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DIRT FARMER & SHEEP WRANGLER: Environmental Conservation & Sustainable Farming In Agriculture

About this video 

Debby, a dirt farmer and sheep wrangler at Robert Sinskey Vineyards, spends her days doing everything from overseeing operations on the vineyard to wrangling sheep to taking care of the crew and equipment. She happily discovered that working in agriculture has incorporated her passions for environmental conservation and working with plant and animal life.

Degree: Biology - Women's Studies
Job Title: Dirt Farmer & Sheep Wrangler
Employer: Robert Sinskey Vineyards

Job Summary: Farmers, Ranchers, and Other Agricultural Managers

Job Description

Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers run establishments that produce crops, livestock, and dairy products.

On-the-Job Training

None

Additional Info

All state university systems have at least one land-grant college or university with a school of agriculture. Common programs of study include business with a concentration in agriculture, farm management, agronomy, dairy science, and agricultural economics.

Certification Requirement
Recommended by the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMR)

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
Confirm
$30,000 - $105,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
-8 to 0 percent
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Full-time, Seasonal, Long hours
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Outdoor, Physically demanding
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Analytical skills, Likes working with hands, Strength/stamina

Educational Path

Education requirement
Education Requirement
High school degree
View Detailed Career Data

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P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='530'>Hi.</span> <span m='850'>I'm Debby</span> <span m='1080'>Zygielbaum</span> <span m='1590'>with</span> <span m='1770'>Robert</span> <span m='2160'>Sinskey</span> <span m='2500'>Vineyards.</span> <span m='2970'>I'm</span> <span m='3280'>the</span> <span m='3500'>dirt</span> <span m='3760'>farmer</span> <span m='4070'>and</span> <span m='4240'>sheep</span> <span m='4510'>wrangler</span> <span m='4870'>here.</span> <span m='6815'>You</span> <span m='7280'>asked</span> <span m='7540'>what</span> <span m='7620'>I</span> <span m='7730'>do</span> <span m='7870'>in</span> <span m='7960'>a</span> <span m='8010'>typical</span> <span m='8420'>day,</span> <span m='8580'>and</span> <span m='8690'>it</span> <span m='8760'>really</span> <span m='8940'>varies</span> <span m='9440'>on</span> <span m='9650'>the</span> <span m='9730'>season.</span> <span m='10110'>But</span> <span m='10300'>my</span> <span m='10470'>job</span> <span m='10810'>is</span> <span m='11270'>to</span> <span m='11370'>be</span> <span m='11580'>in</span> <span m='11720'>charge</span> <span m='12160'>of</span> <span m='12250'>the</span> <span m='12360'>entire</span> <span m='13140'>farming</span> <span m='13560'>operation.</span> </p><p><span m='14080'>So</span> <span m='14790'>I</span> <span m='14920'>make</span> <span m='15160'>sure</span> <span m='15320'>the</span> <span m='15420'>sheep</span> <span m='15680'>are</span> <span m='15780'>taking</span> <span m='16090'>care</span> <span m='16350'>of.</span> <span m='16410'>Sometimes</span> <span m='16800'>I have</span> <span m='16990'>to</span> <span m='17100'>pull</span> <span m='17470'>the</span> <span m='17755'>lambs</span> <span m='18040'>out. I</span> <span m='18270'>make</span> <span m='18540'>sure</span> <span m='18690'>the</span> <span m='18800'>vineyards</span> <span m='19280'>are</span> <span m='20590'>in</span> <span m='21020'>the</span> <span m='21140'>condition</span> <span m='21450'>that</span> <span m='21570'>they</span> <span m='21670'>should</span> <span m='21890'>be.</span> <span m='23100'>I'm</span> <span m='23520'>in</span> <span m='23610'>charge</span> <span m='23940'>of</span> <span m='24060'>all the</span> <span m='24200'>equipment</span> <span m='24490'>and</span> <span m='24780'>all</span> <span m='24890'>the</span> <span m='24970'>crews.</span> <span m='25380'>And</span> <span m='25490'>so</span> <span m='25810'>whatever</span> <span m='26200'>needs to</span> <span m='26440'>get</span> <span m='26600'>done,</span> <span m='26830'>that</span> <span m='27010'>would</span> <span m='27120'>be</span> <span m='27270'>me</span> <span m='28240'>having</span> <span m='28490'>my</span> <span m='28620'>finger in</span> <span m='28920'>it and</span> <span m='29400'>making</span> <span m='29660'>it</span> <span m='29750'>happen.</span> </p><p><span m='30670'>What</span> <span m='30810'>we</span> <span m='30930'>do</span> <span m='31140'>really</span> <span m='31360'>changes</span> <span m='31800'>by</span> <span m='31920'>season.</span> <span m='32680'>In</span> <span m='32820'>winter,</span> <span m='33240'>it's</span> <span m='33400'>the</span> <span m='33460'>quiet</span> <span m='33790'>time.</span> <span m='34120'>We're</span> <span m='34330'>catching</span> <span m='34710'>up</span> <span m='34830'>on</span> <span m='34940'>all</span> <span m='35230'>the</span> <span m='36340'>jobs</span> <span m='36690'>we</span> <span m='36790'>didn't</span> <span m='37010'>do</span> <span m='37380'>during</span> <span m='37780'>the</span> <span m='37850'>busy</span> <span m='38060'>growing</span> <span m='38360'>season.</span> <span m='39100'>In</span> <span m='39730'>late</span> <span m='40070'>winter and</span> <span m='40500'>early</span> <span m='40640'>spring,</span> <span m='40970'>we're pruning</span> <span m='41400'>the</span> <span m='41650'>vineyards.</span> <span m='41970'>And</span> <span m='42090'>as</span> <span m='42440'>time</span> <span m='42670'>goes</span> <span m='42870'>on,</span> <span m='43140'>we</span> <span m='43240'>get</span> <span m='43430'>busier</span> <span m='43810'>and</span> <span m='43920'>busier</span> <span m='44280'>and</span> <span m='44370'>busier.</span> </p><p><span m='45800'>A</span> <span m='45920'>lot</span> <span m='46200'>of</span> <span m='47130'>late</span> <span m='47490'>spring</span> <span m='48010'>and</span> <span m='48340'>summer</span> <span m='48830'>is</span> <span m='49080'>canopy</span> <span m='49500'>management,</span> <span m='50010'>which</span> <span m='50210'>means</span> <span m='50550'>making</span> <span m='50870'>sure</span> <span m='51080'>that</span> <span m='51230'>the</span> <span m='51310'>vines</span> <span m='51610'>are</span> <span m='51690'>growing</span> <span m='52010'>the way</span> <span m='52070'>we want</span> <span m='52500'>to,</span> <span m='52790'>making</span> <span m='53080'>sure</span> <span m='53320'>that</span> <span m='53550'>the</span> <span m='53670'>fruit</span> <span m='53980'>is</span> <span m='54490'>in</span> <span m='54660'>the</span> <span m='54730'>balance</span> <span m='55100'>that</span> <span m='55190'>we</span> <span m='55290'>want.</span> <span m='55760'>I</span> <span m='55830'>do</span> <span m='55990'>a</span> <span m='56050'>lot</span> <span m='56210'>of</span> <span m='56270'>mowing,</span> <span m='56760'>a</span> <span m='56820'>lot</span> <span m='56960'>of</span> <span m='57040'>undervine</span> <span m='57500'>conservation.</span> <span m='58510'>Our</span> <span m='58650'>vineyards</span> <span m='58860'>are</span> <span m='59010'>organic,</span> <span m='59650'>and</span> <span m='60150'>we</span> <span m='60320'>use</span> <span m='60520'>biodynamic</span> <span m='61020'>farming</span> <span m='61320'>practices,</span> <span m='62010'>so</span> <span m='62220'>that</span> <span m='62830'>keeps</span> <span m='63130'>us</span> <span m='63290'>a</span> <span m='63360'>little</span> <span m='63560'>bit</span> <span m='63740'>busier.</span> </p><p><span m='64920'>And</span> <span m='65220'>right</span> <span m='65410'>about</span> <span m='65670'>now,</span> <span m='66040'>let's</span> <span m='66250'>see,</span> <span m='66770'>end</span> <span m='66920'>of</span> <span m='66980'>July,</span> <span m='67550'>early</span> <span m='67790'>August,</span> <span m='68070'>we're</span> <span m='68130'>getting</span> <span m='68280'>ready</span> <span m='68480'>for</span> <span m='68580'>harvest.</span> <span m='69010'>The</span> <span m='69150'>grapes</span> <span m='69510'>are</span> <span m='70110'>ripening</span> <span m='70570'>up,</span> <span m='70920'>and</span> <span m='71185'>I'm</span> <span m='71450'>making</span> <span m='71710'>sure</span> <span m='71880'>that</span> <span m='72020'>all</span> <span m='72180'>of</span> <span m='72280'>our</span> <span m='72400'>tractors</span> <span m='73000'>and</span> <span m='73260'>all</span> <span m='73390'>of</span> <span m='73490'>our</span> <span m='73680'>people</span> <span m='73990'>are</span> <span m='74140'>ready</span> <span m='74360'>to</span> <span m='74440'>go</span> <span m='75010'>so</span> <span m='75140'>they</span> <span m='75390'>can</span> <span m='75480'>get</span> <span m='75750'>the</span> <span m='75830'>grapes</span> <span m='76160'>in.</span> <span m='76390'>And</span> <span m='76500'>then</span> <span m='76650'>I'm</span> <span m='76800'>really</span> <span m='77150'>looking</span> <span m='77410'>forward</span> <span m='77640'>to</span> <span m='77905'>resting</span> <span m='78170'>in</span> <span m='78240'>the</span> <span m='78310'>wintertime.</span> </p><p><span m='80470'>My</span> <span m='80650'>educational</span> <span m='81230'>path</span> <span m='81520'>for</span> <span m='81660'>working</span> <span m='81970'>in</span> <span m='82010'>viticulture</span> <span m='82590'>is</span> <span m='82820'>actually</span> <span m='83110'>quite</span> <span m='83360'>different.</span> <span m='83730'>I</span> <span m='83820'>took</span> <span m='83990'>a</span> <span m='84060'>lot</span> <span m='84240'>of</span> <span m='84290'>left</span> <span m='84690'>turns.</span> <span m='85370'>I</span> <span m='85460'>thought</span> <span m='85710'>when</span> <span m='85840'>I'd</span> <span m='86010'>grew</span> <span m='86260'>up</span> <span m='86440'>I was</span> <span m='86620'>going</span> <span m='86720'>to</span> <span m='86760'>be</span> <span m='86870'>a</span> <span m='86910'>tropical</span> <span m='87330'>ecologist.</span> <span m='87970'>And</span> <span m='88260'>I</span> <span m='88700'>ended</span> <span m='88940'>up</span> <span m='89020'>getting</span> <span m='89250'>into</span> <span m='89390'>California</span> <span m='89680'>native</span> <span m='89970'>plant</span> <span m='90250'>conservation</span> <span m='91330'>and</span> <span m='91830'>somehow</span> <span m='92370'>managed</span> <span m='92760'>to</span> <span m='92820'>get</span> <span m='92940'>a</span> <span m='92990'>job</span> <span m='93360'>in</span> <span m='93520'>viticulture.</span> </p><p><span m='94220'>A</span> <span m='94440'>lot</span> <span m='94570'>of</span> <span m='94620'>people</span> <span m='94860'>do</span> <span m='95090'>take</span> <span m='95880'>viticulture</span> <span m='96030'>and</span> <span m='96320'>enology</span> <span m='96760'>classes.</span> <span m='97980'>A lot</span> <span m='98460'>of</span> <span m='98540'>places-- at</span> <span m='98670'>Davis,</span> <span m='100360'>other</span> <span m='100620'>universities</span> <span m='101280'>in</span> <span m='102010'>California--</span> <span m='102480'>have</span> <span m='102680'>those</span> <span m='102840'>kind</span> <span m='102960'>of</span> <span m='103030'>programs,</span> <span m='103450'>but</span> <span m='103490'>you</span> <span m='103600'>don't</span> <span m='103720'>have</span> <span m='103970'>to</span> <span m='104100'>take</span> <span m='104370'>those</span> <span m='105050'>programs</span> <span m='105760'>to</span> <span m='106150'>get</span> <span m='106390'>into</span> <span m='106770'>viticulture,</span> <span m='107310'>like</span> <span m='107490'>I</span> <span m='107590'>did.</span> <span m='108100'>Because</span> <span m='108400'>I</span> <span m='108540'>was</span> <span m='108690'>able</span> <span m='108910'>to</span> <span m='109250'>get</span> <span m='109400'>into</span> <span m='109540'>viticulture</span> <span m='110000'>without</span> <span m='110120'>doing</span> <span m='110330'>that.</span> </p><p><span m='111290'>One</span> <span m='111550'>of</span> <span m='111630'>the</span> <span m='112340'>things</span> <span m='112630'>that</span> <span m='112790'>I</span> <span m='112910'>didn't</span> <span m='113250'>take,</span> <span m='113570'>though,</span> <span m='113760'>was</span> <span m='114030'>biology</span> <span m='114520'>and</span> <span m='114590'>women's</span> <span m='114850'>studies.</span> <span m='115230'>And I</span> <span m='115340'>have</span> <span m='115510'>a</span> <span m='115560'>strong</span> <span m='115930'>background</span> <span m='116500'>in</span> <span m='116640'>plants,</span> <span m='116985'>plant</span> <span m='117330'>physiology,</span> <span m='118630'>experience</span> <span m='119040'>with</span> <span m='119350'>botany and</span> <span m='119450'>horticulture.</span> <span m='120570'>It was</span> <span m='120680'>really</span> <span m='121080'>easy</span> <span m='121380'>to</span> <span m='122630'>take</span> <span m='122950'>that</span> <span m='123140'>information</span> <span m='123790'>and</span> <span m='123940'>translate</span> <span m='124390'>it</span> <span m='124480'>into</span> <span m='124680'>viticulture.</span> <span m='125600'>The</span> <span m='125800'>other</span> <span m='125950'>that</span> <span m='126030'>helps</span> <span m='126340'>is I</span> <span m='126450'>speak</span> <span m='126700'>Spanish, and</span> <span m='127140'>I</span> <span m='127190'>have</span> <span m='127340'>really</span> <span m='127540'>good</span> <span m='127690'>computer</span> <span m='128070'>skills,</span> <span m='128470'>so all</span> <span m='128660'>those</span> <span m='128840'>things</span> <span m='129110'>sort</span> <span m='129300'>of,</span> <span m='130360'>ironically--</span> <span m='131970'>Also,</span> <span m='132770'>who</span> <span m='133090'>knew,</span> <span m='133410'>but</span> <span m='133520'>experience</span> <span m='133970'>with</span> <span m='134060'>livestock,</span> <span m='134550'>at least</span> <span m='134830'>for</span> <span m='134900'>working</span> <span m='135290'>at</span> <span m='135440'>Sinskey,</span> <span m='135690'>because</span> <span m='135850'>we</span> <span m='135920'>have</span> <span m='136010'>a</span> <span m='136050'>small</span> <span m='136300'>sheep</span> <span m='136490'>herd,</span> <span m='136980'>was really</span> <span m='137190'>helpful.</span> </p><p><span m='137920'>I</span> <span m='138100'>have</span> <span m='138360'>always</span> <span m='138770'>had</span> <span m='139410'>a</span> <span m='139460'>really</span> <span m='139830'>keen</span> <span m='140130'>interest</span> <span m='140600'>in</span> <span m='140840'>the</span> <span m='141090'>environment,</span> <span m='141840'>in</span> <span m='141950'>plants,</span> <span m='142400'>and in</span> <span m='142630'>life.</span> <span m='143090'>And</span> <span m='143940'>part</span> <span m='144250'>of</span> <span m='144350'>my</span> <span m='144700'>path</span> <span m='145160'>might</span> <span m='145380'>seem</span> <span m='145630'>like</span> <span m='145810'>it's</span> <span m='145970'>not</span> <span m='146160'>connected,</span> <span m='146620'>but</span> <span m='146830'>I</span> <span m='146930'>was</span> <span m='147120'>always</span> <span m='147380'>looking</span> <span m='147740'>for</span> <span m='147940'>a</span> <span m='148000'>way</span> <span m='148210'>to</span> <span m='149000'>sort</span> <span m='149170'>of</span> <span m='149290'>express</span> <span m='150050'>my</span> <span m='150880'>interest</span> <span m='151560'>and</span> <span m='151690'>my</span> <span m='151820'>need</span> <span m='152270'>to</span> <span m='152310'>work</span> <span m='152610'>with</span> <span m='152750'>environmental</span> <span m='153250'>conservation</span> <span m='153630'>and</span> <span m='154010'>to</span> <span m='154200'>work with</span> <span m='154570'>plants</span> <span m='155150'>and</span> <span m='156280'>living</span> <span m='156580'>creatures.</span> <span m='157120'>And</span> <span m='158240'>ironically,</span> <span m='159070'>or</span> <span m='159230'>maybe</span> <span m='159510'>not</span> <span m='159740'>so</span> <span m='160000'>ironically,</span> <span m='161320'>agriculture</span> <span m='161990'>is</span> <span m='162190'>a</span> <span m='162250'>really</span> <span m='162530'>good</span> <span m='162690'>way</span> <span m='163100'>to</span> <span m='163280'>do</span> <span m='163530'>that.</span> <span m='164420'>Environmental</span> <span m='164970'>conservation</span> <span m='165680'>really</span> <span m='165940'>starts</span> <span m='166260'>with</span> <span m='166370'>how</span> <span m='166620'>do</span> <span m='166730'>we</span> <span m='166830'>utilize</span> <span m='167340'>our</span> <span m='167470'>resources,</span> <span m='168120'>and</span> <span m='168250'>there's</span> <span m='168420'>no</span> <span m='168540'>more</span> <span m='168720'>basic</span> <span m='169050'>resource</span> <span m='169470'>than</span> <span m='169550'>the</span> <span m='169630'>food</span> <span m='169870'>we</span> <span m='170050'>eat.</span> </p><p><span m='170940'>Because</span> <span m='171340'>Sinskey's</span> <span m='171850'>organic</span> <span m='172105'>and</span> <span m='172360'>biodynamic</span> <span m='173150'>or</span> <span m='173580'>uses</span> <span m='173890'>biodynamic</span> <span m='174420'>practices,</span> <span m='175950'>they're</span> <span m='176150'>focusing</span> <span m='176750'>on</span> <span m='178390'>how</span> <span m='178560'>can</span> <span m='178660'>we</span> <span m='178770'>use</span> <span m='179020'>this</span> <span m='179220'>land</span> <span m='179460'>in</span> <span m='179560'>a</span> <span m='179610'>sustainable</span> <span m='180340'>manner</span> <span m='180750'>for</span> <span m='180910'>pretty</span> <span m='181130'>much</span> <span m='181390'>forever.</span> <span m='181790'>And</span> <span m='181860'>it</span> <span m='181930'>really</span> <span m='182170'>works</span> <span m='182530'>into</span> <span m='183450'>exactly</span> <span m='183990'>what</span> <span m='184120'>my</span> <span m='184230'>interests</span> <span m='184630'>were.</span> </p><p><span m='185730'>I</span> <span m='185850'>really wish</span> <span m='186160'>I'd known</span> <span m='186270'>sooner</span> <span m='186625'>that</span> <span m='186980'>agriculture</span> <span m='187570'>was</span> <span m='187660'>an</span> <span m='187740'>occupation</span> <span m='188270'>that</span> <span m='188400'>was</span> <span m='188510'>an</span> <span m='188590'>option.</span> <span m='188990'>I</span> <span m='189040'>hadn't</span> <span m='189270'>even</span> <span m='189460'>thought</span> <span m='189740'>about</span> <span m='190360'>growing</span> <span m='190890'>things</span> <span m='191320'>for</span> <span m='191420'>a</span> <span m='191480'>living</span> <span m='191800'>would</span> <span m='191920'>be</span> <span m='192060'>something</span> <span m='192460'>that</span> <span m='192580'>I</span> <span m='192660'>could</span> <span m='192860'>do.</span> <span m='193930'>I</span> <span m='194030'>might</span> <span m='194200'>have</span> <span m='194280'>gotten</span> <span m='194440'>involved</span> <span m='194800'>in</span> <span m='194890'>4-H.</span> <span m='195440'>I</span> <span m='195460'>might</span> <span m='195630'>have</span> <span m='195710'>been</span> <span m='195840'>involved</span> <span m='196180'>in</span> <span m='196270'>Future</span> <span m='196510'>Farmers</span> <span m='196850'>of</span> <span m='196920'>America.</span> <span m='197330'>I</span> <span m='197410'>just</span> <span m='197640'>didn't</span> <span m='197870'>know.</span> </p><p><span m='198710'>What</span> <span m='199120'>I</span> <span m='199220'>did</span> <span m='199550'>do</span> <span m='199810'>was</span> <span m='199980'>sort</span> <span m='200340'>of</span> <span m='200420'>follow</span> <span m='200800'>my</span> <span m='200970'>interest</span> <span m='202040'>towards</span> <span m='202530'>living</span> <span m='202850'>things</span> <span m='203370'>and</span> <span m='203760'>biology.</span> <span m='204230'>Actually,</span> <span m='205090'>my</span> <span m='205320'>adviser</span> <span m='205820'>in</span> <span m='205890'>college</span> <span m='206860'>got</span> <span m='207100'>me</span> <span m='207210'>to</span> <span m='207290'>take</span> <span m='207500'>a</span> <span m='207550'>biology</span> <span m='208010'>class.</span> <span m='208310'>I</span> <span m='208350'>was</span> <span m='208480'>thinking,</span> <span m='208740'>oh,</span> <span m='208910'>I</span> <span m='208990'>want</span> <span m='209100'>to</span> <span m='209170'>do</span> <span m='209280'>environmental</span> <span m='209820'>science,</span> <span m='210330'>but</span> <span m='210450'>I</span> <span m='210560'>don't</span> <span m='210740'>want to</span> <span m='210840'>have to</span> <span m='210910'>take</span> <span m='211070'>biology.</span> <span m='211570'>I</span> <span m='211630'>don't</span> <span m='211720'>know</span> <span m='211820'>what</span> <span m='211980'>that</span> <span m='212120'>was</span> <span m='212230'>about.</span> <span m='212810'>And</span> <span m='212960'>he</span> <span m='213080'>convinced</span> <span m='213410'>me</span> <span m='213490'>to</span> <span m='213570'>take</span> <span m='213730'>a</span> <span m='213780'>biology</span> <span m='214190'>class.</span> </p><p><span m='214560'>I</span> <span m='214640'>ended</span> <span m='214860'>up</span> <span m='214970'>in</span> <span m='215050'>the</span> <span m='215120'>second</span> <span m='215420'>semester,</span> <span m='215950'>and</span> <span m='216140'>we</span> <span m='216250'>were</span> <span m='216360'>focusing</span> <span m='216780'>on</span> <span m='216850'>ecology.</span> <span m='217540'>We</span> <span m='217650'>did</span> <span m='217820'>some</span> <span m='217970'>great</span> <span m='218410'>labs,</span> <span m='219030'>and</span> <span m='219760'>it</span> <span m='219890'>just</span> <span m='220060'>really</span> <span m='220260'>sparked</span> <span m='220510'>my</span> <span m='220610'>interest.</span> <span m='220950'>And</span> <span m='221040'>I</span> <span m='221090'>went</span> <span m='221280'>from</span> <span m='221420'>there.</span> </p>","file":{"id":265681,"video_id":"2707920717001","name":"71479657","duration":224980,"thumbnail_url":null}});