Advocating for Future Generations

FARMS Leadership | Central Valley South | Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Location of Field Day:
Sequoia Riverland Trust
Dry Creek Preserve
35220 Dry Creek Dr, 35220 Dry Creek Dr, Woodlake, CA 93286

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors: 
Bud Darwin, Education and Volunteer Director
Sam Weiser, Education Coordinator

Upon arrival, students met and interviewed Bud Darwin & Sam Weiser with Sequoia Riverland Trust. The students introduced Bud and Sam to the group and our day started. Students visited the Native Plant Nursery that is on-site.  They were able to see the different plants and shrubs that were grown there and why it is good to plant them at home to encourage pollination at their homes. Dry Creek Preserve is a 152-acre former gravel quarry located just northwest of Lemon Cove, CA in the town of Woodlake, CA.  The students were able to use iPads and their cell phones with the iNaturalist App. Students could upload pictures of anything they could find and the app community would then help identify what was found. Students did this on the 2-mile hike we took around the preserve. Students also learned how the combination of biological and environmental conditions were important to the local farmers who grazed cattle on this very land.  Students really enjoyed being able to bring the classroom, technology and electronics outdoors. Following the hike, we had lunch and de-briefed on the day. Bud & Sam shared volunteer opportunities with our students and the importance of finding something you enjoy doing when you grow up so you’ll never have to work a day in your life. Thank you for a terrific field day Sequoia Riverlands Trust!

Bulldogs and Agriculture

FARMS Program |
Kern and Central Valley Regions |January 25, 2019

Participating Schools
Kern County:
Frontier High School
Bakersfield Christian High School
Independence High School

Central Valley:
Hanford High School
Kerman High School

Summary of the Day
Do you think Bulldogs know about Agriculture? The Fresno State Bulldogs are pros! Our Central Valley and Kern County FARMS Advanced students learned a lot about their character and about Integrated Pest Management as we toured the Fresno State Ag Department.

We started the day gathering in the Ag One Meeting Room. Introductions were made between students through an Ice Breaker activity. This helped the two regions come together, however many of the students knew each other already due to the connectivity through social media and the FFA world.

A Leadership Team was established in the group and they were given the task to interview and then introduce our hosts, Michelle Perez, and Rick Chacon. Fresno State offers a class in True Colors, a personality development tool aiding in team development. Students were amazed at the outcome and how it validated how they think and act. They also were led through an exercise in understanding the other personality traits and how to work with those traits. Students discussed how they might use this tool in the workplace or even in their social circles and families.

We broke for lunch and then made our way out to the farm to study the pistachio and almond trees. We talked about identifying the Naval Orange Worm and the devastating effects it can have on the industry. We talked about the practices used to protect against it as well.

Dr. Jacob Wenger taught about the Naval Orange Worm

We also discussed the shaking process in almonds and were able to witness the equipment used to shake the trees. Ranch Manager Rob gave us a tour of the campus’s working orchard where we discussed the importance of the care and maintenance in order to keep harvesting on track.

From the field, we went to the Jordan Lab. This state of the art lab has been a great addition to the campus and we were fortunate to get a behind the scenes tour. The lab allows for in-depth ag research. The professional nature of the lab is something the students noticed right away. One lab was dedicated to the study of the Naval Orange Worm. Dr. Wenger shared his knowledge and how they are considering working on a way to make the worm glow for earlier detection. They use the smallest of needles to inject the worms to change their DNA then breed this new gene We were able to study the different life cycles of the worms.

Agriculture and Research

Program: FARMS Leadership

Region: Central Valley North & South

Field Date: Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Location of Field Day: Kearney Research

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors:

Theme: Research in Agriculture

On, Tuesday, December 4, 2018, the Central Valley North and South FARMS Leadership Groups consisting of Madera High School, Madera Liberty High School, Kerman High School, Clovis East High School, Lindsey High School, Hanford High School, El Diamante High School and Mt. Whitney High School participated in a joint field day at Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Parlier CA.  At the beginning of the day the leadership team prepared introductions for the days hosts. Following introductions, students were split into three groups and rotated through three topic areas. They studieds Soils such as soil quality, healthy soils for healthy crops. The second area they studied Post Harvest Quality by answering the question of How suppliers know whether or not the fruits and vegetables that I buy will be ripe and flavorful?  And finally, the importance of grains, such as types of grains, whole grain nutrition and how they grow. At lunch time the hosts sat with the students and presented about their job and students asked all kinds of questions related to their work and how they got there. These questions lead to a great roundtable discussion. The hosts were very gracious with their time and answering all of the students questions. We had a great visit as always and are excited to return!