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Ag One Foundation

May 2019 Enews

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Dean Witte
Dean Witte announces retirement

Ag One Foundation Family,

I am filled with excitement and some sadness, too, as I tell you I will be retiring this summer. I am excited that we have been able to work together to move the college forward the last few years. There is still much to do and I am confident that each of you will continue to play an important role as the college continues to move towards greatness. It is sad for me that I will not be part of the daily work. However, I hope to continue to be a supporter for years to come.

 As I reflect on my time as dean, I consider my relationship with the members of Ag One to be one of the most enjoyable aspects of the job. You have all been so kind and so supportive of me.

 I plan to work through June 2019 and begin vacation on July 1. I have agreed to come in as needed through this transition. I expect my vacation time will be exhausted sometime in October. I will be working with Interim Provost Harper, Provost Designate Jimenez-Sandoval and President Castro to develop a leadership plan for the Jordan College during the next year while a search is conducted.

 Thank you for all of your support. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to serve you.

 Sandy S. Witte



Mark Salwasser

Mark Salwasser named Farm Manager

Congratulations to Mark Salwasser ('88) who has accepted the position of Farm Manager effective June 3, 2019. Mark has worked on campus for nearly 30 years in different areas of the University Agricultural Laboratory (farm), including the vineyards, field crops, orchards, and ag operations / farm maintenance. In his role as farm manager, he will oversee the 1,000 acre farm laboratory and the agricultural enterprises that mirror the diversity of the San Joaquin Valley and California agriculture which include wine, table and raisin grape vineyards, vegetable and field crops, fruit and nut trees and dairy, beef, pork, poultry, sheep and horticulture units.


Outgoing Directors

Farewell to outgoing Ag One directors

At the May Board of Directors meeting, Ag One recognized two outgoing directors for their continuous support. Please join us in thanking Aaron Attebery and Don Parreira for their devoted service to the Jordan College over the past six years. As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Ag One Foundation, we reflect on the impact that our current and previous directors have made on the Jordan College, our students and our programs.

Visit our website to view a list of all directors


Portuguese American

Dr. Witte named honorary Portuguese American of the year

Join us in congratulating Dean Sandra Witte who was named honorary Portuguese-American of the year from the Society of Portuguese American Students of Tulare County (SOPAS). Dr. Witte championed the agricultural focused student exchange program between Fresno State and the University of the Azores.  The agreement, which has been in place since 2016, is in its third phase.  Her work has made it possible for more than 30 students and faculty to travel, study and experience hands-on learning in the Azores and California.  Four Jordan College students will depart on June 12 for a month long internship on the island of Terceira.


Turf Day

Sold out Turf Day Golf Classic was a great success

Thank you to all who supported the 48th annual Turf Day Golf Classic sponsored by My Job Depends on Ag. The sold-out tournament was held on Monday, May 13 at the Belmont Country Club. Alumni and friends joined us for a swinging good time including lunch sponsored by Zenith Agribusiness Solutions, 19th Hole Social sponsored by IBS Supplies, Inc., and dinner sponsored by Nichino America, Inc. Congratulations to the winning teams: Low Gross Team –Scott Uyesaka, Larry Parsons, Bill Grigsby and Mark Toubeaux, and the 1st Place team – Victor Thao, Leo Munoz, Walter Pierce and Raul Samora.


Portuguese Dinner

Jordan College hosts “Portuguese Culinary Journey”

Jordan College food science and enology students, faculty and staff had the opportunity to prepare and host a special "Portuguese Culinary Journey" dinner at the Fresno State Winery on May 1. The menu was coordinated by visiting Portuguese guest chef Paulo Rocha. The event was organized by the Portuguese Beyond Borders Institute and proceeds benefited the student exchange program. Click below to .

View more photos


John Harris

John Harris awarded honorary doctorate at Fresno State’s 108th Commencement

Join us in congratulating John Harris who received an honorary Doctor of Science degree at Fresno State’s Commencement ceremony on May 18. Honorary doctoral degrees are awarded on behalf of the California State University system and Fresno State in recognition of excellence and extraordinary achievement in significant areas of human endeavor that embody the objectives and ideals of the CSU system. They recognize men and women whose lives and significant achievements should serve as examples of the California State University’s aspirations for its diverse student body. Ag One and the Jordan College greatly appreciate John’s continued support of our students and programs. 

Congratulations Dr. Harris!


BBQ picnic

Save the date – Ag Boosters BBQ September 8

Mark your calendars for the 42nd Annual Ag Boosters BBQ on Sunday, September 8! Join us for an exciting evening including a social hour sponsored by Fermin Campos Farms featuring Fresno State farm products and cheese and cracker tasting provided by valley industry partners. Check out the CWA Country Store sponsored by Ultra Gro Plant Food and purchase raffle tickets in the Dog House sponsored by Fowler Packing. Enjoy Fresno State wine and other beverages at the bar sponsored by Rabobank and a delicious barbecue dinner sponsored by Zenith Agribusiness Solutions. Tickets are $50/person, $450/table and sponsorships are still available. 

Visit the Ag One website for more information


Rodeo Team

Bulldoggers Rodeo Team advances to College National Finals Rodeo

Congratulations to the Fresno State Bulldoggers Rodeo Team who will compete in the College National Finals Rodeo in June. As of May 6, Fresno State has the first place men’s team title in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association standings and the women’s team is ranked fifth. Of the top 10 men all-around, Fresno State holds 5 spots, and the Bulldoggers hold top ranks in most of the individual categories. Rodeo has a long history at Fresno State; it is the University's oldest club sport, with a rodeo held every year since 1949. These student athletes 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.

Contact Ag One

Marvin Meyers

Marvin Meyers visits Livestock Judging Class

Marvin Meyers met with students in the Livestock Judging Class on May 14 as they prepared for their finals. The class was able to present a mock judging competition for Meyers, who was the first donor towards the Livestock Judging program and whom the program is named after. Thanks to Meyers and the other program donors’ generous support in establishing an endowment, the team can continue to compete in national contests. Please join us in thanking Marvin for his continued support!


Cummings Family

Cummings family meet with scholarship recipients

On April 29, Andrew Cummings and his nephew Cory Cummings ('14) with T.G. Schmeiser Co., Inc. met with Ryan Vierra, Plant Science major, and Audrey Maze, Ag Business major, the students who received this year’s Penn Cummings/T.G. Schmeiser scholarship. For more than 20 years, Andrew and his mother Shirley Cummings have graciously supported students through a scholarship award that covers full tuition and fees for students majoring in the Jordan College. This scholarship is named after Shirley's husband, Penn Cummings. Join us in thanking the Cummings for their continued support!


Lodi Event

Northern San Joaquin Valley alumni and friends gather for inaugural reception

Thank you to the alumni and friends who gathered at Michael David Winery in Lodi for the inaugural Northern San Joaquin Valley alumni and friends reception. More than 120 guests attended the event on May 2 to celebrate Fresno State agriculture and hear from Dean Witte as well as the new director of the Viticulture and Enology Research Center, Dr. Stephan Sommer. Proceeds from the event will support students and programs in the Jordan College.


Rob ORourke

Endowment established in memory of Rob O’Rourke

Last summer, Ag One, the Jordan College and Fresno State lost a dear friend and alumnus, Rob O’Rourke. In his memory, friends and family have come together to establish the Ag One – Robert O’Rourke Memorial Scholarship endowment which will support students in the Jordan College. Rob graduated from Fresno State in 1988 and spent nearly 40 years working in procurement, inspection, and sales and marketing of all major produce categories. He and his brother, current Ag One Director John O'Rourke ('93), started RJO Produce Marketing in 1993, where he most recently served as vice president of business development. With a reputation for being forward-thinking and innovative, Rob was well known throughout the produce and retail industries. He was passionately involved with and supported Catholic Charities, Boys Scouts of America, Knights of Columbus, Fresno State, San Joaquin Country Club and served on the membership committee for the Produce Marketing Association. 

Supporting students in the Jordan College


Wonderful Group

Wonderful Education Program awards scholarships

Congratulations to the 2019 Wonderful College Scholars! The Wonderful Scholars represent students from across the Central Valley - children of Wonderful Company employees based in the Central Valley, graduates of the Wonderful College Prep Academy and graduates from Wonderful Agriculture Career Prep. This year, 300 scholars will attend four-year universities, of which more than 80 will be attending Fresno State.  Alcidia Gomes and Shannon Fast attended the Wonderful Education awards night on May 23 where the future Bulldogs and their classmates were presented their scholarships.

Planting Seeds for Success...

Important Dates Important Dates

June 18 - 20, 2019              Cow Camp at Fresno State

September 8, 2019               Ag Boosters BBQ 

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