Citriculture Research Lab established with $200,000 gift from Paramount Citrus

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Citriculture Research Lab established with $200,000 gift from Paramount Citrus

A $200,000 gift by Paramount Citrus of Delano will establish the Advanced Teaching and Research Field Laboratory for Citriculture at California State University, Fresno, officials announced today.

The donation of cash and in-kind services over five years will help diversify the citrus varieties on the University Farm Laboratory, said Dr. Todd Einhorn, a professor in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology’s Department of Plant Science.

The gift also awards a one-year, $12,000 competitive undergraduate student fellowship each of the next five years. The fellowship offers an intensive hands-on learning experience in citriculture. Funds also were set aside to purchase books and supplies for students enrolled in this fall’s citriculture course in the Horticulture Department.

“The gift represents a progressive, new model for supporting educational programs,” Einhorn said.

David Krause, president of Paramount Citrus; Joel Epstein, Paramount’s director of community relations; and Kevin Olsen, vice president of S&J Ranch, will present the textbooks to students in Einhorn’s class on Friday, Nov. 30.

Paramount is a major citrus grower, packer and shipper, which owns and farms approximately 20,000 acres (bearing and in development) of Clementine mandarins, navel and Valencia oranges, lemons and other citrus varieties in the San Joaquin Valley and Ventura County. The company farms another 10,000 acres of citrus, nuts and other permanent crops in Central California through its S&J Farm Management subsidiary.

“We are grateful for the role these industry partners are playing in developing the knowledge base of Fresno State plant science students who are engaged in the study of citriculture,” said Dr. Charles Boyer, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology.

He added that the program will enhance the University Farm laboratory by selecting and planting highly marketable citrus cultivars. Twelve acres of the 16-acre citrus portion of the farm will be replanted utilizing several rootstock cultivar combinations to address teaching and research initiatives.

“Educational and research plantings will be at current industry-standard planting densities, giving our students direct opportunities to learn current California citrus production practices,” Einhorn said.

The gift also supports developing and installing a highly efficient irrigation system for the University Farm Laboratory’s citrus acreage.

Students will work with plant science faculty and Paramount representatives to install the irrigation system, and learn by doing how to maintain the new plantings. Einhorn said students also will learn about land preparation and planting, cultivar evaluation, scion/rootstock relationships, canopy architecture and training strategies, irrigation and fertilization protocols and the effects of different cultural practices on fruit size and quality.

For more information, contact Einhorn at teinhorn@csufresno.edu.

BACKGROUND

Paramount Citrus, an integrated orange, lemon and Clementine grower/packer/shipper, owns and farms approximately 20,000 acres (bearing and development) of Clementine mandarins, navel oranges, Valencia oranges, lemons and other citrus varieties in the San Joaquin Valley and Ventura County.

S&J Ranch is a farm management company involved in the production of citrus, nuts and other permanent crops in the San Joaquin Valley. S&J started operations in 1950.