Fruits of our Labor

FARMS Advanced Program | Central Valley | Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Location of Field Day:
Lindcove Extension Research Center
22963 Carson Ave, Exeter, CA 93221

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors:
Dr. Elizabeth E Grafton-Cardwell Ph.D. – Director of Lindcove REC & Research Entomologist UC Riverside
Kurt R. Schmidt – Principal Superintendent of Agriculture
Don Cleek – Agricultural Supervisor
Stephanie Doria – Staff Research Associate I
Adam Kagy – Agricultural Technician

Summary of the Day:
On Wednesday, January 15, 2020, the Central Valley FARMS Advanced Program visited with the folks at the Lindcove Extension Research Center (LREC). We were greeted by Kurt Schmidt. Mr. Schmidt explained that the Lindcove Extension Research Center (LREC) greenhouses, orchards and packline are used by researchers for a variety of studies including developing new citrus rootstocks and scions, evaluating the effects of the local environment on rootstock and scion combinations, screening seedless varieties of mandarins, detecting freeze damage of fruit, and analyzing chemical treatments for pests and post harvest diseases. After learning about what LREC does we went into the citrus grove with their picking crew to learn more about labor in the citrus industry. We learned that there were no mechanical ways of picking and that the labor into the picking was very time consuming and dependent on how quickly they worked and how accurately they picked the best pieces of fruit. We then took what the students picked on their own to the packline to see the automated machines and new technology at work. The California citrus industry, through the California Citrus Quality Council, donated a complete citrus packing line to the LREC in 1995. This 5,000 square foot facility has available for research an FMC high-pressure scale washer, Brogdex waxing and drying equipment, and a Compac fruit-grading unit that can measure number, size, weight, shape, color, texture, density, ºBrix, grade of fruit, and other parameters. This equipment also allows analysis of fruit from individual trees. Students were excited to take some fruit home to enjoy. We thank the team at Lindcover Extension Research Center again for their time and commitment toward our students and our program.

Labor of the Future

FARMS Advanced Leadership Program | Central Valley | Thursday, December 5, 2019

Location of Field Day:
Westside Produce – 785 12th Street, Firebaugh CA 93622

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors:
Garrett Patricio – Vice President of Operations & General Counsel
Salvador Alaniz, Director of Harvest
Brandy Nunez, Facility Manager
Rosa Meza, Food Safety Manager

Theme:
Labor in Agriculture is the statewide year long theme

Summary of the Day:
Upon arrival to Westside Produce the ladies of the FARMS Advanced Leadership Program were welcomed by Garrett Patricio and his small off-season staff. Mr. Patricio talked about how the new changes in labor laws will affect his business and the people who work for him.  He specifically mentioned that Agriculture jobs generally fall under two wage orders (8 & 14). In his line of work and business he and his managers have to be particularly careful to always abide by the laws as Order #8 addresses Post Harvest Handling and Order #14 addresses Agricultural Occupations.  These Orders have different work hours, overtime pay and doubletime pay. He also addressed the concerns over the Changes and Challenges as there is a shrinking workforce versus an increase of Mechanization as well as a reduced work week versus an increased minimum wage. Following the visit about Labor at Westside Produce we were treated to lunch and Westside Produce – Tri hats.  Following lunch we took a short walk to see the packing shed and solar panels. The ladies were also interviewed one on one with Mr. Patricio as a part of the FARMS Advanced Program Job Training Program. They did a great job! Finally, we took some group pictures and were sent home with Fresh Pomegranates! Thank you again, Garrett for your generosity in hosting us for the day.

Western Milling Labor in the Agriculture Industry

Program: Advanced

Region: Central Valley

Field Date: Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Location of Field Day: Western Milling, Goshen CA

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors: Anna Spivak, Mark Krebsbach & Brian Brower

Theme: Personality Index Quiz, Mock Interviews and Truck Driving Laws and Regulations

On Wednesday, October 2, 2019, the first field day of the Central Valley FARMS Leadership Advanced Program was held at Western Milling in Goshen CA. Here the 6 ladies from Patino High School, Central Valley Christian High School and Kerman High School participated in Western Millings Personality Index Quiz presented by Human Resources Anna Spivak. Ms. Spivak went into detail with our Advanced students on how to read the results and what type of career would fit their individual personalities. During lunch, provided by Western Milling, Mark Krebsbach, Commodity Trader and Ms. Spivak held mock interviews with our students. The ladies received first-hand experience of introducing themselves to prospective individuals in an interview typesetting. Following lunch and this short exercise, Brian Bower and Mr. Krebsbach spoke about new labor laws and regulations for truck drivers. Today was a very informational day for us all and we appreciate the team at Western Milling for taking time out of their busy schedule to teach us what is important to know about the industry and hiring process.