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More than 200 high school students, teachers, and chaperones participated in the third annual Redwood Region Resource Rally held Sept. 27 in the Eel River Valley. Participants were divided into two groups, one focused on forestry and natural resources and the other on agriculture.

The forestry and natural resource students were divided into groups of approximately 30 students and rotated through six stations in Scotia. Students met with industry professionals and observed live demonstrations while learning about forestry and logging, fish and wildlife, operating heavy equipment, diesel mechanics, sawmill operations, and career opportunities.

Approximately 50 high school students participating in the agriculture focus of the day toured three local businesses including Alexandre Eco Dairy in Ferndale, the Humboldt Auction Yard in Fortuna, and Sarvinski Organic Farm in Pepperwood.

Participating students came from Humboldt, Del Norte, Trinity, Mendocino, Lake, and Sonoma Counties. Humboldt County high schools participating were Arcata, Eureka, Ferndale, Fortuna, and McKinleyville. Students from out of the area came from Analy, Anderson Valley, Del Norte, Elsie Allen, Hayfork, Laytonville, Lower Lake, Middletown, Potter Valley, South Valley, Sunset, Trinity, Ukiah, and Willits High Schools.

“Making industry connections is key to career success, and this event gives students that opportunity and so much more,” said Sandy Dale, Fortuna High School Ag program specialist and one of the rally coordinators. “Students are getting to have real conversations with industry professionals in small group settings, and it is very rewarding to see students excited about their career goals and making plans to achieve them.”

Educational outreach continued when all participating students, tour guides, presenters, and volunteers gathered for lunch at Fireman’s Park in Scotia. College of the Redwoods Forestry Department presented a drone demonstration and information was also presented on CR’s agriculture program and its Shively Sustainable Farm. A representative of the Humboldt State University forestry program also gave a presentation, the Humboldt County Office of Education’s Building Trades Trailer was on site, and students talked one-on-one with a logging truck driver.

“We could not be more proud of the opportunities that this day offered our students,” Dale said. “The commitment and enthusiasm shown by the industry folks are a testament to the industry as a whole,” she added.

Dale expressed her appreciation to sponsors of the event including Redwood Region Logging Conference, North Coast Ag Partners, Humboldt County Farm Bureau, Humboldt Redwood Company, and Green Diamond Resource Company.

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