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Ag One Foundation

June 2018 E-News

Ag One heading

Manuel "JR" Mancebo, Jr.

In memory of Manuel “JR” Mancebo, Jr.

Ag One, the Jordan College and Fresno State lost a dear friend on June 17, Manuel "JR" Mancebo, Jr. In 2017, Mancebo pledged a $1 million bequest in support of the Fresno State dairy science program. President Joseph I. Castro, Jordan College Dean Sandra Witte, faculty, staff, students and industry supporters honored the former trucking magnate and his late wife, Katye, May 6, 2017 at a dairy science club banquet in Tulare. In recognition of their generosity, Fresno State will request that the campus dairy production facility be renamed the Manuel “JR” and Katye Mancebo Dairy. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial tributes may be made payable to the Ag One Foundation, click for more information. Read more about the Ag One Foundation 

North Bay Invite

Join us in the North Bay Area July 11 and 12!

This year’s North Bay Alumni and Friends dinner will be held on July 11 at the Santa Rosa Junior College Shone Farm. Tickets are $45 and include wine tasting, silent auction and dinner, plus an opportunity to tour Shone Farm before the event. Join us the following day for wine tasting and lunch with alumna Stacia Dowdell, winemaker and proprietor at Brasswood Estates on July 12. Tickets for the lunch will be $60 through July 3. Advance purchase is required as there is limited seating for both events. We look forward to seeing you then! Read more about the North Bay Alumni and Friends

Opening Weekend of Sweet Corn Sales 2018

Record opening-weekend sales for Fresno State sweet corn

The Rue and Gwen Gibson Farm Market at Fresno State sold 160 bins of sweet corn over the opening-weekend, or 80,766 ears, beating last year’s opening weekend record of 78,473 ears. On Friday, June 8, the official opening day, Central Valley customers bought 36,980 ears, the second-highest opening day sales ever (slightly behind last year’s opening day record of 38,586 ears). Betsy Juergens was the first customer in line on Friday, arriving at 4:30 a.m. before the market’s 7 a.m. opening. Read more about the Rue and Gwen Gibson Farm Market 

2017 Fantasy Vacation Winners

2017 Fantasy Vacation Winners, Gary ('72) and Marnie ('73) Visser, enjoying their trip to Greece this month.

Fantasy Vacation Drawing

Take a chance and maybe win a vacation of a lifetime, and at the same time provide many students a chance to fulfill their educational endeavors. This year’s Fantasy Vacation raffle offers six exciting destinations to choose from should you be the lucky winner! Enter for your chance to travel on the American Queen Steamboat on the Mississippi River, to the Azores Islands, Gems of Britain, Hawaii, Irish Elegance or Italian Intermezzo! Tickets are $25 each or 5 for $100, and the winner will be drawn at the Ag Boosters BBQ on September 9.  Read more about the Fantasy Vacation 

Craig School Breaks ground

 Craig School breaks ground on Ruiz Foods Executive Classrooms

The Ruiz Foods Executive Classrooms are the result of a $1 million pledge made in May 2017 by Ruiz Food Products, Inc., a Dinuba-based food manufacturing company. The gift will help finance construction of an annex to the existing University Business Center and house two new executive classrooms with innovative education technology. The Ruiz family has a history of supporting business education at Fresno State. Fred Ruiz is a past Ag One Community Salute honoree and founder of the Institute for Family Business, a community resource that promotes family businesses as a catalyst for economic growth. Kim Ruiz Beck, chairperson of Ruiz Foods, is an alumna of the Craig School and serves on the Foundation Board of Governors for the Fresno State Foundation. In 2017, she earned the Top Dog Distinguished Alumna Award from the Fresno State Alumni Association. Join us in thanking the Ruiz family for their continuous support! Read more about  Ruiz Foods Executive Classrooms 

Commission on the Future of Ag Update


President’s Commission on the Future of Agriculture Update

On June 1, the President’s Commission on the Future of Agriculture convened at the Smittcamp Alumni House to review and discuss the progress the college has made on the commission’s recommendations. In 2013, President Castro established a commission to enhance and build the Jordan College. The commission’s recommendations included creating stronger industry partnerships, creating a Food and Agriculture Institute, expanding the number of faculty and staff, increasing the number of student internships, expanding water-related majors/minors and building cross-college opportunities in curriculum and applied research.


Bulldoggers Rodeo Team

Bulldoggers Rodeo Team seeking support

A generous family foundation with local ties made a $250,000 gift to establish an endowment for the Fresno State Bulldoggers Rodeo Team, and committed an additional $500,000 matching grant toward every dollar donated by May 2019. Rodeo has a long history at Fresno State; it is the University's oldest club sport, with a rodeo held every year since 1949. Today, the team is comprised of 44 student athletes who excel in problem solving and animal care. The team has a group of supporters who are working to enhance the program and learning opportunities for these students. If you are interested in supporting the team, please visit their giving web page. Read more about the Fresno State Bulldoggers Rodeo Team

Wells Fargo Tech Upgrades


Wells Fargo enhances Gibson Farm Market with grant for technology upgrades

Wells Fargo awarded the Rue and Gwen Gibson Farm Market with a $25,000 grant in 2016 to help prepare students for a successful transition into the workplace; one goal of this project was to install advanced technology to achieve hands-on communication and analytical skills building. The market is now using television monitors to display pictures and videos to better tell the story of how the Jordan College provides the farm to fork and the business in between experience. On June 20, Ag One incoming board president and President of Business Banking – Central Division at Wells Fargo, Ken Ramos, spent time at the Gibson Farm Market with student employees and manager Jeremy Lewis. Ken visited with students and observed how the technology will impact our customers who visit the market. Kiosk iPads will be installed next, as part of the Wells Fargo contribution, to allow data to be collected and analyzed by students, faculty and market management. Join us in thanking Wells Fargo for their continued support!


Terraces Spring Dinner

L-R: Kevin Smith, Jessica Lopez (San Joaquin Gardens), Margaret Jensen (seated), Alcidia Freitas Gomes, Rodger Jensen, Bud Richter.

Jordan College highlighted at the Terraces' Spring Fest Dinner

On Friday, June 8, the Jordan College was highlighted during the sold-out Spring Fest Dinner at The Terraces at San Joaquin Gardens. Dean Sandra Witte along with Ag One Executive Director, Alcidia Freitas Gomes, Farm Manager David Sieperda and Winery Marketing Manager Kevin Smith provided an introduction and updates on the college. Faculty member Balaji Seth and a group of students from the department of industrial technology provided a drone demonstration. The dinner featured many products from the Fresno State farm. The college greatly appreciates the support and many friends we have at the Terraces, and look forward to continuing our relationship.

Dr. Parham Retires

Dr. Art Parham (center) pictured with a group of his recent student teachers.

Happy retirement to professor emeritus Dr. Art Parham

Dr. Art Parham, recently retired faculty from the department of animal sciences and agricultural education, was recognized at the annual California Agricultural Teachers’ Association conference in San Luis Obispo. Dr. Parham received his Masters and his Ph.D. from the University of Wyoming. He taught at Fresno State since 1982 and has an additional 10 years of experience teaching secondary vocational agriculture in California. Dr. Parham served the Jordan College for 36 years not only in the classroom but also as the chair of the department of animal sciences and agricultural education for 18 years, and as an advisor to student groups such as the State FFA Field Day Committee and Bulldoggers Rodeo Team. Congratulations Dr. Parham!

Planting seeds of success...

Important Dates 

                                     North Bay Alumni and Friends Events                                  July 11-12, 2018                 Dinner at Shone Farm (Santa Rosa) - July 11                                                            Lunch at Brasswood (St. Helena) - July 12    

September 9, 2018             Ag Boosters BBQ, Borba Ranch

September 9, 2018            Fantasy Vacation Drawing


Become an Ag One Member! 

If you’re not already a member, please consider joining Ag One and receive 10% off selected items like wine and olive oil at the Rue and Gwen Gibson Farm Market! Join or renew your existing membership today! JOIN NOW    


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