FARMS Leadership Program: North State: November 5, 2019
Location of Field Day: Chico, CA
Field Day Host(s) and Mentors: Sarah DeForest – Director of External Relations Hayden Clement – CSU, Chico Meats Lab Manager Gracie Pachie – CSU, Chico Tour Coordinator and Guide
Theme: College Exploration and Career Opportunities
Summary of the Day:
We began our visit to Chico State with an introduction to the campus, student housing, different courses available at Chico State, as well as studying abroad. After we concluded our presentation Gracie Pachie, the Tours Coordinator and Guide showed us around campus. We toured the campus and saw classrooms, visited the Bell Union Memorial (BMU) saw student housing and the dining halls and concluded our tour at the campus gym which just celebrated its 10th year. Once our tour ended we headed in to the BMU dining hall where the students all got to enjoy a college style dining experience. We also checked out the campus store and students and their teachers were able to buy some shirts, hats and other cool Chico State gear.
Following lunch, we all went back to our vehicles and drove out to the University Farm. We were greeted by Sarah DeForest, who took us on a tour of the farm and told us about it’s history and how it got to where it is today. We visited the beef unit, dairy facility, swine unit, sheep unit, and meats lab. We were also able to check out the orchards where they grow pecans, almonds, walnuts and peaches. As well as 400 acres of row crops that the student employees are able to work in as well. The CSU, Chico Farm employees 45 students in part time positions as well as numerous interns each semester. The FARMS Leadership students all had different interests so they were all able to explore the different units. After our farm tour we headed into the meats lab where Hayden Clement, the Manager, gave us a tour. The meats lab processes cattle, hogs, and sheep from the farm as well as animals from local fairs and ranches. It is a USDA inspected facility and sells meat to customers Thursdays and Fridays every week.
Premier Mushrooms and
Colusa Industrial Properties FARMS Leadership | North
State | October 22, 2019
Location of Field Day: Premier Mushrooms and Colusa Industrial Properties Colusa, CA
Field Day Host(s) and Mentors: John Ashbaugh – Premier Mushrooms, CEO Misty Castellanos – Premier Mushrooms, Growing Analyst Ed Hulbert – Colusa Industrial Properties, CEO
Summary of the Day: We kicked off the 2019-2020 North State FARMS Leadership
Program with a field day at Premier Mushrooms in Colusa, CA. Premier Mushrooms employees the largest number of people within Colusa Industrial Properties (CIP) at around 230 employees. They are also operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a
To start off the day the the students did ice breaker
activities to get to know the different students from the schools participating
this year. The North State FARMS Leadership Program is made up of 6 different high schools including Marysville, Maxwell, Yuba City, River Valley, Core Charter, and Pierce. At the end of our
final ice breaker we headed over to the property where Premier Mushrooms has their growing operations.
John Ashbaugh the CEO of Premier Mushrooms gave us an
introduction to the company. He then introduced us to our tour guide for the
day, Misty Castellanos. During our tour Misty took us into the grow houses
where we were able to see mushrooms at all different stages of production.
Since mushrooms are a fungus Premier Mushrooms plants millet seed inoculated
with the mushroom strain to grow their mushroom varieties. It takes
approximately 50 days from planting the seeds until the mushrooms are ready to
harvest. Harvest of the mushrooms last 3 to 5 days and each room will grow 2 or
3 crops that can be harvested before they have to clean the room and prep it
for another cycle.
After our tour we headed over to Colusa industrial
Properties where they hosted us for lunch. We wrapped up our field day learning
about the property and the many different businesses that it houses. Thank you
Colusa Industrial Properties and Premier Mushrooms for a great start to the
FARMS Leadership Program: North State: May 1, 2019
Location of Field Day: Maxwell, CA
Field Day Host(s) and Mentors: Leon Etchepare Patty Buskirk Andrew Pentecost
Theme: Seed Production
Summary of the Day:
For our final field day of the 2018-2019 school year the
North State FARMS Leadership Program visited Emerald Farms. We began our day
with an introduction from Leon, Andrew and Patty. They also served the students
some breakfast snacks, which included a sampling of one of their new products, Maple
Walnut Butter. One of the new entities of Emerald Farms is their walnut butter
production line named Wellnut Farms.
After our introductions we headed down the road to the first
set of crops we visited for the day. Patty took over and explained her duties
as a plant breeder and the science used behind the decisions she makes to
produce the best seeds for her clients and customers. The first crop we looked
at was a crop of Purple carrots. Unlike many farms, Patty’s goal with her crops
is to market the produce but instead to create the best seeds. This enterprise
much like Wellnut Farms is also a part of Emerald Farms but is named Seeds by
Design. Next we toured a variety of different crops and then Patty, Leon, and
Andrew passed around jars of seeds for each of the crops we looked at so the
students could see all stages of the crops and the differences between them.
Next we toured Emerald Farms Almond and Walnut Orchards. The students learn some of the different practices used within the production each of the orchards. We then were given a tour of the processing facilities. We walked through the huller and dryer and then headed to the warehouse where the new Wellnut Farms walnut butter line is being constructed. We then concluded our tour at the seed mill. We were able to see a variety of different seeds being cleaned, packaged, sorted and stored. Thank you to all of the staff at Emerald Farms for a great final field day of the program year.