Fresno State students and agriculture ambassadors had the opportunity to meet with industry professionals from around the globe at the 52nd annual World Ag Expo in Tulare from Feb. 12 through Feb. 14.
At the expo, students networked with industry leaders and discussed programs offered at Fresno State with attendees interested in pursuing an education in the agricultural field.
One of the ambassadors from Fresno State who attended the event was Jacqueline Taylor, an animal science major and Associated Students, Inc. senator for the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology.
Taylor said the Fresno State booth at the expo was well-received, with many at the event recognizing her Fresno State shirt.
“Nine out of 10 smile and give you a handshake,” Taylor said. “Especially after our big football win, a lot of outsiders are saying, ‘Hey, that’s Fresno State at the ag expo.’”
Omar Hernandez, a junior, is an ag ambassador and animal science major. Hernandez said he attends the expo every year, and he enjoys not only networking with industry professionals, but enjoys discussing the resources and opportunities available at Fresno State.
“It’s about having pride in where you come from,” Hernandez said. “I like to talk about Fresno State whenever I can, so it’s a perfect opportunity.”
Fresno State students offered samples of ice cream made at Fresno State’s dairy, which Hernandez said was a big hit.
“The ambassadors from other colleges want our ice cream as well,” Hernandez said. “They find it very cool that we do our own. Especially because we make the point that it’s made at Fresno State by Fresno State students with our milk from our dairy. It’s all student-run, so people love it.”
The ag expo was open to industry professionals, students and the general public. This year, Fresno State gave out 10 free tickets to the expo. Taylor said that students from all disciplines attended the event, noting that many were surprised by its size.
This year’s expo also received a visit from Fresno State President Dr. Joseph I. Castro as well as Victor E. Bulldog, the school’s mascot.
Hernandez, who grew up in the Central Valley, said that Fresno State’s farmland, which spans more than 1,000 acres, offers a hands-on experience that few universities can match.
“We’re the number one when it comes to hands-on,” Hernandez said. “UC Davis will say they’re the number one in ag in general, they’re the number one in research…their emphasis is on research, whereas ours is really hands-in-the-dirt type of work.”
Fresno State’s also has several clubs that Taylor said are not limited to just ag students, but are open to all majors. Clubs such as Fresno State’s Shooting Team and Fishing Club provide an opportunity for students of all majors to partake in recreational and competitive ag-related activities.
“I think my favorite part of being an ag ambassador is all the diverse opportunities that you get to round yourself out as a person,” Taylor said. “Everyone in that class genuinely loves the program and wants to promote the college. They’re really the cream of the crop of our college.”