Thanks to a $100,000 philanthropic investment to the Ag One Foundation at Fresno State, the J. G. Boswell Foundation has established an endowment to support the University Agricultural Laboratory in memory of its longtime company farm manager, Dave Cosyns.
Cosyns began a 45-year career with the company after he graduated from Fresno State in 1971, and managed its Kern County operations until his passing in 2016. He developed his love of farming at a young age in his family’s farming operation in Orange County and later in Tulare.
The endowment will help to support the Fresno State farm, officially known as the University Agricultural Laboratory. Its 20 units and 1,000 acres provides students, faculty, staff and community members endless opportunities for hands-on training and research in areas that reflect and benefit the nation’s leading agricultural region.
The Boswell company and foundation has contributed more than $1.5 million to Fresno State. Prior support also includes a $1.2 million endowment for an endowed chair position in the plant science department that is currently held by Dr. Sharon Benes.
The company, one of the state’s largest farming entities, is a frequent employer for Fresno State graduates, including Jim Razor, a vice president for processing and the current Ag One Foundation president. The plant science alumnus who helped facilitate the most recent endowment, was part of a recent campus event that welcomed Cosyns’ widow, Nancy, and Jim Boswell, chairman and CEO, to see the campus farm firsthand.
“Dave Cosyns was the consummate farmer and an accomplished industry member,” said Razor. “He was known for his passion for farming, genuine character and vast knowledge of the agricultural industry. This fund is a tribute to his many contributions, which will help support and train new generations of agricultural leaders.”
Ag One, which was founded in 1979, has raised nearly $26.7 million in endowed funds. In that span, over $7.6 million in program support and scholarships have been awarded to 4,800 students. For the 2021-22 academic year, $950,000 will be provided.