Agricultural Leaders Underscore the California State University’s
Role in the Industry
University and Agricultural leaders highlight campus-industry partnerships

Contact: Clara Potes-Fellow, (562) 951-4800,

(February 1, 2005) -- Five campuses of the California State University system will hold a forum with agricultural leaders throughout the state on Feb. 4 at Fresno State to discuss the CSU’s essential role in agricultural research and education.

“The CSU has an enormous impact in California agriculture,” said Bill Pauli, president of the California Farm Bureau Federation and keynote speaker. “Growers, farm managers and employees are educated at CSU campuses where they are exposed to hands-on agricultural learning, technical education and research. Their educational experiences will continue to have a major impact on the future of California agriculture.”

“The CSU produces more than 52 percent of the state’s graduates in agriculture-related majors,” said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed. “That is about 1,200 job-ready graduates every year who invigorate the state’s economy. Were it not for this highly-qualified workforce, California agriculture simply would not enjoy the level of prosperity that it does.”

The forum, which will be held at the Fresno State Viticulture Center, will focus on CSU’s role as a higher education leader in applied research and industry partnerships that help advance agricultural knowledge.

“The expanding research of CSU faculty and students is solving problems and advancing new initiatives in the wine industry,” said Mary Wagner, chief technology officer for E. & J. Gallo Winery. “The impact of their work is fueling the agricultural sector, one that represents 75 percent of the state’s economy.”

Participating campuses -- Cal Poly Pomona, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Fresno State, CSU Chico and Humboldt State University – will display colorful and tangible examples of the programs contributing to the progress of the agricultural and timber industries.

Speakers and attendees will include representatives from government organizations, growers, ranchers, and the food, wine and timber industries. Attendees will discuss their long-standing partnerships with CSU campuses, and examine the role of these collaborations in keeping California’s agricultural industry vibrant.

Panelists include:

  • Tonya Antle of Tanimura & Antle, Inc., a member of the USDA Advisory Board
  • Chuck Ahelm, former undersecretary, California Department of Food & Agriculture
  • Mark Burrell, managing partner, The West Mark Group
  • Mary Wagner, chief Technology Officer of E. & J. Gallo Winery
  • George Soares, managing partner of Kahn, Soares & Conway, LLP

The event is sponsored by the California State University Chancellor’s Office. Speakers from the CSU system include:

  • John Welty, president, California State University, Fresno
  • Warren Baker, president, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
  • Charles B. Reed, chancellor, California State University system

    The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 400,000 students and 42,000 faculty and staff. Since the system was created in 1961, it has awarded about 2 million degrees, about 82,000 annually. The CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces. Its mission is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California. See

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    Last Updated: February 1, 2005

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