In my three completed years of college and internship experience, I have called at least 20 places in a variety of cities, states and countries my temporary homes. Most recently, in a matter of only 15 days, I moved up and down California from San Luis Obispo, to Bayliss, to Turlock. From the sandy, sunny and 75 degree beach town, to my original home sweet home surrounded by young orchards and rice fields, to the heat and heifers of Turlock, I seem to constantly be moving with my life packed tight in my Jeep Wrangler. I can honestly say, I have spent more time listening to country music on the radio and spitting sunflower seeds down Interstate 5 than staying put in one place during my adolescent years.
Working for All West/Select Sires this summer has been no different.
With a map in one hand and my camera equipment in the other, I have ventured through California’s central valley (and beyond) many times to capture the essence of our employees, customers and cattle at work …and if you have ever been my passenger, you can imagine that every day is a new adventure when I am behind the wheel. As terrifying as it may be at times, these are the adventures I have learned from the most.
Whether I am discovering the road ahead solo or riding along with an experienced All West/Select Sires
employee, I am constantly observing, learning and appreciating more about the agricultural world around me. For example, my work day may start by sipping coffee with Cal Poly Dairy coworker Marilyn Van Beek and family at El Monte Dairy in Tipton, CA, followed by an interview with a young dairy farmer in his impressive new carousel milk parlor in Pixley, CA, later enjoying Rosa Brothers Milk Company ice cream tasting for lunch served by intern and Cal Poly classmate Jace Tarbell and ending the over 300 mile journey by cruising through Hilmar, CA with my windows rolled down to enjoy the smell of a fresh corn harvest.
What other job allows you to explore, engage and even taste the dairy industry all in a day’s work?
These rewarding experiences have allowed me to notice that, unlike home, the world does not revolve around rice harvest and bee pollination. As the number of dairies has decreased in Glenn County during my life time, it is comforting to be once again residing in an area where there are corn crops growing abundantly and dairy scents wafting through the toasty summer breeze.
(However, I have still yet to find a place in the world I love more than good ol’ Glenn County.)
Living in the tiny, town house I am in now may not be ideal for a wide open spaces country girl, but beyond the fences of my small backyard are beautiful agriculture scenes and many farmers to be appreciated. For that reason, I am embracing Stanislaus County as home sweet home…