It’s early in the morning at the Pierce College Farm. The sound of the wind whips the grass, the smell of soil and animal manure are the first to invade the senses. A ray of sun hits the field and the sweat rolls down one’s forehead signaling the beginning of a workday.
It’s time for animals to be fed, for corrals to be cleaned and pastures to be mown. While some college women might be putting on makeup and getting ready for school, Marcie Sakadjian is already starting a new day at the farm.
On any given day, Sakadjian can be seen walking around with an approachable smile on her face, wearing blue jeans, work boots, a t-shirt and a baseball cap.
Her petite figure might make people doubt her capacity to do the work she does at the farm. From operating a 5410 John Deere Tractor, to fencing the fields, she preps the pastures and makes sure they are ready for the harvest season. Later, Sakadjian shovels layers of dirt out of the sheep’s paddock and pulls it in a skip loader tractor. “I really love working with the big equipment, the tractors. I like the field, and I love cows. Cows are my favorite,” Sakadjian said.
Originally a nursing major, Sakadjian spent her first two years at Pierce trying to get into the medical field. It wasn’t until she changed her major to Registered Veterinary Technology, and took Animal Science 501, that she found her passion for animals, agriculture and farms.
“At the pace she’s going, I wouldn’t be surprised that in 10 years, she’s running a 5,000 head cattle ranch” said Greg Murk, the senior agriculture technician at Pierce College.
Sakadjian manages school and a full-time position at the farm by taking classes that don’t interfere with her work schedule.
“I tried to pick up classes that work around my schedule, and I don’t sleep very much,” Sakadjian said.
She has worked as a senior agriculture assistant at the farm for the past year-and-a-half, but she has been employed there for the last five years.
“That girl is going to run a farm at one point in her life,” said Stacie Carpio, Sakadjian’s friend of four years, who’s also a student worker at the farm. Sakadjian also assists pre vet and agriculture students.
Regarded as an extraordinary worker by many of her peers, Sakadjian’s fearless passion to work among farm animals and operate heavy machinery is impressive. For her, the hardships and sacrifices that come with the work she does are all worth it.
“Farming is more like a lifestyle. I just love it,” Sakadjian said.