National Ag Week kicked off at Fresno State with the opening of the new building housing the Rue and Gwen Gibson Farm Market. Fresno State’s Agriculture Council organized events throughout the week.
Sarena Silva, secretary of the council, said it was established last year. In years past, the Jordan College of Agriculture Science and Technology (JCAST) had organized events on National Ag Day, March 19.
This is the first year a weeklong celebration for Ag Week has been organized, courtesy of the new council.
Tuesday the council gave out packets of almonds with various agricultural facts. Wednesday there was an ice cream social with the dean of the JCAST, Charles Boyer. Thursday, on the east lawn of the agricultural science building, a club fair was held at which tri-tip sandwiches were given away.
Friday, the Fresno State Ag Council will host Jeff Fowl in Engineering East 191. Fowl is a northern California farmer and agricultural advocate with the California Farm Bureau.
Joshua Palmer, who is majoring in agricultural business, is treasurer of the agricultural business club. The club gives students the opportunity to learn about agriculture and to network with other students and industry leaders.
Ag Week at Fresno State, Palmer said, brings education about the industry to students outside of agriculture majors.
“Unfortunately, most people don’t have an understanding of what agriculture really is. I think the older generation does because that’s what they grew up with, but our generation—today—doesn’t really care about it as much as they should,” Palmer said. “They don’t realize that every time they eat, it had to go through some kind of agriculture process, whether you buy food at a restaurant or in the store or make it yourself. Its great to get the students informed, especially the students that aren’t involved in ag [college].
One of the clubs in attend ins was the Viticulture Club. The club promotes the subjects of viticulture and enology, which are the sciences of grape production and winemaking, respectively.
Horacio Lopez-Segura, majoring in both enology and viticulture, is the vice president for the club. He said the goal of the club is giving students an opportunity for networking, but it also focuses on promoting knowledge of the science and industry behind wine.
“When people think of wine, they think of snobby people. In reality, we’re just a bunch of regular people,” Lopez-Segura said.
In April the Viticulture Club will host a 5-kilometer run in the Fresno State vineyard. All the proceeds from the event go back to the viticulture and enology department to fund the department library. Lopez-Segura said the library is home to a collection of works of about the grapes and winemaking.
Other clubs present at the club fair were the Plant Science Club, Meat Science Club, Agriculture Ambassadors, Clothing and Textiles Club and Sigma Alpha agriculture sorority.
Amy Dufur, a JCAST student majoring in agricultural education, was at the club fair representing Sigma Alpha.
“We’re just trying to raise awareness and just show what ag really does for the community and worldwide,” Dufur said.