Running Machinery Like A Lady in California

Monday, March 02, 2020


Author: Candra Burns from Talking Forests

California Episode Behind the Scenes: Running Machinery Like A Lady

Sierra Pacific Industries log truck leaves the landing in the America’s Forests with Chuck Leavell California episode near Anderson, California. Sabrina not only left the landing in a log truck, but she also left with a job opportunity before she graduated with her college degree from Shasta College. Sabrina is from Anderson, California and her mom’s side of the family worked in the timber industry. But we asked her if she ever thought she would end up working in the forest sector and she said “actually, no”. As a young girl and only child, she said “I was strapped to my dad’s back wandering through the woods while either the family hunted for game or during fishing.”

Photo Credit: Peter Griggs

Sabrina studied agricultural business while working three jobs. As a tenacious young worker, she dabbled in working for Vans, the shoe store, being a ranch hand, and in construction early on while simultaneously representing her college timber sports team as president.

She has a heavy equipment operating certificate, University Ag Science degree and a class A truck driver permit which is close to becoming a license and is currently working on her industrial technology degree. We asked her how she did all of this and she said she was used to doing so many things at one time even in high school in FFA, 4-H and as a rodeo queen keeping busy is normal for her. Once you believe in yourself and earn other people’s respect through volunteering your time in an organization, you will get what you put into it. She believes if anyone can do it, you can do it!

Photo Credit: Peter Griggs

She has amazing mentors in Shasta College who believed in her and have worked with her to achieve her dreams. She built her own foundation and had challenges in the process, but kept pushing through and eventually made her way into a new job with Miller Timber Company as a forwarder operator. She said “I took all of the opportunities I could take” to get where I am today. “I had a sense of independence because people weren't always there for me, but then I knew I needed to be there for myself and show up.”

Even though Sabrina has had a lot of bad times, she knew she had to keep hunting for the good and she did just that. She said “If the door slammed in my face, I just opened a new one.” Her family was low-income and she remembered being raised on what was in the freezer.

In the future, she can see staying with Shasta College as a mentor to help students to achieve what she did because she knows relationship building is important. In her pink hardhat and vest she is the future of our industry and she represents what she said “still being a lady and running heavy equipment.”

What she wants others to know is to chase your dreams because as she said “what if it doesn’t come true, oh, but what if it does?”-Sabrina

Photo Credit: Peter Griggs

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