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.
FARMS Advanced |Central Coast Region | Sept 23, 2021
Location(s) of Field Day: Farm Bureau of Monterey County and ALBA
Participating Schools from Monterey & Santa Cruz Region: Alisal High School (virtual) Gonzalez High School (in-person)
Field Day Hosts and Mentors: Jacob Dixon – FARMS Alumni and Senior at Cal Poly Juan Perez – FARMS Alumni and Senior at Cal Poly Laura Murphy – Soil Scientist with the RCD of Monterey County Paul Robins – Executive Director of the RCD of Monterey County Megan Barker – RCD of Monterey County Mary Kimball – CEO of the Center for Land-Based Learning Andrea Tinajero – ALBA Norm Groot – Monterey County Farm Bureau
Theme: What can Resource Conservation Districts do to create a more inclusive dialogue about conservation work?
Summary of the Day: It feels so good to be back in-person with students. The Advanced Cohort had the pleasure of kicking off the year! Since the Advanced students are our second year students their field days are a bit more involved and require professionalizm, critical thinking and a willingness to step out of their comfort zones just a bit.
Advanced begins early in the morning as I pick up students. This is the first time we are meeting face to face. Their leadership year was entirly online. After pick up we head to the Monterey County Farm Bureau and we have some brealfast. We are luck to have Mary Kimball joining us from Woodland. We begin with an icebreaker and students stand and introduce themselves with confidence and assertiveness. We invite Norm Groot to join us for our morning icebreaker, Two Truths and a Lie. We all learn so much about each other from this excersice it is a lot of fun! Norm Groot took the floor and shared his career pathway, the history of Farm Bureaus’ and what they do to support farmers and the Ag industry.
From there Megan signed us on to zoom and we met with Alisal HS students and FARMS Alumni, Juan Perez and Jacob Dixon. Both Jacob and Juan participate in the RCD Speak-off Contest when they were in the FARMS program. They shared their experience with students and gave them pointers on public speaking and speech writing. Jacob encouraged students that the speak-off judges only want to help and be supportive and students should not be nervous or afraid of them. Juan let students know that when it comes to writing a speech the key is starting early so you can have time to revise, practice and then revise & practice again. Next we discussed the speak-off contest and the speech prompt for this year.
Speak -Off Topic
“What can Resource Conservation Districts do to help create a more inclusive dialogue about conservation work?”
the Californina Association of RCD’s
The topic is not an easy one by any means and it required quite a bit of dicussion. I took notes as we broke down the topic and defined key words like “enclusive dialogue” .
It was time to head out to ALBA to meet some farmers and eat some lunch. After lunch we gave students the opportunity to discover how the RCD of Monterey County engages farmers in dialogue. Students where tasked with asking Farmers questions themselves. Some students took it apon themselves to ask their questions in Spanish which was a great way of demonstrating inclusive dialogue. Andrea Tinajero organized an amazing line-up of farmers to meet with students and share honestly and candidly thier experiences as Farmers and business owners.
Here are some of the questions students asked:
What led you to farming?
What resource conservation concerns do you have?
How can you best be reached to have discussions about resource conservation (for example, email, cell phone, in-person visits, etc.)?
Where do you want to have those discussions (for example, over the phone, online, in public meetings, in groups, during 1-on-1 personal visits to your farm, etc.)?
The day ended with a hands on soil sampling and test activity that students did with Farmers in their fields. It was a beautiful day to be in the fields and a perfect day for our first FARMS Advanced Field Day.
FARMS Leadership – Central Valley – February 24, 2021
Location: Top of the Morn Farms, Tulare, CA
Top of the Morn Farms in Tulare, CA hosted a great field day for our FARMS students, virtually of course! Students were able to hear from owner, Ron Locke, and they took away some great information about owning and running a dairy in California. The video tour took students through the calf pens, free stalls for the dairy cattle, milking parlor, and creamery. Even though they could not be there in person, Top of the Morn sent home individual milks for the students to enjoy and they were amazing! If you have not had their milk go out and find yourself some when you are in Tulare County. This family owned dairy farm is run with pride, honesty, and care for the cows and the people in their community. FARMS Leadership is so thankful for their time and generosity and we hope to go back in person next year.