“Bridging the GAP (Gateway to Agriculture Professions)” is the theme for the seventh annual Ag Summer Bridge program that begins Sunday, July 29, at California State University, Fresno, and concludes Friday, Aug.10.

More than 20 students from Fresno City College will participate in the two-week program specifically designed to provide underrepresented students with an opportunity to learn more about agriculture while experiencing some of the college life at Fresno State.

“Beyond learning about agricultural careers, the students will network with Fresno State educators and Central Valley agricultural leaders, participate in leadership activities and visit agricultural businesses in the Central Valley,” said Lonna Torrico, program director. “Some of the visitations will include Lyons-Magnus, Campos Brothers Farms, Sunwest Fruit Company, Sun-Maid Raisins and Booth Ranches,” all of which operate in the Fresno area.

Successful participants said the program was crucial to their success as students.

“All in all, the Ag Summer Bridge Program has been a rewarding one,” said Wendy Maldonado, a 2006 program graduate. “I leave here [Fresno State] with career goals in mind and lasting friendships. More importantly, many opportunities are waiting for me to explore.”

Alexander Hernandez, another Ag Summer Bridge 2006 graduate, said, “The program has opened so many doors to the many careers in the agriculture industry.”

Torrico said the project is a field trip experience in agricultural science for students at the university’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology.

The program is funded through a U.S. Department of Agriculture – Hispanic Serving Institutions grant.

For more information, contact Lonna Torrico at the Central Valley Ag Literacy office at 559.278.4559 or at ltorrico@csufresno.edu.