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.
Program: FARMS Leadership Region:
Sacramento Valley: January 29th, 2019
Location of Field Day:
Field Day Host(s) and
Jo Cowan – Raptor Center Volunteer
Lis Fleming – Raptor Center Volunteer
Jolene Maiden – Raptor Center Volunteer
Brittany Cavaletto – Goat Facilities Manager
Conservation, and Ecology
Summary of the Day:
The Sac Valley FARMS
Leadership Students had a great time learning about conservation and
maintaining the natural habitat for wildlife to thrive at the California Raptor
Center. Jo Cowan hosted us at the California Raptor Center and we began our day
in their classroom learning about the different raptors native to California,
how they benefit us, and how we can help protect their environment and ensure
they can survive. After gaining a better understanding of raptors, the students
split into 3 groups and toured the facility, visited the raptor center museum,
and were able to see different species of raptors up close. The students had a
very unique and awesome opportunity to learn about raptors and their impact on
agriculture up close and personal. In the first portion of the day we learned
about different raptors native to California. Then we learned the vital roles
each one plays in agriculture and how farms and ranches can benefit from them.
Once we concluded our tour we took a lunch break where the
students were able to take pictures with one of the raptors and also help feed
a bottle baby goat. Then after lunch we headed next door to the UC Davis Goat
Facility. Brittany Cavaletto, the Facilities Manager, took us on a tour where
the students were able to see the two different herds at Davis. They have a
herd of dairy goats and a herd of Boer goats, which are a breed of meat goats.
The students were able to walk thru the milking parlor and see the construction
of the new dairy that they are building. They also were able to help the
student employees vaccinate some of the baby goats in the barn.
FARMS Leadership Program | Sac Valley and San Joaquin | December 11, 2018
Field Day Host(s)
Cosumnes River College
Bayer Crop Sciences
California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)
Kelly O’Halloran – Bayer Crop Sciences
Jacqueline Airoso – Collections Manager & Environmental Scientist – CDFA
Traci Scott – Outreach Specialist – Cosumnes River College
David Andrews – Professor of Horticulture – Cosumnes River College
College and Career Opportunities
Summary of the Day
The Sacramento Valley and San Joaquin FARMS Leadership Programs joined together for a field day at Cosumnes River College (CRC). The field day began with a group activity called Human Knot. This activity was designed for students to meet one another and then work together to problem solve and untangle them selves to form a circle.
After the group activity, our first presenter for the day was introduced. Kelly O’Halloran presented to the group. She gave an overview of Bayer Crop Sciences and also discussed the many different jobs that are associated with in their company. She also had a presentation on AgVocacy, which enables those who are passionate about modern agriculture to discuss the importance of agriculture, food production and the innovation needed to nourish our growing world.
Our second guest speaker for the day was Jacqueline Airoso from the CDFA. She gave a presentation on who the CDFA is and what they do. She also discussed plant pest’s and diagnostics.
Following our presentations Traci Scott gave us a tour of the Cosumnes River College Campus. We ended the tour at the Horticulture Department where David Andrews showed the students around and discussed the different courses offered at CRC. The students enjoyed walking around the garden and harvesting some late fall crops to sample and bring home.
FARMS Leadership | Sacramento Valley | October 25, 2018
Locations of Field Day: Sierra Orchards and Mariani Nut Company, Winters, CA
Field Day Host(s) and Mentors:
Craig McNamara, Owner and Manager of Sierra Orchards
AJ Gomez, Farmer at Sierra Orchards
Max Mariani, Production Manager at Mariani Nut Company
Summary of the Day:
This year the Sacramento Valley FARMS Leadership Program kicked off our field days for the 2018-2019 school year at Sierra Orchards in Winters, CA. The day started off with breakfast and ice breakers giving the students the opportunity to meet people from other schools. Following the ice-breaker the students were given an over view of what to expect for the year within the FARMS Leadership Program. We then all caravanned over to Mariani Nut Company where Max Mariani gave us an overview of the company, a tour of the facilities, and then allowed the students to sort walnuts on the factory line. After the tour of Mariani the group headed back to Sierra Orchards where we all enjoyed lunch and discussed what we learned on the tour. Following lunch, AJ Gomez gave us an introduction to Sierra Orchards and then led the group on a tour. He drove a tractor hauling a hay trailer so that the students could see the walnut orchard and harvest up close and personal.
Sacramento Valley FARMS Leadership | Superior Farms | April 12, 2018
Location(s) of Field Day:
Field Day Host(s):
Matt Hayes – Livestock Buyer at Superior Farms,
Andrea Perkins – Director of Food Safety at Superior Farms.
Food Production and Consumer Science
Summary of the Day:
For our final field day of the year the Sacramento Valley FARMS Leadership students had the unique opportunity to visit and tour Superior Farms lamb processing facility. Matt Hayes introduced us to the company and then we suited up in plastic boots, hair nets, hard hats, and lab coats. Matt Hayes and Andrea Perkins then gave us a tour of the entire plant beginning at packaging, then we saw the cutting processes, and toured the facility all the way to the start where the students were given the option to see the stunning and butchering processes. After our tour we met back in the break room where we had lunch and the students presented their Community Action Projects that they have been working on all year. Community Action Projects are projects that each group of students from every school work on that applies skills and knowledge attained from the FARMS program to address problems or concerns within each schools community. Our final field day concluded with an award ceremony for all of the Sac Valley FARMS students where they received a certificate of completion of year 1 of the FARMS Leadership program.