Leadership at Cargill

FARMS Leadership | Central Valley Central | Friday, March 6, 2020

Location of Field Day: Cargill, 3115 S Fig Ave, Fresno, CA 93706

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors: 
Pedro Lopez-Ramos, Human Resources
Jahnessa Anderson Lopez, Operations Supervisor
Katrina Robertson, General Manager
Christopher Vazquez, Cattle Buyer

Theme:  Labor in Animal Agriculture

Upon our arrival at Cargill, we met with Pedro Lopez-Ramos in human resources and Jahnessa Anderson Lopez.  They talked about how their education led them to the position they work for at Cargill now.  

We were then joined by Katrina Robertson, General Manager of the Fresno plant and she talked to us about how she came up with the company. Her original major was not in Agriculture.  She talked about how she grew with the company and became the general manager.  The three of them talked about how to be an asset for where your work is being flexible and willing to be a team player.  Following her talk, we took some much-needed pictures for a great day and thank her for joining us.  Following the talk, Pedro showed us a PowerPoint about the company.  He also showed us a video of the plant and what the line looks like when they break down carcasses.  Finally, during lunch, we had some other conversations and Pedro and Jahnessa were very gracious in letting us ask many questions that were left over from the video and PowerPoint.  

We left with some great Cargill swag and many memories.

Student Alondra Ortiz from Kerman High School said, “Cargill helped us see the reality of what is portrayed by non-Ag groups and the meatpacking industry. How the meat is processed and how it is being expanded to more than just meat but by using plant-based supplements.”

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.