Agricultural Leaders Underscore the California State University's Role in the Industry


Agricultural Leaders Underscore the California State University's Role in the Industry
Cal Poly Pomona will display colorful and tangible examples of the programs contributing to the progress of the agricultural and timber industries at a forum with agricultural leaders throughout the state on Feb. 4 at Fresno State.

Five campuses of the California State University system, including Cal Poly Pomona, will hold a forum with agricultural leaders throughout the state on Friday,  Feb. 4, at Fresno State to discuss the CSU's essential role in agricultural research and education.

“The CSU has an enormous impact in California agriculture,” says Bill Pauli, president of the California Farm Bureau Federation and keynote speaker. “Growers, farm managers and employees are educated at CSU campuses where they are exposed to hands-on agricultural learning, technical education and research. Their educational experiences will continue to have a major impact on the future of California agriculture.”

“The CSU produces more than 52 percent of the state's graduates in agriculture-related majors,” says CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed. “That is about 1,200 job-ready graduates every year who invigorate the state's economy. Were it not for this highly-qualified workforce, California agriculture simply would not enjoy the level of prosperity that it does.”

The forum, which will be held at the Fresno State Viticulture Center, will focus on CSU's role as a higher education leader in applied research and industry partnerships that help advance agricultural knowledge.

“The expanding research of CSU faculty and students is solving problems and advancing new initiatives in the wine industry,” says Mary Wagner, chief technology officer for E. & J. Gallo Winery. “The impact of their work is fueling the agricultural sector, one that represents 75 percent of the state's economy.”    

Participating campuses — Cal Poly Pomona, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Fresno State, CSU Chico and Humboldt State University – will display colorful and tangible examples of the programs contributing to the progress of the agricultural and timber industries.

Speakers and attendees will include representatives from government organizations, growers, ranchers, and the food, wine and timber industries. Attendees will discuss their long-standing partnerships with CSU campuses, and examine the role of these collaborations in keeping California's agricultural industry vibrant.

Panelists include:

  • Tonya Antle of Tanimura & Antle, Inc., a member of the USDA Advisory Board
  • Chuck Ahelm, former undersecretary, California Department of Food & Agriculture
  • Mark Burrell, managing partner, The West Mark Group
  • Mary Wagner, chief Technology Officer of E. & J. Gallo Winery
  • George Soares, managing partner of Kahn, Soares & Conway, LLP

The event is sponsored by the California State University Chancellor's Office. Speakers from the CSU system include:

  • John Welty, president, California State University, Fresno
  • Warren Baker, president, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
  • Charles B. Reed, chancellor, California State University system