Agricultural students from Orange County will have more scholarship and educational opportunities at Cal Poly Pomona, thanks to a local farm bureau.
The Orange County Farm Bureau has given $165,000 to the Huntley College of Agriculture at Cal Poly Pomona to help with student scholarships and fellowships.
“We’re grateful for the farm bureau’s gift,” Huntley College Interim Dean Lisa Kessler said. “It will go a long way toward enhancing our students’ educational experience.”
Kessler and other Huntley College leaders formally thanked Orange County Farm Bureau representatives at a small ceremony Wednesday at the AGRIscapes Center.
“Investing in the education of student leaders pursuing careers in agriculture is an investment in the future of agriculture,” Orange County Farm Bureau President Mark Lopez said. “What we see here at the Huntley College of Agriculture gives us hope for the long-term future of agriculture in Orange County and California.”
The bureau will give $20,000 a year over five years to establish fellowships for undergraduate agricultural students from Orange County, said Valerie Mellano, professor and chair of the plant science and agribusiness and food industry management/agricultural science departments. Under these fellowships, students will receive a stipend toward working on farms or traveling abroad to learn more about agriculture, she said.
“This will provide our students with valuable, hands-on learning opportunities,” Mellano said. “They will have real-world experience, thanks to the Orange County Farm Bureau.”
The remaining $65,000 will go toward an endowment that will provide scholarships for agricultural students from Orange County, Mellano said.
The Huntley College draws many freshmen and transfer students from Orange County high schools and community colleges. In addition to being from Orange County, the students must study agribusiness, plant science or agricultural science to qualify for the fellowship and scholarships.