Global healthy food and beverage leader The Wonderful Company has established a $500,000 endowment with the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology at Fresno State to support future research in the new Jordan Agricultural Research Center.
Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro announced the gift Friday during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the facility, a 30,000-square-foot interdisciplinary research center designed to foster collaboration among students and faculty in agricultural sciences and technology, engineering, science and mathematics.
The gift from The Wonderful Company will enhance the first floor conference room of the center. The space, which will be named in honor of the company, will provide students, staff, faculty and Jordan College industry partners with a dedicated area for collaboration, teaching and training with the latest multimedia capabilities.
“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.”
Headquartered in Los Angeles, The Wonderful Company is a privately held $4.8 billion global company dedicated to harvesting health and happiness around the world. Its iconic brands include FIJI Water, POM Wonderful, Wonderful Pistachios & Wonderful Almonds, Wonderful Halos and Teleflora.
“We’re ecstatic to add another partnership with The Wonderful Company,” said Dr. Sandra Witte, dean of the Jordan College. “The company has a worldwide reputation for creating a diverse array of innovative, healthy foods and plant products. Those are the same ideals and products that we emphasize in our classes and on our 1,000-acre campus farm. We have seen many of our students and alumni thrive at The Wonderful Company as employees, and look forward to continuing to work with the company to help shape the future of agriculture in the Central Valley and beyond.”
The Jordan College also received a gift from the company in 2007 to create the Advanced Teaching and Research Field Laboratory for Citriculture. The program installed one of the world’s most advanced and efficient irrigation systems in campus citrus orchards and used Web-based technology and individualized watering schedules based on soil types.
The Wonderful Company’s gift continues its long-standing commitment to corporate social responsibility, including more than $120 million invested in environmental technologies and sustainability research, nearly $50 million in charitable giving and Central Valley education initiatives in 2015 alone, $30 million toward the construction of a new charter school campus in Delano, and an innovative health and wellness program for its Central Valley employees and their families.
The Jordan Agricultural Research Center is located at the corner of Barstow and Woodrow avenues and was made possible by a $29.5 million gift from the Bud and Dee Jordan family in 2009.