Cal State Monterey Bay’s Ag Program Strong

Cal State Monterey Bay Attracting Ag Students

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Farm News Director

The Ag Business Program at Cal State Monterey Bay is very-tech oriented. California Ag Today recently spoke with Shyam Kamath, dean of the College of Business at CSU Monterey Bay, about what the program aims to teach its students.

“We’ve been in existence for about 23 years as a university. We were the university that went from swords to plowshares,” Kamath said. “We went from Fort Ord to becoming a university. Today, the university has two major pieces to it. One is a college of science, and its ag programs, and the second is a college of business with its ag business programs.”

Kamath said that the ag business programs have turned to ag tech programs.

“We need to forcus on perishable commodities, because that’s what this valley’s about,” he explained.

“We are also focused on precision ag, because that’s where the industry is going. So we have the school of computing and design, and the college of business together,” Kamath said. “We are looking at programs where we’ll power that. I have five people in business analytics, so that they understand what to do. Then I’ve got two ag professors who are there.”

“The third focus area is vertical ag and genomic ag. That’s an area where we’re trying to work with the college of science, and have people there to do that,” he said.

The fourth area, is supply chain, because this is an area where supply-chain is critical.

“Supply chain is key. Most ag programs look at production agriculture. We look at production, but also the supply chain, because this is a cold chain. Produce has to move fast and under cold temperatures. If that doesn’t work, then it will not get to a customer,” Kamath explained.

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FFA Student is Great Reporter

Hughson FFA Student Thrives on Agriculture

 

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Farm News Director

 

California FFA Association, a high school youth leadership and career development organization, is very dynamic in the state. FFA chapters are located throughout the state’s agricultural areas. We had a conversation with Michelle Borges, a sophomore at Hughson High School. She is an active member of the Hughson FFA and serves as the 2016-17 FFA Chapter reporter.California FFA student

“My job is publicizing the FFA to everyone in the community. I write articles to the local newspapers. I’m in charge of the social media for Hughson FFA. Basically any radio broadcast, television broadcast, anything like that to get the word out about FFA,” Borges said.

Borges was also active in the 4-H starting at age five. She raised and sold goats, and she is devoted to California agriculture to this day. “One of the reasons why I love agriculture is because both my parents work in the agriculture industry. Both my brothers were super involved in the FFA, so I was kind of born into it,” she said.

Borges noted that while her family does not farm, they are involved in agricultural education. “My dad is the Dean of Agriculture at Modesto Junior College, and my mom used to be an agriculture teacher in high school, but now she teaches junior high,” she said.

While still in high school, Borges wants to continue pursuing her passion for agriculture. “When I grow up, I want to be an animal nutritionist. I’m really interested in nutrition for animals and I have also raised goats. . . ‘Seeing them grow up and then selling them. That whole project; it is really interesting to me. Also, with FFA, there’s a lot of public speaking competitions and I really enjoy public speaking in front of a crowd,” she said.

To hone her skills for that animal nutrition career, Borges plans to go to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, after she graduates from high school.

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Westlands Water District Announces Recipients of the West Side Scholarships

Six outstanding high school seniors from communities on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley have been selected to receive scholarships offered by the Westlands Water District.

The 2014 scholarships are offered by Westlands under a program to recognize and reward exceptional academic achievement and leadership by graduating seniors at area high schools.

The recipients of the 2014 scholarships are:

Jose Arias, a senior at Firebaugh High School. Mr. Arias is an honors student who plans on attending University of California, Davis to pursue a degree in biochemistry and molecular biology.

He was involved in soccer, track and field, and cross country. Additionally, he has received a number of awards including a Certificate of AP Scholar Award, Student of the Month and Certificate of Academic Excellence.

Jorge Santillan, a senior at Mendota High School. Mr. Santillan plans to attend University of California, Santa Barbara to pursue a degree in psychology. He is an honors student and has been an active member of MESA, AVID, Leadership, was President of Lend-A-Hand and an ASB Treasurer. As President of Lend-A-Hand, he helped organize blood drives, food drives and toy drives.

John Desfosses, a senior at Coalinga High School. Mr. Desfosses plans to attend University of California, Berkeley to pursue a degree in history. He is an honors student who was a President and former Vice-President of Fellowship of Christian Athletes and former Vice President and Treasurer of the California Scholarship Federation.

Emma Larson, a senior at Lemoore High School. Ms. Larson plans to attend University of California to pursue a career in agricultural communications. She is an honors student and a member of the California Scholastic Federation. Additionally, she has been an active member of Future Farmers of America holding several leadership positions.

Alexis Garcia, a senior at Tranquillity High School. Mr. Garcia plans to attend University of California, Berkeley to pursue a degree in integrative biology. He is an honors student involved in Future Farmers of America, ASB Leadership and basketball.

Rianne Banuelos, a senior at Riverdale High School. Ms. Banuelos plans to attend Westmont College to pursue a degree in art and English. She is an honors student who was actively involved in Link Crew, Physics Club, Student Government and Leadership Class. Additionally, she has participated in a considerable amount of volunteer work.

Each scholarship recipient will receive $1,000 to be used for community college or university expenses. Applicants were judged on their academic performance, school activities and community leadership. Each applicant submitted an essay on an agricultural-related topic.

“Westlands is honored to provide this assistance for these outstanding student leaders,” said Tom Birmingham, general manager of Westlands. “These scholarships represent a small gesture of thanks and support to the communities on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley that make our region such a productive and vibrant place.”

Cal Ag Today would like to congratulate each of these outstanding students on their achievements and wish them the best of luck on their future endeavors.

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The Groundbreaking of the New Jordan Research Center to Take Place on June 13

Source: http://www.fresnostate.edu/jcast/jrc/

As the flagship university in the top agricultural region in the world, Fresno State is a fitting home for a world-class research center to discover and investigate the most advanced concepts and practices of agriculture, food and natural resources.

The new Jordan Research Center at Fresno State fosters collaboration between some of the brightest minds in agriculture, engineering, science and mathematics. The 30,000-square-foot facility is slated for groundbreaking in spring 2014, reinventing Fresno State as a leading research institution for decades to come.

Please join Fresno State for the groundbreaking of the new Jordan Research Center on June 13.

JRC

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Secretary Ross Joins Elementary School Students to Experience Mobile Dairy Classroom

Source: Tammy Anderson-Wise, CEO Dairy Council of California

Earlier this month, CDFA Secretary Karen Ross joined students at Sacramento’s Pacific Elementary School for a visit from the Mobile Dairy Classroom, where an instructor shared fun facts like: cows have built-in fly swatters, and milk is warm when it comes out of the udder.

As the original farm to school program in California, Mobile Dairy Classroom has brought a bit of the dairy farm to schools across the state since the 1930s.

To help children better appreciate where their milk and milk products come from, the free assemblies provided by the Dairy Council of California teach children about agriculture and cows, healthy eating from all five food groups, and how to lead healthy, active lifestyles.

Mobile Dairy Classroom assemblies augment the Dairy Council of California’s classroom nutrition education lessons that are also free to schools as part of the dairy industry’s commitment to community health.

With six Mobile Dairy Classroom units across California, 400,000 students each year have the chance to make a personal connection with a cow and a calf, and better understand where their milk comes from.

Furthermore, the assemblies allow for a better appreciation for the role of the dairy farmer and milk processor in providing healthy food and why milk and milk products are an essential part of an overall balanced diet with foods from all five food groups.

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JCAST Students Claim Back-to-Back State Championships at Discussion Meet

Source: Eddie Hughes; Fresno State News and Fresno County Farm Bureau 

Fresno State senior Levy Randolph of Hemet earned the individual state championship in the California Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmers and Ranchers Collegiate Discussion Meet on March 1 in Visalia.

Randolph, an Agricultural Education major, was one of eight students who represented Fresno State’s Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology at the meet. Randolph now advances to compete in February 2015 at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmers and Ranchers Leadership Conference in Nashville.

The discussion meet competition was designed for young members of the farm bureau to participate in a progressive and collaborative discussion. Participants are judged on content, cooperative attitude, presentation and knowledge of the pre-determined speaking topics.

Competitors discuss pressing issues of the agriculture industry and strive to cultivate solutions from their 20-minute discussion.

This was Fresno State’s fourth team championship all-time and Randolph will be the fifth Bulldog to represent California at the national competition.

Randolph’s winnings included an expense-paid trip to the national competition and a cash prize of $1,250.

Joining Randolph in the final round of competition was Fresno State Agricultural Communications major Jodi Raley of Tollhouse. Raley earned a $500 cash prize. Audra Roland, an Agricultural Business major from Tollhouse, made it to the semifinals.

Dr. Steven Rocca, professor of Agricultural Education and Communications, has coached the competition since 2006. “Our students’ hard work and dedication led to the overall team win,” Rocca said. “We are thrilled that one of our students earned the state championship, enabling our team to become back-to-back champs. The skills these students learn will be valuable tools in their future as our agricultural leaders.”

Additional members of the team include: Ana Lopez, an Animal Science/Pre-Veterinary major from Tulare; Victor Evans, an Agricultural Education-Teacher Preparation major from Fresno; Kyle Mendes, an Agricultural Education-Teacher Preparation major from Modesto; Rachel Wright, an Agricultural Communications major from Tollhouse; and Mallory Harrison an Agricultural Communications major from Bakersfield.

The Young Farmers and Ranchers are active agriculturalists, ages 18 to 35. Members develop leadership skills through community service, service-learning and maintaining active involvement in their county farm bureaus.

The Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (JCAST) offers education needed to be a leader in agriculture and related sciences. They offer programs in the traditional areas of agriculture, including animal science, plant science, agricultural education, viticulture and agricultural business. 

JCAST also offers excellent programs in areas uniquely related to agriculture, including industrial technology, food science and nutrition, enology, child development, family science and fashion merchandising. 

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