One of the Valley’s most notable agrarians, Rodger Blaine Jensen, this week will be honored for his lifetime contributions to agriculture at a Community Salute sponsored by Ag One at California State University, Fresno.
Jensen, who will turn 79 next September, began farming in 1948 when he and a partner bought 2,000 acres of raw land and planted a variety of citrus, olive and nut trees.
Success with his first agricultural endeavor paved the way for Jensen’s future in agriculture. As president of S &J Ranch in Madera, he now manages orchards in excess of three million trees a year with the help of a qualified team of employees.
Alcidia Freitas Comes, executive director of Ag One, said that Jensen is being honored because of his outstanding dedication and leadership.
“Rodger has spent a lifetime working to make our university a better place, especially for the students in the School of Agricultural Sciences and Technology through his gift of time and support. He has touched the lives of so many people and helped countless organizations.”
Respected and admired by his friends, Jensen is a man who takes
pride in his community — currently he sits on the board of directors of Fresno Historical Society. Jensen previously served on the Fresno
Metropolitan Museum, Valley Children’s Hospital, Fresno City and County Chamber of Commerce and the California Chamber of Commerce.
A strong supporter of higher education, Jensen is actively involved at Fresno State. A co-founder of the Ag One Foundation, Jensen served on the Board of Governors at Fresno State as well as numerous advisory positions for the School of Agricultural Sciences and Technology and the Craig School of Business.
Long-time friend Sid Cox, a public relations consultant who has spent 45 years in agriculture, describes Jensen as a “giver.”
“He believes in supporting the industry he has served for so long,” said Cox. Cox added that Jensen is deserving of this honor because of his life-long commitment to agriculture and because he is a true leader in the industry.
Cox will be the master of ceremonies at the Community Salute, a program that honors leaders in agriculture, which will be held at Rancho Vista Del Rio in Madera from 6 to 9 p.m. on June 12.
Secretary of State Bill Jones and Senator Jim Costa, both Fresno State graduates, will co-host the Community Salute. For reservations, call Ag One at (559) 278-4266.