Westlands Water District Announces Scholarship Winners

Westlands Water District Announces Recipients of the Six West Side Scholarships

News Release

Westlands Water District awarded scholarships to six high school seniors in recognition of the students’ exceptional academic achievement. Each recipient, all of whom are from west side communities, will receive $1,000 towards their community college or university expenses. Applicants were judged on their academic performance, school activities, and community leadership, and each applicant submitted an essay on an agricultural-related topic.

The District congratulates the following 2019 scholarships winners:

Joe Cardiel III, a senior at Firebaugh High School. Cardiel plans to attend Fresno State, where he will major in Agriculture Education, with plans to pursue a career as an agricultural educator.

Cardiel is a varsity basketball and varsity baseball player and FFA chapter secretary. As a Firebaugh high school student, Cardiel was honored with the Eagle Baseball award, FFA State Degree, and FFA Outstanding senior.

Marvin Cornejo, a senior at Mendota High School. Cornejo is an honors student who plans to attend Fresno State to pursue a degree in Chemistry. Following college, Cornejo aspires to pursue a career as a pharmacist.

Cornejo is a Mendota School Board student representative; a West Side Youth volunteer; an avid athlete involved in track &field, cross country wrestling and soccer; and an FFA Greenhand and Chapter degree holder.

Myriam Castro, a senior at Tranquility High School. Castro will graduate in the top five of her class. Castro plans to attend Fresno State, where she will major in Criminology.

During her time at Tranquility High School, Castro was involved in the Honor Guard and the California Student Opportunity and Access Program (Cal-SOAP) and obtained the ROP Criminal Justice certificate of completion and the State Seal of Biliteracy.

Peter Hawken, a senior at Lemoore High School. Hawken was honored as the Chemistry Student of the Year. Following graduation, Hawken will attend the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he will major in Environmental Science. With his degree, Hawken aims to pursue a career as an environmental and agricultural irrigation specialist.

Hawken is the Varsity Soccer team captain, both the soccer and tennis club president and is involved in Jesus Club and a California Scholarship Federation life member.

Jazmin A. Murillo, a senior at Coalinga High School. Murillo plans to attend West Hills College Coalinga, where she will major in Political Science and film. Following college, Murillo plans to pursue a career as a paralegal and as a film director.

Murillo is the editor-in-chief of the Coalinga High School Magazine, President of the After School Program Leadership Club and VIDA club, and was on the Principal’s Honor Roll from 2015 to 2019. Murillo has also been honored with the Bausch + Lomb Honorary Science Award, first place in the Chevron Robotics Challenge and as a National Hispanic Scholar.

Emma Andrade, a senior at Riverdale High School. Andrade is an honor roll student who plans to attend Fresno State, where she will major in Physics and plans to pursue a career as an experimental physicist.

Andrade plays varsity basketball and tennis and has been involved with Rural Route 4-H since 2010, continually holding leadership positions, such as Corresponding Secretary and Camp Director. Andrade has been honored with the Academic All-League Team and Letter, County Heartbeat Artistry Award and All-League First Team Varsity Tennis.

Westlands is honored to recognize and assist these outstanding students; as reiterated by Tom Birmingham, general manager of Westlands, “these scholarships represent a small gesture of thanks and support to the communities on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley that make our region productive and vibrant. Our hope is that these students will continue to contribute to their communities and make them even better for future generations.”

Solano County 4-H Members Go fo the Gold

4-H’ers Present Demonstrations, Educational Displays, Illustrated Talks, and Other Ideas

By Kathy Keatley Garvey, UCANR Communication Specialist

Seventeen Solano County 4-H members won gold awards at Solano County 4-H Presentation Day, and the Heritage 4-H Club of Vacaville won the plaque for the greatest member participation. In front (from left) are gold winner Darren Stephens, Sherwood Forest 4-H, Vallejo; William Parks, president of the Heritage 4-H Club (the club received the participation award for the greatest number of members presenting); and gold winners Daniel Taliaferro, Beau Westad, Grace Kimble and Irma Brown, all Suisun Valley 4-H. In back (from left) are gold winners Julietta Wynholds, Sherwood Forest 4-H; Zoe Sloan, Elmira 4-H; Braddison Beathem and Madisyn McCrary, both Tremont 4-H, Dixon; Miriam Laffitte, Vaca Valley 4-H; Celeste Harrison and Hannah Stephens, both Sherwood Forest 4-H; Jessica Carpenter, Pleasants Valley 4-H, Vacaville; and Alexis Taliaferro, Suisun Valley 4-H. Not pictured are gold winners Kailey Mauldin and Alissa Mauldin, both Elmira 4-H, and James George, Suisun Valley 4-H. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Solano County 4-H’ers Go for the Gold

They presented everything from “How to Take a Perfect Picture” to “The Secret Life of Bees” to “Anything is Pawsible: How I Trained My Doberman pinscher.”

When it was all over, 17 4-H’ers, including seven from the Suisun Valley 4-H Club, won gold medal showmanship awards at the annual Solano County 4-H Presentation Day, held recently at the Sierra Vista K-8 School in Vacaville.

The presentations included demonstrations, educational displays, illustrated talks, an interpretative reading, and a cultural arts offering.

Beau Westad of the Suisun Valley 4-H Club explains his project, “Reeling in Channel Catfish” at the Solano County 4-H Presentation Day. He won a gold award and is now eligible to compete in an area presentation.

The 4-H’ers followed a four-pronged process involving research, organization, graphics, and sharing of knowledge, said Valerie Williams, Solano County 4-H program representative. Adult evaluators, all involved with the Solano County 4-H Youth Development Program, asked the youths questions and scored them on their knowledge and presentation.

Twenty-six 4-H’ers, representing eight of the county’s 11 clubs, participated.

In the junior educational display talk category, ages 9 to 10, the gold winners, all from the Suisun Valley 4-H Club, were Grace Kemble, “How to Take a Perfect Picture”; Daniel Taliaferro, “Perfect Pizza Pans”; and Beau Westad, “Reeling in Channel Catfish.”

In the intermediate educational display talk category, ages 11 to 13, evaluators selected six  gold winners: James George of the Suisun Valley 4-H, “Event Planning”; Celeste Harrison of the Sherwood Forest 4-H Club, Vallejo, “Anything Is Pawsible: How I Trained My Doberman Pinscher”; Irma Brown, Suisun Valley 4-H, “Elements of a Movie”; Madisyn McCrary of Tremont 4-H Club, Dixon, “How to Shoe a Horse”; Alissa Mauldin, Elmira 4-H, for “This Little Piggy Has…” and Darren Stephens, Sherwood Forest 4-H, “Can Chickens Get Maggots?”

In the senior educational display talk category, ages 14 to 19, three took home the gold: Hanna Stephens, Sherwood Forest 4-H, “Living Life as a Guide Dog Puppy”; Jessica Carpenter, Pleasants Valley 4-H Club, Vacaville, “How to Trim Goats and Sheep Hooves” and Alexis Taliaferro, Suisun Valley 4-H, “College Tours: A Glimpse Into the Future.”

Grace Kemble of the Suisun Valley 4-H Club explains how to “take a perfect picture.” She handcrafted her display and won a gold award for her work and presentation at the Solano County 4-H Presentation Day.

In the intermediate illustrated talk category, ages 11 to 13, gold awards went to Julietta Wynholds, Sherwood Forest 4-H, for “The Basics of Animation”; and Braddison Beathem, Tremont 4-H, “Let’s Talk Tack: How to Tack a Horse in English Tack.”

Senior demonstration, ages 14 to 18: Zoe Sloan of Elmira 4-H, for “Bomb Voyage.”

Senior/Interpretative Reading, ages 14 to 19: Kailey Mauldin, Elmira 4-H, “The Secret Life of Bees” by author Sue Monk Kidd.

Intermediate Culture Arts, ages 11 to 13: Miriam Lafitte, Vaca Valley 4-H Club, Vacaville, “Total Improv.”

The winners are now eligible to compete in an Area 4-H Presentation Day, a qualifying event for the California State 4-H Field Day. Area Presentation Days will take place in Antioch, Jackson, and California Polytechnic Institute (Cal Poly), all on March 23. Other Area Presentation Days will be held in Siskiyou County on April 6, in Mariposa County on April 14; in Walnut on May 4; and in Tehama County on May 11.

Solano County 4-H Ambassador Natalie Greene of the Sherwood Forest 4-H Club served as the emcee.

The newly formed and soon-to-be-chartered Heritage 4-H Club of Vacaville won the participation award for having the greatest percentage of participants. The club is affiliated with the Heritage Christian Academy, Vacaville.

Celeste Harrison of the Sherwood Forest 4-H Club, talks about how she trained her Doberman pinscher during the Solano County 4-H Presentation Day. Evaluators (back to camera) are Helen Ritchey and Dan Turner.

Six 4-H’ers participated in the primary educational display talks category, ages 5 to 8. The primary group is not evaluated. Receiving participation certificates in that category were four Heritage Club members: Dale Harder, “The Perfect Picnic,” Sunny Harder, “Camping”; Christopher Parks, “Model Trains”; and William Parks, “Dog Man: My Favorite Book and How to Draw the Characters.” Certificates also went to Nevaeh Tiernan-Lang of Elmira 4-H, “How to Build a Christmas Tree” and Alia Wynholds of Sherwood Forest 4-H,“On the Trail.”

Receiving participant certificates in the junior educational display talk category, ages 9 to 10, were Addelyn Widmer of Suisun Valley 4-H, “Goldilocks and the Three Bears of Photography”; and Jonny Tiernan-Lang, Elmira 4-H, for “AKC Toy Breeds.”

In the intermediate educational display talk, ages 11 to 13, Heath Moritz of the Westwind 4-H Club, Fairfield-Suisun, received a participation certificate for “Watch Me Now.”

During the Presentation Day, attendees also had the opportunity to participate in hands-on activities, including designing and launching a paper rocket through the STEM activity; making slime at the Slime Station; and learning how to sew a blanket, “Cuddle Me Close,” for hospital patients.

Solano County has 11 4-H clubs, with a total membership of 400

Vacaville: Vaca Valley, Pleasants Valley, Elmira and Heritage
Fairfield-Suisun: Suisun Valley and Westwind
Dixon: Maine Prairie, Tremont, and Dixon Ridge
Rio Vista: Rio Vista 4-H
Vallejo: Sherwood Forest

The Solano County 4-H Youth Development Program, part of the UC Cooperative Extension Program, follows the motto, “Making the Best Better.” 4-H, which stands for head, heart, health, and hands, is open to youths ages 5 to 19.  In age-appropriate projects, they learn skills through hands-on learning in projects ranging from arts and crafts, computers and leadership to dog care, poultry, rabbits and woodworking. They develop skills they would otherwise not attain at home or in public or private schools. For more information, contact Valerie Williams at vawilliams@ucanr.edu.

Bayer Helps Youth “Agvocate” For Farmers

Farming Operations Represent 21 Million Jobs

By Mikenzi Meyers, Associate Editor

Less than two percent of the United States population is working in agriculture. This may not sound like much, but let’s break it down. Two percent of the population means roughly 21 million jobs, 10 percent of the total workforce, and more than 160,000 farms. The greatest credibility for this huge industry goes to the farmers who work 365 days a year to feed the world. But who is advocating for them while they’re out in the field? That’s where Rob Schrick and Bayer Crop Science comes in.

Schrick, the Strategic Business Director for Bayer, knows the importance of promoting the industry and making consumers more aware of where their food comes from.

Rob Schrick, Bayer CropScience“What we’re trying to get across is that everyone in agriculture needs to lean into the conversation about ag, and be a proud ‘Agvocate’ for our industry,” he said.

Explaining the importance of farming, using both science and an emotional connection is key to getting this incredibly important concept across.

One way Bayer is striving to accomplish this goal is by working with youth involved in 4-H.

“We’re trying to get the kids even more excited about STEM,” Schrick explained.

STEM is a program that combines Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics to give the kids hands-on education and inquiry-based science learning, which they can relate to agriculture and share with their community.

It is said that today’s youth are tomorrows leaders, and Bayer is helping the future leaders found in 4-H represent the farmers that work so hard to provide the world with a safe, affordable food supply.

Head, Heart, Hands & Health – The 4-H Pledge

The 4-H Pledge Means Dedication

By: Monique Bienvenue; Cal Ag Today Social Media Manager/Reporter

 

At a glance, one might not think twice about that four-word pledge. But to countless individuals, that short, simple phrase represents dedication to 4-H, a prestigious organization devoted to teaching America’s youth the skills necessary to become successful outside the classroom.

UCANR 4H Pledge
UCANR 4H Pledge

Agriculturally-based, 4-H began in the 1800s as a way for students to communicate new and innovative farming techniques to those who were disconnected from university campuses. Eventually, this education trend caught on and in 1902 the first 4-H club was formed.

4h-pledge, 4-H Head Heart Hands HealthThe Cooperative Extension System was later created in 1914, and in partnership with the National Institute of Food and Agriculture under the United States Department of Agriculture, 4-H was officially nationalized. Clubs were established all across the United States.

4-H

 

Today, there are hundreds of children involved in 4-H. From health issues to food security, there isn’t an issue that these young, energetic individuals aren’t taking on.

For more information about 4-H, visit their website at http://www.4-h.org.

Fresno County Residents Join Immense Statewide Citizen Science Project

The public is invited to join hundreds of elementary school students, Master Gardeners, 4-H members, farm advisors, scientists and nutrition educators at the Garden of the Sun in Fresno from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 8 for UC’s largest-ever one-day citizen science project.

The Garden of the Sun is at 1750 N. Winery Ave.

The event is part of the University of California’s statewide Day of Science and Service. Californians throughout the state will take to their smart phones and computers on May 8 to participate in the unprecedented crowd-sourced data collection effort.

(See details at http://beascientist.ucanr.edu.)

Everyone in California is invited to take part by recording observations on three questions:

  • How many pollinators do you see?
  • How do you conserve water?
  • Where is food grown in your community?

The Day of Science and Service marks the 100th birthday of UC Cooperative Extension. In 1914, Congress and the president realized that, in order to feed a great nation, ag research advances from top universities had to reach farmers, so they created the Cooperative Extension.

For 100 years, Cooperative Extension academics have worked side-by-side with farmers to boost yields, battle pests, ensure food safety, protect the environment and make the best use of available irrigation water.

“There is probably no other county that has benefited more from Cooperative Extension than Fresno County,” said Shannon Mueller, director of Fresno County UCCE. “Over the years, our county has become the No. 1 ag county in the world. Agricultural research and teaching have played a tremendous role in achieving that milestone and will continue to do so in the future.”

Fresno County residents can be part of the Day of Science and Service while they enjoy birthday cake, spin a prize wheel, stroll the Garden of the Sun and learn about the UC services that touch their lives and the local economy.

During the opening ceremony at 10:30 a.m., Fresno County Supervisor, District 1, Phil Larson will present a county proclamation honoring Fresno County UC Cooperative Extension’s centennial.

University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources is celebrating 100 years of UC Cooperative Extension researchers and educators drawing on local expertise to conduct agricultural, environmental, economic, youth development and nutrition research that helps California thrive.