Fresno State took a sizable step toward its Helping Hams campaign goal to raise money to purchase 175 holiday hams for families in need thanks to a $3,500 donation from RCO Ag Credit, Inc.

Mitchell Metzler, a Fresno State agricultural business graduate (1978) and president and CEO of the agriculture finance company based in Fresno, delivered a check this week to purchase 116 hams.

“This is one of the most important causes that we believe in,” Metzler said. “It makes us proud to see our students, faculty, staff and the community come together and donate their resources to helping others. We are excited to be involved with this campaign for the fifth straight year and making a difference in others’ lives during the holidays.”

This year’s campaign ends on Friday, Dec. 4. Cash, check and credit card donations in increments of $5 will be accepted at the Rue and Gwen Gibson Farm Market (2385 E. Barstow Ave.).

Six donations (or $30) will purchase one ham for a family in need, and a tax deduction receipt is available upon request.

Fresno State students donating a minimum of $5 will receive a free kid’s scoop of ice cream (limit one scoop per student donor).

Charitable organizations affiliated with Fresno State can apply for consideration for holiday ham donations via email through Friday, Dec. 4. Application information is available by contacting Ashleigh Rocker Greene at or 559.278.7703.

Applications will be reviewed by the Associated Students Inc. Personnel Standing Committee, and organizations will be notified of their status via email by Thursday, Dec. 10.

The Helping Hams campaign is coordinated by the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, its student-operated Gibson Farm Market and Associated Students Inc. In the past two years, the campaign donated more than 350 hams.

Fresno-area residents can also buy their own holiday hams or other campus products at the Gibson Farm Market (9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday). For more information on the campaign, call 559.278.4511.