First-of-its-kind Jordan Agricultural Research Center opens on campus

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  • Jordan Agricultural Research Center

First-of-its-kind Jordan Agricultural Research Center opens on campus

The Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology at Fresno State celebrated the opening of the new Jordan Agricultural Research Center with a ribbon cutting at 9 a.m., Friday, May 13.

The 30,000-square-foot interdisciplinary agricultural research center, located on the campus farm at the corner of Barstow and Woodrow avenues, is the first of its kind in the California State University system. The facility features three floors of dry and wet research laboratories, flexible space and meeting rooms for Fresno State students and faculty to conduct advanced studies on agriculture, food and water.

Made possible by a $29.5 million dollar gift to Ag One from Hanabul “Bud” and Dee Jordan family in 2009, the research center is designed to foster collaboration between students and faculty in Fresno State’s Jordan College, Lyles College of Engineering and College of Science and Mathematics, as well as industry partners.

“The research that will take place within these walls will have global significance for years to come,” said Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro. “The Jordan Agricultural Research Center is where our talented students and faculty will boldly work together to advance the agricultural production, natural resources and food systems critical to our future success as a Valley, state, nation and planet.”

The first floor includes research areas for robotics, computer water modeling and visualization and sensory evaluation, and is home to the California Water Institute. The second floor is home to environmental air and water quality and bioenergy system research laboratories. The top level includes genomics, entomology, microbiology and plant physiology laboratories. The second and third floors have flexible modules built in for future research needs.

All three floors include large lounges and interaction areas for collaboration. A spacious conference and training room and a lobby will be located near the main entrance.

“The Jordan Agricultural Research Center is a revolutionary place that will better connect our college with the nation’s leading agricultural area,” said Sandra Witte, dean of the Jordan College. “Being able to work directly with other colleges and companies gives our students and faculty new ways to directly link to the professional world. It will provide vital experience to solving real-world issues while using the latest research methods and equipment. The generosity of the Jordan family will allow future generations of students to achieve their dreams and enhance quality of life for the region and beyond.”

At Friday’s ribbon cutting, the Jordan College also announced laboratory naming sponsorships from two leading agricultural companies, The Wonderful Company and Bayer.

The Wonderful Company pledged $500,000 to sponsor the training and conference center. This space will meet the needs of the Jordan College for years to come and serve as a dedicated place for industry leaders and stakeholders to gather.

“Fresno State is rapidly becoming one of the top agricultural education and research institutions in the country,” said Stewart and Lynda Resnick, co-owners of The Wonderful Company. “As an agriculture industry leader and one of the world’s largest growers of citrus, nuts and pomegranates, we have a vested interest in the future of farming. We are pleased to lend our support to this unique research facility, which will further the science of agriculture and train our next generation of industry leaders.”

Bayer pledged $200,000 to sponsor the entomology laboratory, where researchers will maintain and study colonies of insect pests and beneficial insects to develop critical control and integrated pest management strategies.

“This effort will focus on talent development in order to provide internship and job opportunities for current students, continued research on key pests facing agriculture in the Central Valley and collaboration with students in the agricultural department to address crucial issues in the ag sector,” said Bayer CropScience LP President and CEO Jim Blome.

Last year the Jordan College announced additional naming gifts from:

  • Harry B. Moordigian, Jr., Fresno State alumnus and dentist, in support of the microbiology laboratory;
  • Earl and Beverly Knobloch, Fresno State alumni, for the instrument and robotics laboratory;
  • Olam Spices and Vegetable Ingredients, a global provider of agriculture products and food ingredients, to support sensory evaluation, tasting and prep laboratory.

Dee Jordan was present at the center’s groundbreaking in June 2014 and monitored its construction through occasional visits and contact with Ag One staff before passing away in November 2015 at age 87. Her husband Bud preceded her in death in 2002 at age 83. His brother Lowell was also involved in the donation and lived on the family ranch and tended to cattle. He passed away in July 2005 at age 81.

Dr. Moordigian was also present at the project’s groundbreaking. He passed away in November 2015 at age 76.

For more information, contact Geoff Thurner at 559.278.7221 or gthurner@csufresno.edu.

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