A Sweet Exploration of Ag Jobs

FARMS Leadership | North State | February 11, 2020

Field Day Locations:

Sunsweet, Yuba City

Yuba College Career Technical Education (CTE) facilities, Linda campus

Theme of the Day:

California Plums, Food Manufacturing, Jobs in every field in Ag, Community college CTE opportunities


What an exciting day at Sunsweet and Yuba College! We started with some fun teambuiling- a game of what we like to call “duct tape octopus pictionary.” The day continued with an intro video and presentation about Sunsweet from Jamie Dickerson, Director of Human Resources. She explained the history of the company, some of the ways they continuously remain the leader in the prune market, and the variety of jobs available at the Yuba City facility for all educational backgrounds. We then got to put on lab coats and hair nets to tour the facility! The students were pretty awe struck at all the machines and at how many different stores and countries prunes were being packed for and waiting for shipment! We stood in a storage room with ¼ of the worlds demand for prunes in crates around us waiting to get packed and shipped!

After a final Q and A session with Sunsweet employees about how to get a job there, and general advice about working in agriculture and in the Yuba City region, we headed to Yuba College. Here, we got a tour from CTE instructor Dan Turner and learned about the welding and advanced manufacturing programs. The students learned that you don’t need to have taken welding courses in High School in order to enroll in the program at college. They also learned about what jobs the various CTE degrees and certificates offered by Yuba College could prepare them for. It was a fun and informative field day and we are grateful to our hosts from Sunsweet and Yuba College for sharing their time, facilities and wisdom with us!

Welding, Orchard Machinery, and Cool Ag Jobs

FARMS Leadership | North State | December 3, 2019

Location of Field Day:
Orchard Machinery Company, Yuba City

Field Day Hosts:
Orchard Machinery Company Staff:
Don Mayo, CEO
Brian Anderson, Vice President
Taylor Brady, Head of Engineering
Isaacson, Mechanical Engineer
Brian Kaufman, Parts Manager
Haige Brown, Shop Manager, Rubber Finger | Valve Assembly
Daryn Avalos, Component Fab Manager, Welding
Lucas Skinner, Robotic Fab Manager: Robotic Welding

North State FARMS students had an impressive tour and hands on field day at Orchard Machinery Corporation. Founded in 1961, producing hydraulic tree shakers to enable a more efficient prune harvest, OMC’s tree shaker replaced time consuming and labor-intensive field work with a reliable mechanized alternative. Students were welcomed by CEO Don Mayo. Mr. Mayo has been with the company for 50 years, and has overseen the growth of the small machine shop to fully mechanized and computerized manufacturing and fabrication international organization. OMC produces tree shakers, material handling systems, transportation products and offers professional service and support in the industry.

Students really enjoyed the tour and hands on activities led by the many staff at the company. They also benefited from meeting so many different people with different jobs related to agriculture!

OMC is a new partner for CLBL and we look forward to exposing future ag leaders to the diverse career opportunities at OMC. We are grateful for the generous and thoughtful time OMC spent with our students!

Hartnell College – Alisal Campus

FARMS Leadership | Monterey and Santa Cruz | January 24, 2019

Participating Schools:

  • Gonzales High School
  • North Salinas High School
  • Soledad High School
  • Watsonville High School


Hartnell College Alisal Campus

1752 E. Alisal Street, Salinas, CA 93905

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors:

  • Anely Meneses – Field Day Planning Support
  • Melissa Casillas, Director of Career Training
  • Belen Gonzales – Coordinator of job and internship placement
  • Dr. Emily Rustad – Plant Science Instructor
  • Michael Davis – Welding Instructor
  • Fabiola & Sam – MakerSpace

Summary of the Day:

We arrived at the beautiful Alisal Campus promptly at 9 am. Students began the day by talking about their plans after high school and where they see themselves in 1 year and in 5 years.

“[I would like to] go to a 2-year college then transfer. [I want to] play basketball and  have a good job. Or I will go straight into a 4-year college”- Janet Arias, WHS

“ In one year I hope to be redeeming a scholarship to a four year college.” – Randy Huynh, NSH

“ I will attend Hartnelll College. I see myself with my degree and working my career.” – Vicky Aceves, GHS

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