WANTED: New Director, Fresno State Viticulture and Enology Department

Fresno State Viticulture and Enology Department Shines, But Needs New Director

 

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Farm News Director

 

No doubt, the Fresno State Viticulture and Enology Department is important not only to the Central San Joaquin Valley, but also to all of California’s agricultural areas. Nat DiBuduo, president, Fresno-based Allied Grape Growers, and a 1973 Fresno State alumnus, said Fresno State’s top administration is exceptionally dedicated to the department.

 

Research Buildings at Viticulture and Enology Research Center VERC
Research Buildings at Viticulture and Enology Research Center VERC

“It is really critical that we highlight the fact that Joseph Castro, president of Fresno State, and Sandra Witte, dean of Fresno State’s Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, as well as the entire Industry Advisory Board for the Viticulture and Enology Research Center (VERC), are committed to the department,” said DiBuduo. “The entire board is committed to continuing the world-class program at the Viticulture and Enology Research Center that Vincent Petrucci (1985-1994) started so many years ago and has been continued on through Robert Wample (2000-2009) and James Kennedy (2010-2015).”

DiBuduo, who studied plant science and viticulture as a student, said, “We’re committed to providing this first class program for our students and for the industry. We’re in the midst of the search for the right person to head the program so that he or she can bring on the faculty and support staff who will continue that progress into the next century and beyond.”

As California’s agricultural industry feeds the world, it is important the industry supports this search for a new department chair. “It is important the University gets the right person in there, so we’re asking everyone out there who knows anyone qualified, [to encourage them] to apply for this position,” said DiBuduo. “We need to have the right person to provide the education, research and leadership into the future.”

Fresno State Winery Bottling Line
Fresno State Winery Bottling Line

Fresno State agricultural programs are unique due to a hands-on approach designed to give students the practical knowledge they need to get out and work. “They will know how to farm,”DiBuduo said. “They will know how to apply their teachings and their education to become managers, foremen and operators, and supervisors of field operations.”

Students come from all over the Central Valley and beyond the Valley because of Fresno State’s excellent reputation. “If students have enough units in the program, they can become Pest Control Advisors (PCAs),” said DiBuduo. “In fact, I was a PCA myself.”

fresno_state_makes_winemakers, Fresno State Viticulture and Enology Department“But the problem we’re having in agriculture today is that many in the industry are an aging society,” DiBuduo said. “So we need to get young entrepreneurs, young farmers and ranchers who want to become PCAs or farm managers or viticulturists or winemakers,” DiBuduo said. “We need these trained students to run the farms and ranches in the future.”


NEW! FACULTY POSITION VACANCY: Chair of the Department of Viticulture & Enology and Director of the Viticulture & Enology Research Center.   Vacancy #12978  (7/20/16) Review of applications will begin September 19, 2016 and continue until the position is filled.


Resources:

Allied Grape Growers

California State University (Fresno State)

Fresno State’s Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology

Fresno State’s Viticulture and Enology Department

Industry Advisory Board for the Viticulture and Enology Research Center

Fresno State Students are Ag Ambassadors

Fresno State Students are Ag Ambassadors

By Charmayne Hefley, Associate Editor

Students serving as Ag Ambassadors for the Fresno State Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology represented the school at the 2016 World Ag Expo. Steve Rocca, associate professor of agriculture education at California State University, Fresno said “It’s a group of about 80 student ag ambassadors who attend events and are really an extension of the outreach and recruitment efforts by our College.”

“There’s nothing better [for prospective students] than to learn about our college from actual students who are studying in our college and who know firsthand what Fresno State has to offer,” Rocca said. “Approximately 80 students has been the norm for the past several years. It’s a large group. They’re very enthusiastic and are great supporters of Fresno State. At events like the World Ag Expo, they talk to both prospective students and also to alumni, as a lot of loyal alums stop by and want to talk about Fresno State.”

In addition to the ambassador program, Rocca said Fresno State students can join the FFA State Conference Committee, which assists the California FFA Association in organizing the California FFA Field Days/State Finals Contests and State Conference in Fresno every April. “The California FFA State Conference is the largest annual conference in the city of Fresno,” Rocca said. “There are about 6,000 students as well as advisors who come to Fresno each year to develop their leadership skills, enhance their personal growth and compete in various career development activities. Our students at Fresno State assist directly with the events that take place during that convention.”