FARMS Leadership | San Joaquin x Sacramento Valley | Friday, March 26th, 2021
Location(s) of Field Day: Sierra Pacific Industries – Lincoln, CA
Field Day Host(s) and Mentors: Francisco Castillo – Senior Director Public Affairs, Union Pacific Railroad Mark Luster – Community Relations Manager, Sierra Pacific Industries Katie Luther – Workforce Development & Communication Coordinator, Sierra Pacific Industries
Theme: Personal Development, Personal Branding, and Building Your Network … Sawmill Operations, Professional Skill Sets, and Career Planning
Summary of the Day: This double-header, San Joaquin and Sacramento Valley Leadership Lesson and Field Day, event featured two public relations professionals from two of California’s heavy industry sectors. Union Pacific Railroad is the largest railroad in North America, covers 23 states and, since its completion in 1869, remains a fixture in the logistics of most commodities to this day. Sierra Pacific Industries is a family-owned company, they are the second largest land-owner in North America (yes, I do mean the ENTIRE CONTINENT of North America), and remain a leader in the lumber manufacturing industry for more than 70 years. Though the Virtual Tour only explores a fraction of the jobs available with Sierra Pacific Industries, it should be noted that Sierra Pacific’s land holdings span from as far north as Burlington, Washington to Keystone in California. In the latter portion of the Q&A session with Mark Luster, we delve into the subject of female representation within the ranks of the Sierra Pacific workforce and request feedback from some of our FARMS Leadership students.
Grant Union High School in the GEO Academy Garden SLEWS Program | Sacramento Valley | March 23, 2021
Funded by Sacramento Municipal Utility District SHINE Award
Summary of the Day A SLEWS Field Day? With High School students? What has been the program-standard for the past 19 years of SLEWS became an impossibility in our 20th year due to COVID-19 – until now.
As everyone surely recalls, the beginning of last fall was filled with uncertainty. How long would distance learning last? Weeks? Months? All year? Would students be able to participate in SLEWS at all? Grant Union teachers had these same questions and contacted me at the beginning of the school year with the great idea to do a SLEWS-style restoration project on their high school campus. This would take the trickiest part of in-person COVID-safe field days (transportation) out of the equation, allowing students to participate in SLEWS as soon as they were allowed on campus again.
The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) awarded us funding to complete this project, but as of March, in-person instruction has still not resumed. We are nearing the end of prime planting season, so we wanted to get going on the project, and we found a solution to make this happen with Grant High School students!
Our Grant Union High School Thousand Strong interns have clearance to be on campus and were eager to help us get this habitat restoration project off the ground. The goal of the first field day was site preparation, and we set to work after an opening circle that included a round of “two truths and a lie”. Two students were tasked with digging a trench to extend the irrigation system to reach our project area while others cleared out (and composted) the sycamore leaves littering the site. Then we worked together to turn all the soil and get it ready for enrichment. Our planting area is adjacent to the incredible Grant Union GEO Academy garden, so we took advantage of this resource to give the soil a boost. Students were instructed on how to clip the cover crop to create green compost which will be incorporated into the soil along with compost from the GEO compost piles.
Next week we will return to turn this beautiful soil into a native plant hedgerow!
FARMS Advanced & Leadership Program | Kern County | Tuesday, March 23rd
Field Day Partner:
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!