Meet Our New Employees
FARMS Leadership Program San Joaquin Valley Regional Coordinator & California Farm Academy Program Assistant
Diane Friend

Ever since Diane Friend was old enough to work in the field, drive a tractor and witness a harvest from her family farm, she knew agriculture was in her blood forever. Early recollections of hard work, leading to many lessons learned from her father, left an indelible mark that would guide a career in agriculture.

Diane grew up on a family farm near Corcoran, California, where she developed a love for the land and what it could produce. After graduating from Cal Poly, SLO with a B.S. in Agriculture Business Management, Diane returned to Corcoran to help manage her family's 2500 acre farming operation. She soon began her own farming operation that let to growing experimental varieties of rice, cotton, alfalfa and seed crops.

Diane is characterized as a true entrepreneur; having started several businesses ranging from production agriculture to real estate, technology, public relations and marketing to consulting. Over her 30+ year career, Diane has also served on several boards including Lower Tule River Irrigation District, State USDA/FSA Board and Tulare Co. Fair Board. As a California Ag Leadership graduate (Class XV), Diane continues to be involved in industry leadership by serving on the SJVPCB Citizens Advisory Council and Environmental Justice Committee, Tulare-Kings Career Pathway Advisory Board and the California FFA Foundation Board. Diane has a passion for Ag Education. As an Adjunct Professor in Ag Business, Diane taught at College of the Sequoias for many years as she earned a M.S. in Agriculture Education from Cal Poly, SLO. She developed several agricultural curriculums in areas of marketing, management, communication and entrepreneurship.

Currently, Diane serves as the San Joaquin Valley Regional Coordinator for the FARMS Leadership Program through the Center for Land Based Learning. In this role, she continues her commitment to Ag Education by preparing the next generation of agriculturalists.  

Breanne Wroughton

Breanne joined the California Farm Academy as Program Assistant in the summer of 2015. She is a graduate of the California Farm Academy class of 2014. Breanne is passionate about educating people about where food comes from so that they better understand the long but rewarding process of growing vegetables. She grew to love farming and education through an internship and later a staff position at the UC Davis Student Farm. It was there that she first learned how asparagus grows (look it up, it's amazing!) and learned to love watching students experience those kinds of revelations too.

Breanne was born in Peru and moved to Costa Rica as a baby where she lived until coming to the United States for college.
She attended Wheaton College in Illinois, studying Cultural Anthropology. While there she partcipated in a special certificate program called Human Needs and Global Resources (HNGR). Through the HNGR program Breanne went to Rwanda where she lived for 6 months, working for a sewing and reconciliation project.

After college Breanne lived in the Northeast and then moved to Washington D.C. In DC she worked for a job skills training program and fair trade organization serving women in Africa. After a few years in DC she decided to move out to the West Coast. She ended up in Davis where she lives with her husband. Together they like to cook for friends and explore beautiful Northern California.

Land-Based Learning is Hiring
Seeking a Director of the California Farm Academy and a half-time Controller
California Farm Academy Program Director

Land-Based Learning is hiring a Program Director, based at our main office at 5265 Putah Creek Road, Winters CA, at the Farm on Putah Creek.

Resume review begins on July 31, 2015 or until the position is filled.


Land-Based Learning is hiring a part-time (0.5 FTE) Controller, based at our main office at 5265 Putah Creek Road, Winters CA, or potentially our new office in West Sacramento, which opens in August 2015. This is a new position at the Center for Land-Based Learning, and we are very excited to add this staff person to the team of 14 full-time and 3 part-time staff.

Resume review begins on July 31, 2015 or until the position is filled.

Download Complete Job Listing [PDF]
Meet Our Newest Board Member
Doug Dickson, Harris Feeding Company and Pacific Ethanol

* Responsible for grain procurement under an exclusive agency agreement with Harris Feeding Co. and Pacific Ethanol
* Director of Commodities for Harris Feeding Co. Coalinga, CA * VP Ag. Products for Pacific Ethanol Inc., Sacramento CA 2005-2009
Doug Dickson has been in the in the Grain and Commodity business for over 35 years, beginning as a grain merchant with Cargill in 1977 at the Port of West Sacramento. He has been responsible for grain procurement for Foster Farms, and he has held Sr. Management positions with Zacky Farms, J.D. Heiskell and President of Westside Milling before joining the original development team for Pacific Ethanol at its founding and public offering in 2005. Doug was responsible for the development of the grain procurement, risk management and distillers grain sales for Pacific Ethanol and introduced the feeding of wet distillers grain to the California Dairy Industry with the opening of Pacific Ethanol's plant at Madera, California.

Doug joined Harris Feeding Co., the largest cattle feeder west of Colorado and combined the grain procurement needs of Pacific Ethanol with that of Harris to take advantage of the economies of scale. Harris Feeding Co. now supplies the grain for the Ethanol Business in a partnership on both the grain and co-products. With the cattle feeding and ethanol business closely aligned, synergies have been identified for the benefit of both industries. Doug is a graduate of the College of Agriculture at the University of California at Davis (1975) and a Graduate Fellow of Class XXIV of the California Agricultural Leadership Program in 1995.

Doug is also managing partner of Watermark Farms, LLC a diversified farming company farming 420 acres in Yolo County and Owner with his wife Jane of River-Pear Orchards, which operates a Bartlett and Bosc orchard in the River Delta region of Sacramento County.

Doug joined the Board of Directors at Center for Land-Based Learning in 2015.

Summer Dinner a Sizzling Success!
Photos courtesy of Debbie Cunningham, DL Cunningham Photography
Our summer dinner was a huge success! Special thanks to Michael Tuohy from Legends Hospitality for preparing a delicious meal of House Hogs Berkshire wood-oven roasted "porchetta", black-eyed peas cooked over coals, braised greens, roasted Hakurei turnips, wood-grilled summer squash & endive.  Our wonderful dinner donors included: 

* El Dorado Meat Collective
* Hearty Fork Farm
* Gomez Farm
* Root Cause Farm
* Cloverleaf Farm
* California Endive
* Kingfisher Farm
* Rancho Llano Seco
* Sierra Orchards
* Calivirgin
* T and Y Strawberry Patch
Wine & Beer
* Ruhstaller
* Sierra Nevada
* Muddy Boot
* Wilson Vineyards
* Silk Road Soda
Donated Services
* Buckhorn Catering
* Yolo Land & Cattle
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The Center for Land-Based Learning is dedicated to creating the next generation of farmers and teaching California's youth about the importance of agriculture and watershed conservation.

Combining innovative hands-on experience with classroom learning, participants in Center for Land-Based Learning's programs develop leadership skills, learn sustainable agriculture practices that contribute to a healthier ecosystem, and connect to agricultural, environmental, and food system careers.

Please make a tax-deductible contribution today.  Thank you for your support.


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5265 Putah Creek Road, Winters, CA 95694 530.795.1520