts were dropped off in shell to how they are
sorted and processed. They sell walnuts and almonds all over the world in
different forms including in shell, sliced, whole, flavored, etc. You name it
and they probably have a market for it. The students were then able to work on
the factory line and help the quality control team sort walnuts.
Following our tour of Mariani Nut Company we headed back
over to Sierra Orchards where we were met by Craig McNamara. Craig gave an
overview of Sierra Orchards and then took the Sac Valley FARMS group on a
tractor ride tour of the property. We went out into the orchard and were able
to see the crew harvesting as well as visit the huller and see walnut shipments
come in and be sorted and dried.
FARMS Leadership Program: Sacramento Valley: February 21st,
Location of Field Day: Davis, CA
Field Day Host(s) and Mentors:
Dan Sehnert – Department of Animal Science
Ed DePeters – UC Davis Professor and Master
Advisor for Animal Science major’s
Katharina Ullman – Director of UC Davis Student
Theme: College and Career Exploration
Summary of the Day:
Dan Sehnert, the UC Davis Department of Animal Science
Facilities Coordinator, welcomed the Sacramento Valley FARMS Leadership students
to UC Davis. The students were then split up into 4 groups and toured the Dairy
Cattle Facility, Horse Facility, Avian Hatchery, and the Meats Lab. At the
dairy the students were able to assist in treating a sick cow, see new born
calves, and help UC Davis student employees vaccinate. At the horse facility
the students were given a tour and learned about the different ways in which
horses are studied at UC Davis. Afterwards the students were given the
opportunity to groom the horse’s as well as see a week old foal that was bred
and born at the facility. At the hatchery student’s learned how to candle eggs
and were able to see different varieties of birds at different stages of
incubation. The final facility the students visited was the Meats Lab. Students
were given a tour, the different processing practices used to process cattle,
hogs and lambs were discussed and the students were able to sample some beef jerky
and snack sticks that the Meats Lab produced.
After the facility tours we all met back at the UC Davis
Cole Facility where Dr. Ed DePeter’s joined us. He discussed with the FARMS
Leadership students the college experience. Dr. DePeter’s is a professor at UC
Davis and went over the different classes and opportunities that both UC Davis
and the Animal Science Department offer. After our visit with Dr. DePeter’s we
headed to campus where the students had the opportunity to dine like a college
student at Tecero Student Dining Hall.
We concluded our day at the Student Farm and Market Garden.
Katharina Ullman, the Director of the Student Farm, welcomed us and gave the students
a tour. The students were able to learn about the different crops and herbs
grown at the Student Farm as well as see the Market Garden and learn about the
CSA program that UC Davis students implement.
FARMS Leadership Student Quotes:
“I had a lot of fun learning about the background and
specifics that go into horse breeding!” – Melina C.
“I really enjoyed working with the calves and getting to
help vaccinate them!” – Tyler R.