Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences
Tasty Lessons Cal Poly Students Mix It Up with Middle Schoolers
FROM THE DEAN
Sowing Seeds of Change PLANS TAKE ROOT TO ENRICH CAFE’S PROGRAMS AND EXPAND FACILITIES
Dear CAFES Alumni and Friends, As we head into the final weeks of the academic year, I continue to be excited about the incredible momentum we’ve gained as a college and a university. Across campus there are many exciting projects underway as Cal Poly continues to look to the future. Within CAFES, we’ve worked hard over the last year to prioritize our most critical projects — those that will most move the needle. The CAFES Strategic Vision will set the stage for this (see opposite page). The result of months of important work by key representatives in the college and on our external advisory councils, it represents the collective thinking of students, staff, faculty and external advisors. Although the tactical action plans will be developed in the fall, this is a momentous step for the college in terms of setting our sights on where we want to go. At the same time, we’re making significant progress on enhancing key programs. When the Wine & Viticulture Department became a reality in 2013, a holistic, multidisciplinary center was identified as a must-have to meet the program’s goals of immersing students in a three-pronged curriculum of grape cultivation, winemaking, and the business of wine marketing and distribution. Over the last six months, significant effort has been focused on developing the Cal Poly Center for Wine & Viticulture. The facility programming — the planning of the labs and meeting, research, teaching, and hands-on learning spaces — was recently completed with
Dean Andy Thulin (right) welcomes visitor Sonny Ramaswamy, director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Read more about Ramaswamy on page 7.
input from faculty, staff, students and industry experts. The facility is set to break ground within the next three years. (For more information, see page 18). At the end of the day, it’s about the students. In this issue of Agriview, we highlight some of the amazing work they’re doing as they embody the Learn by Doing experience.
Andrew J. Thulin | Dean
NEWS & NOTES
3 News & Notes Strategic planning; Faculty News; Advancement update; By the Numbers; CAFES On the Go
6 Learn by Doing Strawberries go to market; U.S. Department of Agriculture director visits; two pre-veterinary students start Doggy Days nonprofit
Cover Story The Pink and Dude Chefs outreach program gets middle schoolers excited about cooking and nutrition
14 Program News Animal science and dairy science programs merge 15
Student Success Meeting with Sacramento legislators; operating the Western Bonanza Junior Livestock Show; wins in the Rose Parade, Dairy Challenge, Young Farmers and Ranchers meet, Oral Undergraduate Research Symposium, and national lumberjack contest.
18 Facilities News Center for Wine & Viticulture is in the planning and fundraising stage
Volunteers gathered to brainstorm at the launch of the strategic planning process last fall.
Focused on the Future
THE COLLEGE REFINES ITS STRATEGIC VISION
AGRIVIEW is published for alumni and friends by the College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences (CAFES).
The College of Agriculture, Food &
Project Team on March 10. The strategies
Dean’s Office 805-756-2161
Environmental Sciences (CAFES) Strategic
were further defined using feedback
Vision and Planning process continued
generated by the survey. Glenn Tecker,
Communications Team Haley Marconett email@example.com | 805-756-2933
with a meeting of the Steering Committee
the outside consultant who facilitated
on Jan. 22-23. The committee refined
the process, synthesized the results of
AnnMarie Cornejo firstname.lastname@example.org | 805-756-2427
the goals and objectives drafted last fall
the meeting into the final Strategic Plan.
Editor Jo Ann Lloyd email@example.com | 805-756-7266
and began generating strategies to tackle
The final Strategic Plan will be launched
to college stakeholders this spring.
In small groups dedicated to the four
Publication Designer Shirley Howell firstname.lastname@example.org | 805-547-0120 Printer Journal Graphics, Portland, Ore. Stay Connected on:
from the CAFES community will be
— Students; Faculty and Staff; Industry
recruited to help marshal the knowledge
and Community; and Leadership — the
and resources necessary to address the
committee brainstormed strategies
strategies and achieve the objectives and
that will be leveraged to accomplish
goals that were developed in fall 2014.
the college’s goals over the next five to ™
ON THE COVER: Mesa Middle School student Sarah Wasil (left) collaborates in the kitchen with Cal Poly student Michaela Clauss during a session of Pink and Dude Chefs, a Cal Poly outreach program. Read about the program on pages 10-13.
Over the next few months, volunteers
overarching Vision and Planning Goals
10 years. The resulting strategies were
Achieving these strategies will be key to the realization of the CAFES’ Big Audacious Goal: To be the intellectual
distributed to the larger CAFES
and experiential hot house, cultivating
community using an electronic survey.
and nurturing people who creatively solve
The results of the survey were discussed
problems in agriculture, food, health and
at a meeting of the Strategic Visioning
C AFES. C A LPOLY.EDU
NEWS & NOTES
CAFES On the Go WHERE WE’VE BEEN
Fork and Bottle: Members of the CAFES advancement team attended this February event, organized by the Modesto Chapter Aydin Nazmi
of the Cal Poly Alumni Association. More than 200 guests raised money for student scholarships through a silent auction.
AYDIN NAZMI REAPPOINTED TO SCIENCE ADVISORY BOARD
Unified Wine & Grape Symposium:
Nutrition Professor Aydin Nazmi was
Sacramento in January for this annual
reappointed to the Governor’s Science Advisory Board. Nazmi, director of Cal Poly’s Center for Solutions Through Research in Diet & Exercise (STRIDE) and associate professor in the Food Science & Nutrition Department, will serve on the Developmental and Reproductive Toxicant (DART) Identification Committee. Its members are expert scientists appointed to identify chemicals that cause developmental and reproductive toxicity. HENDRICKS ON SUNSET COMMITTEE Bill Hendricks, head of the Recreation, Parks & Tourism Administration Department, visited Sunset Magazine headquarters in January as one of 12 advisory board members in the Western U.S. to serve on the committee for the magazine’s first Sunset Travel Awards. The awards, to be announced in June, will recognize achievements in lodging, dining, cultural tourism, outdoor adventure, environmental stewardship, and more.
VISIT US ON SOCIAL MEDIA! Keep up to date with CAFES’ latest news via social media. We have a lot going on and want you to be the first to know about it! Follow us on Twitter @CalPoly_CAFES and on Facebook.
AGRIVIEW • S PRING 2 0 1 5
Students, faculty and staff traveled to event — the largest wine and grape industry trade show in North America. World Ag Expo: In February, students and faculty participated in this event at the International Agri-Center in Tulare, Calif.
Wine and viticulture senior Zachary Merkel and Gianna Gallo (WVIT ’14) attended the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium (above). Earth science sophomore CJ Chew (below, left) and agriculture science senior Jake Odello met potential Cal Poly students at the 2015 World Ag Expo.
T H E
N U M B E R S
THE CAL POLY
CAFES LEARN BY DOING ENDOWMENT
Thanks to available matching funds from
among the top
the founding members of the College
of Agriculture, Food & Environmental
farms in America by the independent
Sciences (CAFES) Learn by Doing
website Best College Reviews.
Endowment, for a limited time, individuals
The 11-acre farm in the
can establish a $25,000 CAFES’ Learn by
Horticulture & Crop Science
Doing Endowment for only $12,500.
Department is certified organic
“The endowment‘s founding
by the California Certified
partners joined forces to make financial
Organic Farmers and is managed
commitments that enhance and protect
by students, faculty and staff.
the hands-on nature of the college’s
November 2014 marked the farm’s
programs,” said Russ Kabaker, Cal Poly
20th year of organic certification.
assistant dean of advancement and
The farm provides a place for
external relations. “These industry leaders
undergraduates to Learn by Doing organic and sustainable farming practices. Dozens of varieties of produce are grown
realize Learn by Doing’s value to the future
each year, including green onions (shown), broccoli, squash, kale and carrots.
sciences in California and beyond.”
CAL POLY’S AGRICULTURAL COMMUNICATION bachelor’s degree was ranked eighth best in the nation based on a peer-reviewed study of 40 such programs by researchers at the University of Arkansas. “Our ranking is a testament to the work we have been doing for many years to build our reputation in agricultural communication,”
said J. Scott Vernon, Cal Poly agricultural communication professor. “We continue to evolve to meet the changing demands of the communication landscape. Our students deserve it, our alumni appreciate it, and the agriculture industry expects it.” The program prepares students to become professional communicators
of agriculture, food and the environmental If your company has a gift-matching program with Cal Poly, the cost to you could be as little as $6,250 to establish a $25,000 Learn by Doing Endowment, said Kabaker. To learn more, contact him at 805-756-3269 or email@example.com. THE IVAN A. WOOD MEMORIAL EARN BY DOING ENDOWMENT Created with a bequest of $50,000 from
in agriculture by encouraging enrollment in diverse courses such as digital
Ivan Wood, a friend of Cal Poly, the
communication, graphic design, journalism and technical agriculture. In the fall, a
endowment, which will be used to support
course focusing on digital video and social media management will be offered to
student technicians in the Dairy Science
help prepare students for careers in online and visual communication strategies.
Department, will fund up to 150 hours of paid internship hours for students each year into perpetuity.
2015 MARK YOUR CALENDARS
JUNE 13: Spring Commencement: Mustangs Forever, 5 p.m. JULY 16: Cal Poly Alumni Salinas Rodeo Mixer, 4:30-7:30 p.m., California Rodeo Museum. Hosted wine, beer and barbecue. $25 without rodeo ticket; $50 includes rodeo ticket. For details, contact Jordan Albiani at 805-756-2161or firstname.lastname@example.org.
C AFES. C A LPOLY.EDU
LEARN BY DOING
Ripe and Ready
FIRST STRAWBERRIES FROM CAMPUS CROP GO TO MARKET
The first strawberry harvest by the Cal Poly Strawberry Sustainability Research and Education Center blossomed into full production in March — proving to be an abundant one. The red, juicy, heart-shaped fruit is now available for purchase at Vons in San Luis Obispo and at multiple campus locations, including the twice weekly farm stand. The Cal Poly-grown fruit is also being incorporated into student dining. Director Gerald Holmes, researcher and Professor Kelly Ivors and a small staff of student assistants planted more than an acre and a half of the fruit on university farmland adjacent to Highway 1 in November 2014. “This first harvest shows that we can successfully grow strawberries at Cal Poly,” Holmes said. “The research that follows will be invaluable to future strawberry growers and the industry.” The Cal Poly Strawberry Sustainability Research and Education Center, in the College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences, focuses on applied research that incorporates both teaching and learning experiences for Cal Poly students, faculty and California strawberry farmers. The center is a joint partnership between Cal Poly and the California Strawberry Commission. In 2013 the California Strawberry Commission donated $1 million to create the Cal Poly Strawberry Sustainability Research and Education Center — a oneof-a-kind concept rooted in the hands-on learning model that defines Cal Poly. Cal Poly faculty and students are studying various fumigants used by farmers to eradicate pests such as insects as a way to provide an ecologically superior method of growing strawberries. Gerald Holmes (left) and Cal Poly research associate Ryan Brantley (right) deliver berries and smiles to Vons produce manager Mike Chew in San Luis Obispo.
AGRIVIEW • S PRING 2 0 1 5
Visiting VIP Sonny Ramaswamy (left) with Gerald Holmes, director of Cal Poly’s Strawberry Sustainability Research and Education Center
THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURE’S DIRECTOR ADDRESSES
“Setting the Table for a Flatter, Hotter,
Cultivating Plans for Our Changing Planet
More Crowded Earth,” which focused
Food and Agriculture (NIFA) in 2012.
on the challenges that the must be
He oversees the award of NIFA funds
Ramaswamy’s campus visit with a
overcome to feed, clothe and shelter a
for a wide range of extramural research,
meeting at Ramaswamy’s Washington,
global population expected to exceed
education and extension projects that
D.C., office in March to discuss
9 billion by 2050 without wreaking havoc
address the needs of farmers, ranchers
potential funding opportunities.
on the environment.
and agricultural producers.
The director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture visited Cal Poly in February and spoke on the future of the industry. Sonny Ramaswamy presented
During his visit, Ramaswamy toured
Ramaswamy is a strong supporter
CAFES Dean Andy Thulin followed
“NIFA and Sonny Ramaswamy strongly believe in Cal Poly’s unique
Cal Poly’s agricultural facilities, including
of the College of Agriculture, Food &
Learn by Doing philosophy and the
the new Strawberry Sustainability Research
Environmental Sciences’ (CAFES’) research
value we bring to California’s — and
and Education Center and the Irrigation
and has dedicated millions of dollars to Cal
the country’s — agricultural industry,”
Training & Research Center.
Poly through NIFA in past years for research
Thulin said. “We are excited to
to help combat future obstacles such as
continue to strengthen our partnership
climate change and water shortages.
Ramaswamy was appointed director of the U.S.D.A’s National Institute of
C AFES. C A LPOLY.EDU
LEARN BY DOING
COMPASSION FOR CANINES TWO PRE-VET STUDENTS TREAT A LOCAL HOMELESS SHELTER’S FOUR-LEGGED RESIDENTS
al Poly animal science
“There is a need in our community,
have taught Parry and Greenlee how
majors Megan Parry,
and so far we really like doing it,” said
to give a physical, draw blood, give
20, and Sasha Greenlee,
Parry, a senior from Cupertino, Calif.
vaccines and various other clinical skills.
20, have transformed
“It has been so rewarding to see people
their shared passion for
learn to trust us.”
veterinary medicine into a community
They have mostly treated dogs. Cali,
Because the homeless clientele is often mobile and difficult to reach, the Cal Poly volunteers make a point of
service project benefiting the pets of the
a sweet and affectionate pit bull terrier,
offering as much veterinary care as they
local homeless population in San Luis
is one of their favorite clients.
can on a client’s first visit.
Cali’s owners, Debbie and Joe
“We can’t always contact the owner
Ramirez, both homeless, found her hid-
and do a recheck, so we do as much as
month offering basic veterinary services
ing under a car in search of shade one
possible in that moment,” said Parry.
at the Prado Day Center in San Luis
hot summer day. She has been by their
Obispo, a place that provides day-to-day
side every day since. Until recently, Cali
assists when needed, said that the
services for the homeless such as meals,
had never been to a veterinarian.
students’ experience through their
They spend one weekend each
showers and laundry facilities.
“A lot of people wonder why the
Professor Kim Sprayberry, who
voluntary effort is invaluable. Following
homeless have pets if they can’t even
Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing motto, the
founded the nonprofit, Doggy Days at
take care of themselves,” said Greenlee, a
students get firsthand experience but
Prado Day, to collect donations of dog
sophomore from Pleasanton, Calif. “We
also learn valuable life lessons that
food, flea medicine, and other basic care
see it differently. These pets are the only
cannot be taught in the classroom.
items. In addition, student and faculty
reason some of these people are alive.”
In May 2014 Parry and Greenlee
volunteers hold a veterinary clinic one weekend every month.
AGRIVIEW • S PRING 2 0 1 5
A combination of animal science courses, past work and FFA experiences
“The students take what they’ve learned in anatomy, physiology, nutrition, companion animal care, and
Animal Science students Sasha Greenlee (left) and Megan Parry with satisfied clients Joe Ramirez and his dog, Cali
dentistry right into the immediacy of an open-air exam room,” Sprayberry said. Certain procedures, such as administering the rabies vaccination, must be done by a licensed veterinarian. Sprayberry and Professor Jennifer Staniec assist with those treatments. Donations of medications, specialty foods and shampoos, coupled with lowcost medications and supplies purchased through Cal Poly’s Veterinary Clinic, are dispensed on site. The students, said Sprayberry, are also getting a lesson in compassion. “They experience the gift of being able to communicate with the warmth of a smile, eye contact, a handshake or hug, and giving care to an animal whose love for the client is about all that person has in the world,” Sprayberry said. “This is a large part of what veterinary medicine is all about — caring for others by caring for their pets.” This is not the first time that Cal Poly students have aided Prado Day Center. Five years ago, Cal Poly students helped build dog kennels at the day shelter so that people have a safe place to keep their pets while accessing services. “We could not do what we are doing without Cal Poly,” said Grace McIntosh, deputy director at Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County, which operates the shelter. “For a lot of our clients, their pets are the only family Sasha Greenlee administers medication (above) and a heartfelt hug (opposite) during a monthly visit to the Prado Day Center.
they have. These students are not just taking care of animals; they are caring for the shelter residents’ loved ones.”
C AFES. C A LPOLY.EDU
HUNGRY FOR A
MIDDLE SCHOOLERS DEVELOP AN APPETITE FOR NUTRITION
he shrill ring of the final school bell on a Friday afternoon is followed by a scurry of excited middle school students scrambling
to embrace the weekend. But nearly a dozen 7th-graders stay
Nutrition graduate student Jessie Bierlich (below) with Mesa Middle School taste-testers Fabian Rodriguez (left) and Julian Reyes
AGRIVIEW â&#x20AC;˘ S PRING 2 0 1 5
back, equally enthusiastic to head to an afterschool program that has become a highlight of their school week.
AND COOKING LESSONS, THANKS TO PINK AND DUDE CHEFS The program, Pink and Dude Chefs, is a Cal Poly initiative that connects college students with local middle school students to provide nutrition education and hands-on culinary skills. The 12-week program, part of Cal Poly’s Center for Solutions Through Research in Diet and Exercise (STRIDE), is now being taught at Mesa Middle School in Arroyo Grande, Calif., but has been taught at other middle schools in San Luis Obispo County and nationally. The program is one of several offered by STRIDE that focuses on obesity prevention by providing reallife learning experiences — a vital step toward a healthy future. The facts about childhood obesity are startling. It’s an epidemic that is plaguing the nation. In 2012, more than one-third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The percentage of children aged 6-11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7 percent in 1980 to nearly 18 percent in 2012. “Given that obesity costs the nation more than $200 billion per year and comes with untold public health consequences, I think that our energy in teaching kids about food, nutrition
Mesa students Julian Reyes and Renee Regnier get a hand from food science junior Brianna Bender (right).
C AFES. C A LPOLY.EDU 11
and cooking are well directed,” said Aydin Nazmi, director of STRIDE and a nutrition professor in the Food Science & Nutrition Department. “We have already shown improvements in culinary self-efficiency, nutrition knowledge, and nutrition behavior among program participants.” Pink and Dude Chefs goes straight to the source to educate and empower. The students are taught a gamut of skills needed to live a healthy, nutritional lifestyle: kitchen safety, how to read nutrition labels and recipes, and basic cooking techniques. “Middle school students are at a pivotal age of making choices on their own,” said Jessie Bierlich, a Cal Poly student pursuing a graduate degree in nutrition and teaching the Pink and Dude Chefs program this year. “They’re not quite adults but no longer kids. The goal is to provide them tools they can
everything you do in life,” said Cori
carry throughout their adulthood.”
Glazer, a second-year nutrition major.
One recent Friday afternoon, the
The middle school students, only a
students gathered around a collection
few weeks into the course, are already
of cereal boxes such as Honey Nut
armed with an arsenal of new nutritional
Cheerios and Cinnamon Toast Crunch,
knowledge. However, it’s in the kitchen
studying the nutritional labels of each.
that their new-found skills really shine.
Within minutes the students identified
The class meets each Friday to explore
Mesa student Zac Brewer and program volunteer Savannah Rodriguez perfect their purée (above).
The students make the recipe from start to finish: measuring out ingredients such as noodles, white
the total calories and the amount of
a new recipe. During this class, students
beans, cheese, peppers and yams;
sugar per serving in each cereal. To
will make two varying white bean
chopping the yams and red peppers;
some, it came as a shock.
macaroni and cheese recipes, one with
and using the food processor to puree
yams and the other with red peppers.
the bean and yam mixture.
Volunteers from the Cal Poly Health Ambassadors, a STRIDE program
“They’re teaching us for the future,”
As the two batches of macaroni and
focused on campus-community outreach
said Haley Razo, 12, who often cooks
cheese cook on the stove, the students
efforts to promote healthy lifestyle
breakfast and lunch for her family.
take turns gathering around the large
behaviors, moved among the students
At first, students gawk at the jarred
to assist and encourage them. Many
red peppers, but before long, while
are majoring in nutrition, with plans
chopping them for the food processor,
to pursue careers in the medical field,
they give them a try.
corporate wellness and education. “I love promoting health and wellness because they’re important in
AGRIVIEW • S PRING 2 0 1 5
“My rule is simple: You have to try it.
stainless steel sink to wash the dishes they used to prepare the food. Pink and Dude Chefs is gaining nationwide traction. Cal Poly partnered with researchers from
If you don’t like it, you don’t have to eat
Vanderbilt University in Nashville,
any more of it,” said Bierlich.
Tenn., to conduct a comprehensive
evaluation of the nutrition education program at several sites in Nashville. In addition, STRIDE now offers an online curriculum that provides an innovative train-the-trainer series that empowers anyone, regardless of their culinary experience, with the skills necessary to launch the program in their own community.
were a little bland, but if you can make it
by holding a family fiesta — preparing
better, it’s not that disappointing. If you
an entire meal for their families.
ruin it — that’s disappointing.” Other dishes that the students will make include baked chicken fingers,
“It is amazing, and incredibly rewarding, to watch them develop confidence in themselves,” Bierlich said.
sweet potato fries, spaghetti squash salad, and an apple crisp. At the end of the course, the students will celebrate their new culinary skills
Mesa student Fabian Rodriguez learns the importance of measuring ingredients carefully (below).
“Pink and Dude Chefs is a perfect outlet for Learn by Doing because it reinforces concepts taught in coursework, gives students a broader perspective of society by putting them into communities with a disproportionate risk of health problems, and gives students the opportunity to develop leadership skills,” Nazmi said. Bierlich focused her graduate thesis on the food and vegetable intake of middle school students and how their preferences change with the program as they study nutrition and develop culinary skills. She has been teaching and facilitating the program since last fall and said she is constantly surprised by the students’ willingness to try new ingredients. “What I love to see is when the kids have an initial reaction to an ingredient or recipe and are resistant to it,” Bierlich said. “I’ve seen students do it with tofu or a specific vegetable and then they try it and they like it. They are more willing to try it in a fun environment when they have control over the taste or flavors.” As the two-hour class neared its end, the students gathered around Bierlich to taste their latest creations. They discussed the flavors, the textures and the differences between the two recipes. Not one student complained. “I thought they both tasted about the same,” said Julian Reyes, 13. “They
C AFES. C A LPOLY.EDU 13
al Poly’s dairy science program is being integrated with the animal science program, known as the largest and
A Good Mix
DAIRY AND ANIMAL SCIENCE PROGRAMS TO MERGE
best-regarded in the state. The purpose of the merger is to strengthen the dairy science program to ensure that Cal Poly is delivering what the industry needs. The merger will enable both programs to leverage the resources and talents of the other while preserving the integrity of the dairy-specific curriculum. The new administrative structure will be effective July 1, 2015, and will not impact students currently enrolled in either program. The dairy industry is the largest sector of California’s agriculture industry, and in today’s hypercompetitive environment, the industry needs human talent that has a basic grounding in such diverse fields as nutrition, environmental and regulatory affairs, food safety, water use, animal health and welfare, nutrient management, reproductive physiology, business and marketing. Cal Poly’s job is to deliver a program that exposes students to these areas
The integration of animal and dairy sciences is expected to strengthen both programs and enable a more efficient use of resources.
and prepares them to contribute to the continuing success of the dairy
will create a stronger program — one
production and processing industries.
that better prepares students to enter
The newly merged Animal Sciences
the dairy industry ready to make an
Department will offer two degree
immediate and positive impact,” said
programs, one in dairy science and
Andy Thulin, dean of the College of
one in animal science. The department
Agriculture, Food & Environmental
will also offer minors in dairy science,
Sciences. “We know that we play a
equine science, meat science and
critical role in developing tomorrow’s
processing, poultry management, and
talent to ensure the continued strength
of the dairy industry in the state of
“Reducing administrative overhead
California. This change will enable
and taking advantage of the synergies
us to provide our graduates with the
between the faculty of both programs
foundation they need.”
AGRIVIEW • S PRING 2 0 1 5
TOP HONORS DAIRY CHALLENGE TEAM TAKES FIRST PLACE IN NATIONAL COMPETITION A team of four Cal Poly students took first place at the 14th annual North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge held April 9-11 in Liverpool, N.Y. The Dairy Challenge is a two-day competition for students representing dairy science programs at North American universities. Students were asked to evaluate an operational New York dairy and develop a farm analysis that included a list of recommendations for nutrition, reproduction, milking procedures, animal health, housing and financial management.
Cal Poly students in San Luis Obispo and Pomana collaborated on “Soaring Stories.”
The Cal Poly team ranked first among eight competing teams that evaluated the same dairy. Cal Poly’s team included: Anthony Alamo of Turlock; Preston Fernandes of Tulare; Amy McBirney of
ROSES TO THE TEAM!
Morgan Hill; and Russell Pate of Visalia.
CAL POLY’S GRIFFIN FLOAT SNAGS ROSE PARADE TROPHY
Dairy science Professor Stan Henderson
For the 53rd time since 1949, the only
included a waterfall with recirculating
student-built float earned special honors
water, the griffin’s wings, a drawbridge,
at the 126th Tournament of Roses Parade
jumping fish, flickering candle flame and a
held New Year’s Day. “Soaring Stories” won
quill. Smith and Do helped with the flowers
the Lathrop K. Leishman Trophy for the
along the top of the book as well as the ink
most beautiful non-commercial float.
quills and the candle.
coached the team. “The challenge was a culmination of all the hard work that we have put into school for the last four years,” said senior Pate. “We took what we have learned and applied it to a real-world situation at a competitive level.” The Cal Poly team advanced to the national competition after a successful performance at the Western Regional Dairy Challenge in Tulare, Calif., in February. “Cal Poly’s success in the Dairy Challenge can be attributed to the knowledge and talent of our students,” said Henderson. “Cal Poly students have won this competition for the past three years, more often than any other university in North America.”
The float was constructed by students
This is the fourth consecutive year
from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and their
that the float has earned the “Californian
counterparts at Cal Poly Pomona.
Grown” designation by the California Cut
“Soaring Stories” depicted a fairytale
Flower Commission. To be so designated,
castle and mythological griffin springing to
at least 85 percent of the flowers and plant
life from the pages of storybooks, reflecting
materials used must come from California.
the parade theme, “Inspiring Stories.” Two floral design students, Kirsten
Lynch said that the chance for her students to participate in creating such
Smith and Sara Do, traveled to Pasadena
large-scale flower arrangements was
with horticulture Professor Melinda Lynch to
priceless, as was the team’s comradery.
assist with the fresh-flower arrangements. In a first for the universities, the back
“Cal Poly has so many alumni who help make the float,” said Lynch. “It makes you
of the float included a wall of living flowers
feel really good to know that Cal Poly is still
instead of cut flowers. Animated elements
in the hearts and souls of our alumni.”
C AFES. C A LPOLY.EDU 15
YOUNG FARMERS AND RANCHERS MEET PRODUCES WINS FOR CAL POLY Cal Poly students excelled at the California Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Collegiate Discussion Meet in March, with Kenna Lewis, a third-year agricultural communications major, claiming the title of 2015 California Champion. Agricultural communications majors Harrison Reilly, Riley Nilsen, Ariana Joven and Kenna Lewis also delivered a stellar performance in the face of fierce competition, ultimately earning the Outstanding Team award. Lewis will compete in the national event in Kansas City, Mo., in February 2016.
Students taking AG 452 commemorate their visit to Sacramento in March.
SENIOR TAKES FIRST PLACE IN ORAL UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH CONTEST Cal Poly environmental soil science
A CAPITOL VISIT
STUDENTS TALK AG ISSUES WITH STATE LEGISLATORS
senior Patrick Michelsen won the Oral Undergraduate Research Symposium Contest held during the 2014 International Annual Meetings of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of
In March, students in AG 452, Issues Facing California Agriculture, met with
America, and Soil Science Society of
legislators and top policymakers and made team presentations on issues
America in Long Beach.
affecting California agriculture such as water, immigration, education and consumer preference at the California Farm Bureau Federation in Sacramento. The 20 students were hand-selected by the College of Agriculture, Food
Michelsen won for his presentation of a paper titled “Environmental Ramifications of a 120-Year-Old Railroad
& Environmental Sciences’ deans and 10 department heads with the intent of
Bridge Painted in Lead Paint.” The
exposing CAFES’ top students to key issues affecting the agriculture industry and
study focused on the influence of wind
the political process tied to it.
and water flow in the distribution of
The class, envisioned by George Soares (Agribusiness, 1966), founding
lead — a known human toxin — in the
partner at Kahn, Soares & Conway in Sacramento, has been taught at Cal Poly
soils, plants and sediments of Stenner
since 2003 and replicated at Chico State, Fresno State, and Cal Poly Pomona.
Creek, which surrounds Trestle Bridge, a
While in Sacramento, the students met with Soares and California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross. “The field trip is a life-changing experience for many students, who learn about new professional and career opportunities they were otherwise unaware of,” said Mark Shelton, associate dean and co-instructor of the course.
structure constructed circa 1894 at Cal Poly. His findings demonstrate wind’s role in transporting lead to the soils directly under and downwind from the bridge. The paper, developed for a course titled Soil and Water Chemistry (SS 423), was co-authored by Cal Poly soil science alumni Craig Stubler and Chip Appel.
AGRIVIEW • S PRING 2 0 1 5
UPSTANDING STUDENTS RUN POPULAR WESTERN BONANZA SHOW Cal Poly’s annual Western Bonanza Junior Livestock Show — the largest student-run exhibition of its kind on the West Coast — was held Feb. 13-15 at the Paso Robles Event Center. Western Bonanza began as a senior project in 1985 and has grown to be one of the largest and most successful studentrun jackpot shows with more than 500 exhibitors and 2,000 entries. Exhibitors from Arizona, Oregon, Nevada and Idaho showed their animals in beef, swine, sheep and goat categories. A management team of 30 Cal Poly students and more than 100 committee members hosted the show — a free event open to livestock enthusiasts and the public. “The fact that Cal Poly students are running Western Bonanza is really an integral part of it,” said Vanessa Alexandre, Cal Poly agribusiness senior and swine chair. “These kids are going to the show and looking at youth their own age (who are) running it, and it gives them something to aspire to.”
TOP U.S. COLLEGIATE LUMBERJACK ITALY-BOUND Sam Mulholland-Wong, a fourth-year forestry and natural resources major, will represent the U.S. in the first-ever rookie/collegiate Lumberjack World Championships in Florence, Italy, in May. Mulholland-Wong was named top collegiate lumberjack in the nation after dominating five of the top athletes in the sport at the National Stihl Timbersports Collegiate Championship in June 2014.
The Western Bonanza Junior Livestock Show offers young exhibitors an opportunity to show their animals (right).
C AFES. C A LPOLY.EDU
The Wine & Viticulture Department envisions a 22,000-square-foot center that serves as a teaching facility and a bonded winery.
On the Horizon
PLANS EMERGE FOR A CENTER FOR WINE & VITICULTURE
he vision keeps getting bigger and better. It wasn’t that long ago — summer 2013 — that Cal Poly formally established the
Wine & Viticulture Department. The program has already grown to become the largest wine and viticulture program of its kind in the nation. Now comes the next big step in hands-on learning for Cal Poly students: the Center for Wine & Viticulture. The vision includes a 22,000-squarefoot learning facility with crush, fermentation, barrel, bottling, teaching
opportunities in the industry. The
HELP US BUILD IT! The university has committed space and some infrastructure to develop the Center for Wine & Viticulture. We invite you to join our effort by making a gift today. A variety of giving opportunities
campus provide an ideal environment in which students can learn, experiment and conduct research with world-class viticulturists and wine makers. “The new center will provide stateof-the-art Learn by Doing experiences,”
are available, including the naming of
said Andy Thulin, dean of the College
the center and supporting vineyards,
of Agriculture, Food & Environmental
labs, classrooms, lecture halls, scholarships and endowed faculty. Learn more by contacting Grant Kirkpatrick at 805-756-2173 or email@example.com.
and meeting facilities. There will
Sciences. “That academic edge, coupled with real-world internships, will give Cal Poly graduates the knowledge and tools necessary to enter — and lead — the multidimensional wine industry anywhere in the world.”
be sensory, enology and viticulture teaching labs and a commercial-grade
many wineries to the north and south of
In a recent study published by the “Industry leaders and even parents
Wine Institute, California ranked as
bonded winery that will allow students
have pledged their support,” said
America’s top wine producer, making 90
to gain a comprehensive understanding
Marianne McGarry Wolf, interim head
percent of all U.S. wine and generating
of vineyards and grape cultivation, the
of the Wine & Viticulture Department.
more than $61.5 billion in economic
winemaking process, and the business
“They are the visionaries — the ones
impact. There is an urgent need for new
of wine marketing and distribution. This
who saw what the program would
talent in the wine industry, and that
unique three-pronged curriculum will
become and now envision what it will be
need will increase with even greater
give students insight into the realities of
in 10 years.”
demand in the coming years.
the entire wine industry. The center will be a teaching facility as much as a working winery.
AGRIVIEW • S PRING 2 0 1 5
Cal Poly’s Central Coast location
Cal Poly can help fill that void, and
gives students access to some of the
the new Center for Wine & Viticulture
best growing conditions and internship
will help do so in a first-rate manner.
WE’RE COMMITTED TO
Learn by Doing ... ARE YOU?
Help support our educational foundation by funding the Learn by Doing Endowment. The endowment was founded by 10 agriculture leaders who recognized — and benefitted from — the distinct advantage of a hands-on education. With an initial $1 million pledge, they’ve also committed to matching each $12,500 endowment gift to double your impact and support Learn by Doing in the College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences.
GIVE BACK TODAY! Contact Russ Kabaker 805-756-6601 firstname.lastname@example.org cafes.calpoly.edu/support-learn-doing
California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, California 93407-0250
Strutting Their Stuff
Students from Arizona, Idaho, Nevada and Oregon participated in Cal Polyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s annual Western Bonanza Junior Livestock Show at the Paso Robles Event Center in February. Read more about the successful student-run event on page 17.