Michael Eggman arrives at my daughter’s class at Brown Elementary carrying a large wooden box. It hums slightly. The third-graders squeal, some with delight and others in horror, as they crowd around the glass-encased frame to get a better look.
It is full of bees.
The students were full of questions as Michael launched into an interactive presentation he has clearly given to classes many times before. Volunteers were given props and assigned the role of tree, flower or bee. They acted out process of pollination, from location-scouting to nectar-slurping and pollen-collecting (including a very impressive “bee dance”).
Recently, Michael was accused of not being a “real farmer.” My response is this: You are thinking of Jeff Denham.
Michael Eggman is a real farmer who grows one of the most important crops in the Central Valley: bees. He recently sold his almond acreage to expand his hives and meet the demand of local farmers – farmers who rely on bees to survive. Michael sports a year-round tan, his work boots are caked with dirt and his forearms are riddled with bumps from bee stings. He is a farmer from the Central Valley. He isn’t the one claiming to be something he’s not.
Carrie Anne Castillo, Turlock