National Agriculture Week will be observed at Fresno State March 24-28 with activities to raise agricultural awareness across campus including guest speaker Mario Santoyo, executive director and technical advisor for the California Latino Water Coalition.

The free, public events are presented by the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology Student Leadership Council.

Santoyo is also the assistant general manager of the Friant Water Authority, which represents the water districts along the southern San Joaquin Valley’s east side. He will speak at 2 p.m. Friday, March 28in the Henry Madden Library, Room 2206.

With nearly 30 years of experience in water resources, Santoyo will address how California faces another year of drought accompanied by the first-ever zero-allocation of federal water to Central Valley farm districts. His discussion will also provide an action plan, which includes passing the proposed water bill this November, said Sarena Silva, president of the Student Leadership Council.

“It is my hope that during National Ag Week, students take the time to appreciate the agriculture industry and get educated about where their food and fiber comes from and its vital importance in their daily lives,” Silva said.

Fresno State’s Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology is home to a 1,100-acre campus farm, the University Agricultural Laboratory, that gives students the opportunity to learn and study production agriculture as well as imperative water resource and allocation practices.

The farm harvests seasonal vegetables, olives for olive oil production, tree nuts and a variety of tree fruits and citrus. It is also home to hundreds of head of livestock which include beef and dairy cattle, sheep, swine, horses and chickens.

With the support of the Agricultural Foundation of Fresno State, students gain hands-on learning experience through coursework or part time employment at the campus farm.

National Agriculture Week will kick off on Monday, March 24 with an open house from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. at Fresno State’s Gibson Farm Market  (5638 Chestnut Ave.).

Items sold at the market are either harvested or produced by students, such as cheese, milk, fresh and frozen meats, wine, ice cream and fresh produce. Open house guests can sample the variety of signature Fresno State products as well as win prizes.

Other activities during the week are:

  • Tuesday, March 25, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
    • Agricultural Awareness Day in the Free Speech Area. Students will distribute agriculture facts and answer questions regarding the agriculture industry or agriculture at Fresno State.
  • Wednesday, March 26, 1 p.m.-2 p.m.
    • Ice Cream with the Deans. Join Dr. Charles Boyer, Jordan College dean, and Dr. Sandra Witte, dean of Graduate Studies, for Fresno State ice cream in the courtyard of the Agricultural Sciences building.
  • Wednesday, March 26, 2 p.m.-3 p.m.
    • Jordan College clubs, students, faculty and staff will participate in the Jordan College Olympic Games. Teams of four will face off in three different “Farm Olympic” games on the Agricultural Sciences Lawn.

For more information on National Agriculture Week contact Silva at 559.278.2061.

(Copy by Jodi Raley, University Communications news student assistant).

Related links: