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The Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology

2016 Spring Summer Newsletter

Sandra WitteWelcome From the Dean

We are finishing one of the most memorable semesters ever for the Jordan College! I am anxious to share with you all the great things going on.

On May 13 we ‘cut the ribbon’ on the $29.5 million Jordan Agricultural Research Center a project that broke ground nearly two years ago. The project was funded by a gift from Bud, Dee and Lowell Jordan in 2009.

However, the story really started many years earlier at a GMC motorhome rally when the Jordan family first heard about us from retired Fresno State agricultural business professor Bob Glim and his wife Dorothy. They told their fellow rally participants about all the exciting products and academic programs that we offer and a new organization that had been started to support students and programs – the Ag One Foundation. The Jordans started by funding scholarships and eventually giving their amazing gift to support agricultural research. They have played a vital role in the lives of so many of our college’s students, staff and faculty.

We are also grateful to the center’s laboratory sponsors and partners that include Bayer Crop Science, Earl and Beverly Knobloch, the late Dr. Harry B. Moordigian, Jr., Olam, and The Wonderful Company. Their generosity has given us the ability to continue to keep this building on the cutting edge.

April brought waves of blue to campus – blue corduroy FFA jackets that is! The Jordan College helped host another exciting FFA State Convention that saw a record high of more than 6,000 in attendance. There were more than 3,200 students (another record high) taking part in the 25 FFA Field Days on campus, too.

As I write this, we are preparing for our college convocation honoring 487 graduating students – our largest class ever! Among the group of graduates are nine students who have been part of our first honors cohort. We are so proud of the success of this program and the amazing work that these students accomplished this past year as they worked with their faculty mentors to find solutions to real-world challenges in the fields of food, family and agriculture.

Memorial Day weekend marks the return of sweet corn to our Rue & Gwen Gibson Farm Market! I know I’ll see many of you in the market buying corn and, hopefully, other great items, too. We’ve just hired a new manager, Jeremy Lewis, and he has big plans to expand our line of student-produced products from our campus farm in new and exciting ways. He comes to us from Whole Foods in Fresno where he had worked since October 2002 in the grocery, produce, frozen and prepared foods sections.

Coming in June, President Castro, his wife Mary, myself, Senior Development Director Alcidia Gomes and Animal Sciences Faculty John Cordeiro will travel to the Azorean city of Angra de Heroismo on the island of Terceira. We will be finalizing an agreement with the agricultural program at the University of the Azores to have our students participate in a variety of agricultural education exchanges between the campuses. We thank the Tulare-Angra Sister City Foundation for being the catalyst in getting this program going. The program will allow students from both countries to experience diversity in agriculture while also preparing to work in a global economy.

On a personal note, I want to thank everybody for all the kind words that I’ve received since I was named permanent dean during National Agriculture Week in March. This year is my 35th year as a member of the Fresno State family, and I’m proud to continue to be part of the Jordan College and, with President Castro’s tremendous support, make a difference in the nation’s leading agriculture area.

Thanks to all of you – alumni, friends, donors, partners and supporters – for all that you do for us. We sincerely appreciate you and look forward to continuing to work with you in the 2016-17 academic year!

Sandra Witte
Dean, Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology

Jordan Agricultural Research Center Ribbon-Cutting

Jordan Agricultural Research Center showcased to public (photos)
The $24.5 million Jordan Agricultural Research Center opened its doors (story) on May 13, 2016, and the College also announced new lab sponsorships by The Wonderful Company (story) and Bayer Crop Science (story).


Dean's Medalists Kelli Williamson & Andrew Beebe

Williamson & Beebe honored as Jordan College Dean’s Medalists
Viticulture and Enology graduate student Andrew Beebe and senior Viticulture and Food Science double major Kelli Williamson were named the Jordan College’s Dean’s Medalists. (click for student profiles).


CEC Reception


University receives $5 million grant to promote water and energy innovation
Spearheaded by its International Center for Water Technology, Fresno State has been awarded a California Energy Commission grant to establish the Central Valley Energy Innovation Cluster (read more).


Jordan College Honors Cohort - Class 1


First Jordan College Honors Cohort presents research
The nine-member first Jordan College Honors Student Cohort presented results from their individual research projects conducted the past year under the guidance of their faculty mentors (read more).


Carolyn Chase - Food Processing Lab

Student Spotlight: Carolyn Chase
The honors cohort member is one of the Jordan College’s most dynamic students with her food science academic focus, family and military service (click to watch).


Fresno State Pre-Veterinary Club


Pre-Vet students shining in the classroom and the community
The Fresno State Pre-Vet Club is one of the College’s most active with its many community and professional enhancement events (read more).


Industrial Technology lab


Industrial Technology expands its focus and curriculum  (photos)
The Industrial Technology Department is continuing to meet the profession’s demand for graduates with additional process and system management skills (read more).


Dr. Amber Hammons - child, family & consumer sciences internship class


Child, Family & Consumer Sciences internship class prepares students for future
Dr. Amber Hammons and the Child and Family Sevices 193 Internship Class are providing students with key professional experiences before they graduate (read more).


Plant Sciene Soil Judging Team


Soil Judging Team caps successful first year (photos)
Directed by area soil scientists and volunteer coaches Michael Sowers and Dr. Phil Smith, the Jordan College’s Soil Judging Team competed at the National Soil Judging Contest in Manhattan, Kansas in April (read more).


Mark ManfredoALUMNI

Agricultural Business graduate carries on tradition
Madera native and 1992 Fresno State alumnus Dr. Mark Manfredo admits that he owes a lot to his former agricultural business professors whose teaching and mentorship led him on a similar career path. He currently serves as Arizona State University’s Director of the Morrison School of Agribusiness and Associate Dean for the W.P. Carey School of Business yet also still proudly considers himself a Bulldog (read interview).


Fresno State receives grant to support Portuguese exchange program


FLAD grant to support Azorean exchange program  (photos)
Lisbon-based Luso-American Development Foundation (FLAD) gave $49,000 to launch a partnership between Fresno State and the University of the Azores to encourage an agricultural student exchange (read more).

 Turf Day Golf Tourney


Ag One hosts 45th Turf Day Golf Tourney
View pictures from the annual event that was hosted by title sponsor Willowood USA at the Belmont Country Club and brought together 136 Jordan College alumni, friends and industry sponsors. (photos)

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2415 E. San Ramon, MS AS79
Fresno CA 93740  •  Phone 559.278.2061