Employee Spotlight: 10 Things to Know About Sergio Oliva, Senior Systems Administrator
It’s no secret that information technology is revolutionizing industries from the inside out. This is especially true for the agriculture industry, which continues to make technological advancements to support operations, food safety, and other key department functions— just ask Sergio!
Sergio Oliva joined Ocean Mist Farms 1 year ago as the Senior Systems Administrator in our IT Department. Keep reading to learn more about Sergio and his role at Ocean Mist Farms!1. How would you explain your job responsibilities to someone not in the ag industry?
As the Senior Systems Administrator, my role at Ocean Mist Farms is to bring increasingly effective technical solutions to all internal roles at the company. IT has the tagline ‘if it has a power cord, we make it work’, or in today's world, a blue tooth or mobile connection.
Information technology is a tool just as much as a shovel is in agriculture. IT helps farm management increase efficiency and maximize resources by using accurate data for irrigation, equipment, and labor.
I primarily work with ERP, internal databases, and other portals to collect data and automate processes, which efficiently streamlines department functions and inter-department communication. I also work to maintain the mail and web servers, which is obviously a necessity for all company communication.2. Can you provide some insight into your IT role at Ocean Mist Farms?
Some IT roles in the ag industry work directly at the field level- think drones capturing crop footage in the fields and soil sensors measuring volumetric soil water content. Other IT roles like mine work directly with data for internal department functions and streamlined processes.
I am responsible for the software platform that our harvesting teams and food safety department use to generate PTI labels. The Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) is an industry-led food safety initiative which requires all produce companies to have a standardized label on each carton packed. This label allows field level trace-ability. Just one example of the mission-critical cross-functional projects I am involved with at Ocean Mist Farms.3. What did you want to be when you grew up? Did you expect to go into this field?
Growing up I had a lot of ambition. Like many idealistic young adults, I wanted to change the world and make an impact. One dream I had, that’s applicable to our industry, was to become a biochemical engineer. For my 7th grade science project, I tested the effects of synthetic fertilizers on microbiological communities like earthworms. I lost. But this framed my future ambitions and industry choice!
Information technology only became a real career path form me n my early twenties as I persevered with computer programming courses and electrical engineering concepts. I attended California State University, San Luis Obispo (ironically a top-rated ag school) and soon my major shifted to General Engineering.
4. What is your hidden talent?
In my opinion, I can't say that i have a hidden talent per say. But others have told me that I am a great problem solver.
5. What is your most prized possession?
I’m thankful I have my family.6. Name one thing on your bucket list.
One of many items, is competing in a marathon.7. What is the best advice you have ever received?
“Learn by doing” is the best advice I’ve received. It’s what, to this day, drives me.
8. Last movie/show you streamed?
The last show I’ve streamed was Dateline. I'm drawn to the mystery, suspense, and horror genres.9. If you could have any superpower what would it be?
Time travel.10. If you had to eat 1 thing for the rest of your life what would it be and why?
Enchiladas. Homemade enchiladas. I have joyful memories of enchiladas! The ingredients are simple but the meal is this elaborate piece of art. My favorite: Enchiladas de papa, and yes, in a red mild sauce. They are also a reminder of who I am; my road, the struggles and the accomplishments of not only mine but my family’s.
So there you have it, a humble accomplished Senior Systems Administrator for Ocean Mist Farms. One of many important members of our diverse agriculture employee team.