Four accomplished students in the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology were recognized with area agricultural scholar awards at a virtual ceremony hosted by 23rd District Assemblyman Jim Patterson.
Plant science graduate student Ramandeep Kaur Brar (Bathinda, India), agricultural education senior Jonathan Moules (Delhi), agricultural business senior Amanda Skidmore (Atwater) and viticulture and enology graduate student Deborah Parker Wong (San Francisco) were selected based on their passion, growth and innovation related to their academic success, research and service to the community.
Each student received a $500 scholarship from My Job Depends on Ag, a national grassroots organization that started in Fresno and shares personal perspectives how agriculture impacts all lives.
Brar has conducted campus research evaluating sorghum as a water-wise alternative to silage corn and compared its irrigation and nitrogen fertilization rates. She received the Gerald O. Mott Meritorious Graduate Student Award from the Crop Science Society of America, and has won a first-place award and two second-place honors in student research poster competitions sponsored by the Irrigation Association, Western Plant Health Association and American Society of Agronomy California Chapter. Among her campus and community services, she has volunteered with the Plant Science Club to raise vegetables for the Fresno State Student Cupboard and worked with local Punjabi farmers on water management, tree crop production, fertilization and pest-control education.
Moules assisted with the campus Agricultural Career Readiness Skills project that is creating a national certification program for soft skills competency and career readiness training for high school, community college and university students. As a member of the Jordan College Honors Cohort, he studied how the COVID-19 pandemic affected students who are preparing to become agricultural education professionals. He was also selected for the Jordan College’s prestigious Jordan/Harvey graduate fellowship, and served as chairperson of the state agriculture ambassadors conference. On campus, he has served as an agricultural ambassador, research mentor and writing and speech tutor.
Skidmore, also a senior member of the Jordan College Honors Cohort, has conducted research on agretti, a leafy Italian succulent, with faculty Dr. Todd Lone and area growers as a potential new Central Valley commodity that grows well in soils with higher salt content. Among her many honors, she was the Jordan College Dean’s Undergraduate Medalist, a member of the Craig School Business Scholar Program and president of the National Agri-Marketing Association local student chapter. She has been active in community outreach efforts for Valley Children’s Hospital, the Fresno Rescue Mission and Operation Christmas Child.
Wong is conducting graduate studies on how to bring the viticulture and enology industry closer to trade and consumer audiences and advancing public awareness of agricultural sciences. She is a national editor for the Slow Wine Guide USA 2021, and has written articles on the impact of technology on viticultural farming practices for Wine Business Monthly, Somm Journal and the former Vineyard and Winery Management Magazine. She is also a member of the American Society for Enology and Viticulture, and collaborates with California winegrower associations, including the Sonoma County Vintners and Lake County Vintners, on consumer and industry events.
More information on the awards is available from Alisha Gallon, district director for the Office of Assemblyman Jim Patterson, at Alisha.Gallon@asm.ca.gov.