For the past decade, Fresno State’s Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology has helped educate military civil affairs officers to better understand local farming systems in regions of the world where they will deploy, better preparing them to identify and address global food insecurity challenges, thereby reducing regional instability.

The signing of a memorandum of understanding today by leaders of Fresno State and the U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne) formalizes the ongoing collaboration between these two entities.

“This partnership between Fresno State’s Jordan College and the U.S. Army Civil Affairs leverages our knowledge of agriculture and food security issues in support of the Army’s ongoing mission to promote peace and security around the world,” said Fresno State President Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval.

“The military specialty that I represent and that our soldiers practice is how to avoid conflict, how to avoid war,” said General Christopher J. Dziubek, commanding general, 351st Civil Affairs Command. “When a war breaks out, we focus on bringing that war to a resolution that is long lasting. Food insecurity does not contribute to those goals. And so by arming us, by giving us the skills, the knowledge, over the last 10, 15 years, you’ve enabled us to achieve our military missions, which hopefully brought some modicum of peace or stability to people in a variety of places around the world. And so I’m grateful to be given the opportunity to sign this memorandum of understanding between our two organizations.”

Through this partnership, both organizations seek to create the following opportunities, which will benefit both Fresno State students and U.S. military personnel.

  • Fresno State and Civil Affairs will develop collaborative events to improve the inter-disciplinary skills to assist U.S. military personnel in their overall understanding of agri-business and food security-related issues. 
  • Fresno State will provide resources, including military training aids and materials, workshops and conferences, for skills exchange and capacity building, integrating agri-business and food security practices and technology into exercises, internships, cross-training, and mission assignment opportunities and provide a platform to support outreach to organizations in the wider military and agri-business professional communities.
  • Fresno State will provide capacity-building training using the Department of Defense-endorsed “Agricultural Development for Armed Forces Pre-Deployment Training” (ADAPT) framework.
  • Fresno State and Civil Affairs will work to share knowledge relating to agri-business and food security matters. The relationship will include the opportunity for the school to provide graduate and post-graduate level research to Civil Affairs Officers in order to further the understanding of agri-business and food security-related challenges around the world.

“We look forward to continuing this important collaboration between U.S. Army Civil Affairs and our subject matter experts here in the Jordan College of Agriculture Sciences and Technology,” said Dr. Rolston St. Hilaire, dean of the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology at Fresno State. “The collective knowledge in agriculture and food security that members of our faculty bring to this effort will ensure that our men and women in uniform continue to receive the training necessary to utilize agriculture as a conflict mitigation tool.”