Farm to Fork Olive Oil

FARMS Leadership | Sacramento Valley | October 26, 2021

Location of Field Day:
Cobram Estate – Woodland, CA

Field Day Host and Mentors:
Cobram Estate – Ciriaco Chavez and Mikayla Gnoss

Theme:
Olive Oil & Sustainable Ag

The Sacramento Valley FARMS Leadership crew kicked off our first field day of the season at Cobram Estate, a leading CA producer of olive oil. After students chowed down some healthy breakfast burritos, we hopped back in our vehicles to venture out to two of Cobram’s olive tree orchards. Strolling through the orchards with Cobram’s Ciraco Chavez and Mikayla Gnoss, we learned all about olive varieties, Cobram’s unique style of planting olive trees (quite different from the iconic olive tree orchards you might see across Europe), and Cobram’s efforts at sustainable growing practices (including a state of the art drip irrigation system and equipment that tracks daily moisture levels to determine the exact amount of water needed by trees, no more, no less. Before heading back, students each harvested olives by hand.

From the orchards, we moved into some mill exploration. Ciriaco and Mikayla led us through olive oil processing from beginning to end: 1) trucks dump loads of harvested olives into an underground collector, 2) olives travel upward again on automated belts which transport them through high-tech machinery that separates good from bad olives, 3) olives are crushed and sent through several centrifuges that separate out the oil, 4) oil is stored in massive vats that can hold up to tens of thousands of gallons, and finally 5) oil is bottled and labeled by automated machines. Our last stop on the tour was Modern Olives: an independent olive oil research laboratory housed within Cobram Estate. We discussed ag careers at every stop, from orchard management to engineering and building mill machinery to laboratory research within Modern Olives.

After students sat down for a fantastic olive oil tasting led by Modern Olive’s head researcher, students made their own olive oil-based (using Cobram Estate oil of course!) salad dressings which they enjoyed on salads for lunch. We ended the day with the olives the students harvested that morning: utilizing observation skills, math skills, and scales, students each calculated the average ripeness level of each tree they harvested from. As Cobram approaches their harvest season, our partners were happy to have our students do some of their olive sampling for them!

Olive Oil: A Tasting Journey

FARMS Leadership | Tehama & North State | Jan. 26, 2021

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors
Logan Jennings, Director of Operations Mary Mori, Director of Technical Services Celina Layton, Assistant Human Resource Manager

Hands-On Kit Components California Olive Ranch Mild Olive Oil, California Olive Ranch Medium Olive Oil, Rancid Olive Oil, Jelly Bean, A Tasting Guide for Olive Oil

Theme
Sustainable Farming

Summary of the Day  Who knew that the largest olive oil producer was nestled in Glenn County? California Olive Ranch is one of our key partners who produces the vast majority of olive oil in CA. Each year they host our FARMS Leadership students and showcase the many career opportunities they offer. This field day, while being virtual, was no different! Students were able to go on a LIVE tour of their facility hosted by Logan Jennings the Director of Operations, as well as learn the many different jobs that people hold at California Olive Ranch. Mary Mori, Director of Technical Services, then took over and walked to students through an official Olive Oil Tasting using the generous kit they provided to each student. It was so fun to see the expressions on students faces while tasting the various oils. If you would like to learn more and watch the field day unfold click HERE!

Enzo Olive Oil

Program: FARMS Leadership

Region: Central Valley North

Field Date: Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Location of Field Day: Enzo Olive Oil Company, Madera CA

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors: Jasmine Mahfoud & Vincent Ricchiuti

Theme: Olive Oil Harvest

Summary of the Day:  On Tuesday, November 13th the Central Valley North FARMS Leadership that comprised of Kerman High School, Madera South High School, Madera Liberty High School and Clovis East High School.  As the students arrived they enjoyed a breakfast snack, a leadership team was designated and students practiced introducing and thanking a speaker. Owner Vincent Ricchiuti and Quality Manager Kathryn Tomajan met with the students and went over everything in relation to the History of PR-Farms and ENZO Olive Oil Company.  We then toured the orchard and mill, we saw harvesting, saw the mill at work, where the tanks were stored and the bottling station. At the end of our tour Enzo provided an Olive Oil Tasting. Students returned to the meeting room and participated in a teamwork cup stacking game. After lunch Vincent and Kathryn joined us again with Field Manager Brenden.  We had a lovely conversation about their education, how they ended up at Enzo and what they thought about the politics of the High Speed Rail that goes straight through a piece of their land. This conversation lead to a basic round table discussion of everything under the sun. They were very courteous of our group and took their time answering all the questions we had for them.  This really showed that the students were honestly interested in their day and what they were sharing with us. After our questions, the leadership team who introduced each individual thanked them as well for their time they took with us today. Lastly, the students completed a Career Self-Assessment to see where their interests lie and how true they thought they were. We had a great day at and cannot wait to return!  Thank you Enzo and PR-Farms for a wonderful day!