Coalition of Chicken Enthusiasts is one of CSU Bakersfield’s newest clubs


The CCE, Coalition of Chicken Enthusiasts is one of CSU Bakersfield’s newest clubs. It was created in December 2020.

Viviana Ramirez, a major in psychology and a French minor, is the president of this successful club. Najeeb Darwish, a biology major with minors in chemistry and art history, is the club’s co-founder and treasurer. Both of these individuals are extremely dedicated to their goal and future plans for this club. According to their Instagram, their mission statement is “to build a chicken coop in the edible garden and bring in chickens to provide fresh eggs for the pantry. We want to sustain both this club and its mission for many years to come! Viviana Ramirez, the club’s president and founder, says the club meets on Mondays via zoom or in person, and currently has 60 active members. The large number of members makes it one of the largest clubs on campus.

I asked Ramirez: “What were the reasons for creating this club?”

Ramirez replied, “I raise chickens myself. I started volunteering at the Sensational Sophomores garden and saw things that caught my eye like produce and gardening. Later I discovered the pantry, where there were a lot of vegetables. I saw they had eggs and I thought…I should bring my own eggs. I then brought my own egg donation to the pantry. They are organic and popular. The surplus of garden products, I would give it to my chicken. In return, I donated eggs to the pantry. I said to myself, Why are there no chickens in the garden? If I leave, there will be no stability in egg production. I started talking to colleagues about my idea. There are many people who own chickens and love the idea of ​​bringing chickens to CSUB. Heidi said, How about starting the club? I was a little hesitant that people didn’t want to be involved, is it even possible to bring chickens here? I see a need to have chickens. The garden had to buy a lot of compost and I thought the chickens could really help with that. It can help with garden maintenance. Najeeb Darwish, treasurer and co-founder, came up to me at Student Union, as I was eating my sandwich that was falling apart, and he said, Are you the one who is interested in doing the chicken club? He was very interested in participating in the club and he is ASI’s Director of Sustainability. He mentioned that clubs can apply to ASI, which would help support the cooperative.

I asked Ramirez, “How did the help of friends help get it started?”

Ramirez replied, “Every time I spoke to someone, they mentioned that they used to raise chickens. Yasmin, I love Yasmin, she raised chickens and she wants to learn how to do it again, back in the Philippines, she raised them. I was very inspired by that and said, Yes, join the club. Najeeb owns chickens. When someone has a chicken idea, I invite them to join the club. They made me want to continue. »

I asked Ramirez: “What do you expect to get out of the club?”

Ramirez replied, “Giving back to the community. I see a need. The price of eggs has gone up. The Edible Garden is very educational.

I asked Ramirez and Darwish, “What does the future process look like when it comes to chickens?”

Ramirez said, “I want members to have specific training knowing biosecurity measures and egg handling. I want them to know how to handle chickens. Darwish said: “The garden volunteers will not be able to take care of the chickens. This is explicitly left to garden staff and specific club members who have taken biosecurity courses.

I asked Ramirez and Darwish, “Future events for the CCE?”

Ramirez said, “We go out to the garden regularly. On 9/10 you come to the garden you will meet a member of the chicken club.”

I asked Ramirez and Darwish, “Who can join”?

Viviana said: “Anyone can join the club. To be a voting member, you must go out to the garden once a month for an hour and attend 2 meetings. We want you to familiarize yourself with the garden. You can become a supporting member. A regular member would support the mission.

Darwish says the club will continue to rise. There is a lot of leadership and passion among the members, it will continue to grow and thrive. They are thrilled to have new members join after graduating from CSUB, and they see their club growing to be successful. Darwish says, “Without the support of Joel, Heidi and Dr Watkins, we probably wouldn’t have gotten far. Joel is also our advisor. They brought a fun environment. We are very excited for our cooperative that we have designed. We are fixed with the layout of the club. We are ready to go.

I also spoke to Joel Kirksey, the garden coordinator for the edible garden. I had his opinion on the progress of the club. Joel said: “I oversee the production management of the garden and advise CCE staff. I am 100% impressed with the initiative and youthful energy of the individuals and members. I think they did an amazing job, coming up with a plan and following it. Their enthusiasm that they bring to the project has raised the anticipation of many others on campus. I am delighted to have this chicken coop and chickens in the garden. I think what they are doing will ultimately benefit the student community, staff and faculty who benefit from the new protein source (eggs). Chicken manure will contribute to our sustainability goals, reducing our dependence on outside resources for compost and fertilizers. These two people, Viviana and Najeeb, the other executives and the members continued to impress me. I think wherever they go it will be amazing and they are great people.

I reached out to a few club members to get some insight. I wanted to know their experience and their expectations with the club. I contacted a few members and here is their response to the following questions:

How do you find the club so far? What are you looking forward to seeing happen along the way?

Nathalie Larios, a junior environmental resource management student, said: “I love the club so far. It all started with our club president’s willingness to bring eggs for the pantry, and now we’ve grown into our own little community! It’s exciting to see the progress we’ve made, and I’m so excited to be a part of it! One of the things I’m most looking forward to seeing is when we finally bring the chickens into the garden. We have started site preparations and are working on the co-op design to make sure everything is running smoothly. It’s been a long process getting approvals and making sure everything is up to code, but it’s been the most rewarding journey. Can’t wait to see what the future holds for the club and our chickens!

Uriel Jacobo-Prado, a first-year psychology student, said, “The club has been an amazing experience so far! I’ve bonded with other students here at CSUB and networked with like-minded people who share the same goals.

I’m excited to bring co-op for future generations of runners! Having a constant source of organic eggs for the pantry will help promote better eating or dietary habits for dorm students and others who take advantage of the pantry! And finally, I can’t wait to see what the club will become, we’re just planting the seed that will grow into a tree. (Let’s hope so, but I believe in Runners!)”

Alexandra Brown, a biology major, said, “I’m having such a great time at the club so far! We have such a large group of people working together to build this coop, bring the chickens and help keep the coop going, and our club’s support for the edible garden and pantry, sustainable for future runners!

I am excited to see how our club continues to grow and how our efforts can combine with those of other campus clubs and organizations to help bring the greatest benefits to our college community.

Julian Pereyra, a second-year computer science student, said: “I love the club! The club provides a great social experience by volunteering at the Edible Garden. I’m very excited to build the coop and look after the chickens until they arrive! »

Yelitza Amador Orozco, a second-year biology student and theater minor, says, “I love the club. I’ve been here from the start, so seeing it gain so much traction makes me look forward. I love seeing people from all walks of life come together to move this project forward. I’m excited to see how we can help the community by bringing chickens to the edible garden. Sure, we bring eggs to the pantry, but I’m looking forward to incorporating chickens in sustainable ways, like pest control and compost, and teaching people how to take good care of chickens.

Have you heard of the CCE? Leave a comment below!


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