FARMS Leadership | Tehama | Wednesday, February 5, 2020
Location of Field Day
Tehama County Farm Bureau : 275 Sale Lane, Red Bluff, CA 96080
Field Day Host(s) and Mentors
Kari Dodd – Tehama County Farm Bureau Manager Shelley Macdonald – Vice President at Farm Credit
Agriculture Support Careers
Summary of the Day Who supports our farmers? Is there anyone who advocates for the farmer when lawmakers are working on imposing new rules and regulations that will affect our agriculture and natural resource industries? When these questions are asked most students have no idea. This is where Kari Dodd, our local Farm Bureau Manager comes to us as a great resource. Spending a day at the Farm Bureau Office is an excellent way for students to learn first hand the important role they play in our agriculture community. Students learned a bit about the history of Farm Bureau what it means to be a “grass roots organization” and how they focus on policy making beginning at the county level. She shared about how they serve their members locally by keeping them informed on all the up and coming laws, rules, and restrictions, they send out a weekly publication called AgAlert and a monthly magazine called California Bountiful, as well as offer educational programs to our local schools and youth. Quite a bit of time was spent discussing Farm Bureau’s role in Sacramento and the opportunities they offer for members and students to sit on on sessions at our state level as well as bigger trips to Washington DC to be able to observe our national government at work.
As our students begin to find their “group” often times it’s a real adjustment to move away to college. Kari shared about her experiences with being a part of Young Farmers and Ranchers, which includes both men and women ages 18-35 and promotes leadership. As part of this leadership development the students learned the proper way to shake a persons hand in a confident, professional way. Kari shared how mand of these skills are taught and practiced during time with YF&R and therefore can only benefit your professional and self development. Becoming part of YF&R can give students that sense of purpose as well as a group of like minded people to mingle with when faced with moving for college, a job, or any other reason. Most counties nation wide have a YF&R program or one in a neighboring county and even some colleges have clubs that associate with this program.
We wrapped up our day with a fun, hands on presentation by Shelley Macdonald the Vice President of our local Farm Credit. Shelley, who also teaches for Shasta College, did an activity where the students were broken up into groups of 3-4, and then given a pile of newspapers with the instructions to build the tallest tower they could. It was amazing to watch them work together and Shelley was so proud of how they all actively participated and no one sat back and watched! She shared about how Farm Credit works, and the services they offer to their members. With the average age of most ag appraisers nearing retirement, she spoke about the career opportunities available and what type of education they require.
The students walked away from the day with a greater appreciation for these organizations and how they support the agriculture and natural resources industries. They also learned about careers and opportunities that are available as well as how important starting to network at a young age is. You never know who’s hand you shake one day might be your future boss.