Manager, Shone Farm, Santa Rosa Junior College, 7450 Steve Olson Ln., Forestville 95436, 707-887-1187, shonefarm.com
Professional background: Farm manager for 29 years
Education: BS in agriculture business management from the University of California, Davis
Tell us about yourself, and describe the facilities you oversee: I am the farm manager of Santa Rosa Junior College's Shone Farm, overseeing the educational and operational facilities, pasture, crop land and forest resources. These all combine to make Shone Farm a great outdoor laboratory, working farm and community center.
Shone Farm is a 365-acre diversified farm with wine grapes, cattle, sheep, fruit trees and vegetables. Each of these enterprises is associated with one of the Santa Rosa Junior College agriculture programs. The farm also has a string of horses and 120 acres of forest that are utilized in the equine and natural resource programs respectively.
The farm is the laboratory for students enrolled in agriculture and natural resource classes. Instructors utilize the farm classrooms to provide scientific and technical information and then they roll out of the class and into the fields and barns, where the students learn by doing.
What do you see as the role of the facilities managers within your organization?: The role of the Shone Farm manager is to direct the operational activities of the agricultural fields, pastures and forest, and the maintenance of all the educational laboratories and operational facilities. This includes, responsibility for construction projects, purchasing, and employee supervision and evaluation.
What achievement are you most proud of?: Providing students hands-on experience they were able to use to launch themselves into their careers.
What is your biggest challenge today?: Keeping up! Our operational demands increase with every new improvement or program, and we are scrambling to increase our capacity and to generate sufficient revenue to cover the total cost of owning these new assets.
What's the next major project?: We increased our production of grass-fed beef and the number of weekly community-supported agriculture (CSA) boxes. Each box is a mix of seasonal Shone Grown products. These increases were the result of a comprehensive plan to produce more value-added products.
What product or service would/or is helping you do your job more effectively?:
Software programs that support our order entry activities, crop production plans and time management.
How do you think your profession will change in the next five years?: Over the past 50 years, many farm managers moved from the field to the office. With the help of GPS, geographic information systems (GIS) and telecommunications technology, over the next five years most farm managers will move their offices into the field.
Current reading: Mockingjay (third and final book of The Hunger Games) by Suzanne Collins
Stress relievers: Sitting on my tractor
Favorite hobbies: Fixing broken tools and equipment
Words that best describe you: Able to run a sprint and a long-distance race, even-tempered, empathetic, fair-minded.