of Fresno State Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology will receive one-time funding of $18.75 million from the state in the 2022-23 budget to provide infrastructure needed to build programs that prepare future generations for regenerative agricultural practices. This will create long-term stability for food and agricultural systems in the face of changing climate patterns.
“The food and agriculture sectors are vital to the future stability of our region, state and nation. Educating students and building resilience in these areas is critical to the success of farmers and others in these areas,” said Dennis Nef, dean of the college. “This investment by Governor Gavin Newsom and the state legislature in climate-smart agriculture will benefit future generations by equipping students entering the workforce with skills that will enable them to address the environmental challenges we face and ensure the health of the earth, of water and air resources in the future”.
The 2022-23 California budget, signed by Newsom on June 30, included $75 million earmarked for California State University Farms for equipment and infrastructure improvements at the university’s agricultural production units. Each campus will receive $18.75 million.
The funding was made possible through the collective efforts of the four Cal State universities that have agriculture campuses: Fresno State, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, California State Polytechnic, Pomonaand California State University, Chico.
At Fresno State, more than 1,900 students are actively involved in academic programs with direct ties to agriculture — and work directly at the University’s 1,000-acre Agricultural Laboratory on campus managing the field operations of 18 different businesses and gaining firsthand experience that prepares them for successful careers.
In 2020 California farms and ranches generated $49.1 billion in sales. More than one-third of the nation’s vegetables and two-thirds of the nation’s fruits and nuts are grown in California. Fresno State is located in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley, and the four counties it serves account for more than 39% of California’s agricultural production – making it essential that the university’s future workforce be prepared to tackle climate-smart agriculture solutions.
At Fresno State, the funding will be used to:
- Replace old farm equipment with climate-smart upgrades.
- Automate irrigation systems.
- Invest in energy efficient systems in your winery, dairy and meat science lab.
- Strengthening the Plant Sciences program with greenhouse facility upgrades.
- Reduce the environmental footprint of animal units.
Jordan College employs more than 100 students in its 18 University Agricultural Laboratory businesses, where students learn first-hand the intricacies of managing and operating these units. In addition, these facilities serve as classrooms — exposing students daily to existing challenges and preparing them to become future leaders. The campus winery is the first winery with campus ties in the country.
“We maintain a laser focus on student success using high-impact internships, including University Agricultural Lab jobs, internships and classroom case studies,” Nef said. “This funding will help us make improvements that build on the support we receive from our industry partners, who know that investing in the future workforce ensures a bright future for our students.”
Jordan College awarded more than $18 million in state funding Source link Jordan College awarded more than $18 million in state funding