Redwood Region Resource Rally gives students career opportunities

Scotia, Ca., (KIEM)- Over 200 high school juniors and seniors from Santa Rosa, Ukiah, Del Norte and Humboldt counties gathered Tuesday at the Winema Theater in Scotia for the Redwood Region Resource Rally.

The rally is an opportunity for kids from across the region to interact with careers in production agriculture and natural resource management.

“Education and industry have come together here. Local industry folks are telling us that they need workers. They’re in dire need for people to do all kinds of jobs, and it’s really important to embrace that.” Sandy Dale, an educator and the North Coast Agriculture Partners Grant Director explains.

Students visited the fishery in Scotia, interacting with Wildlife Biologists. They fed fish, and loaded mice into transport tubes. The same process scientists use to capture owls and other raptors for monitoring.

“It’s an opportunity to give back. We’re hoping to spark some interest….If I get just one taker out of all of these kids I did my job right.” Kieth Lackey an Aquatic Biologist said after talking with a group of about twenty high school students.

But the fishery wasn’t the only stop for the interested students. They also took a mechanic shop tour, talked with a representative from Peterson Cat about heavy equipment operating, and stopped in to Alexandre Eco Dairy and the Sarvinski Family Farm.

“What we see as high school teachers and high school educators is kids in their senior year that sit in their seats, and still feel like they don’t have a direction or a way to go.” Dale says, “What we’re trying to show here is you can have a direction. This is a great option for kids with a variety of skills and interests.”
“It definately solidifies what I want to do after high school.” Audrey Gomes, an attending student said, “It kind of gives me the idea of ‘Yes this is what I want to do,’ or ‘No, this is not what I want to do.'” Gomes hopes to work as an aquatic or wildlife biologist one day, and most enjoyed feeding fish Tuesday.

More than 30 people who work in natural resources, forestry and agriculture volunteered to show students around. Another 25 helped put the event on in the first place. Why do they do it?

“This is the next generation.” Lackey said, “We get to pass the torch on to the next folks and that’s these kids walking around here.”