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The Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology

Tyler Furtado, Yamileth Martinez Gomez, Tatyn Silva, and Yesenia Ventura Ramirez

Students gain insight into produce industry careers 

(May 16, 2023) -- Four agricultural business students gained special industry insight through the Career Pathways Program at the International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) annual conference in Anaheim on April 25-27.

Juniors Tyler Furtado, Yamileth Martinez Gomez and Tatyn Silva and senior Yesenia Ventura Ramirez were selected to participate based on their backgrounds. Prior to the event, they worked with industry mentors to better understand internship and job opportunities that included an account manager, buyers, director of marketing and sales and a commodity manager at Grocery Outlet, Progressive Produce and Robinson Fresh.

The program helps to recruit young professionals and college graduates into the industry, like Fresno State alumnus Kyle Griffith at a past conference, through networking opportunities, presentations and industry tours of Legacy Farms and Frieda's. All of these activities delve into the uniqueness and culture of the produce industry and give students a chance to hone interpersonal skills necessary for success in the business world.  

In addition to the IFPA Career Pathways Program in Anaheim, students are required to complete pre- and post-conference activities to earn a certificate of completion that is respected in the industry.

The program, which Fresno State has been a part of for more than a decade, also connects them with other students and faculty from Cal Poly Pomona and Chapman University, and 12 young professionals from the Fresh Produce and Floral Council (FPFC) Apprentice Program.

The IFPA has another program held at a conference in Monterey each year that has included programs that have targeted Fresno State Food Science and Nutrition Department students.