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C O LLE G E O F A G R IC U LT U R E , F O O D & E NV IR O NM E NT A L SC IE NC E S CONNECT LEARN LEAD IS S U E 9 SUMMER 2019


A NOTE FROM THE DEAN SUMMER 2019

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Help Us Rise to the Opportunity — The Power of Doing is Yours

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We live in a new reality with exciting opportunities in agriculture, food and environmental sciences. For generations, we have been training and educating industry leaders who have taken on the challenge to find innovative solutions. Our students are hard at work. They are analyzing data and using technology to increase the pace of automation. They are working on best management practices and supply chain solutions to ensure a safe food supply. They are engineering solutions to find smarter and more efficient ways to use and conserve water. And this is just the beginning. Cal Poly’s new fundraising campaign – The Power of Doing: The Campaign for Learn by Doing – will allow us to do even more. With your help, we will increase our investment in cutting-edge facilities, enhance hands-on learning opportunities and expand access to applied research. We believe there is no better place to do this than at Cal Poly, and no better way than through Learn by Doing. This is our opportunity to help shape a new reality — a better world for us all. Let’s unleash The Power of Doing, together. Warmest regards,

STUDENT FEATURE ————

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PHOTO ESSAY ————

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FACULTY RESEARCH ————

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Cover Story THE POWER OF DOING

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Q&A ————

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STUDENT SUCCESS ————

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THEN & NOW ————

CULTIVATE is published for alumni and friends by the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES). Dean’s Office 805-756-2161 Communications Team Haley Marconett hmarcone@calpoly.edu 805-756-2933 AnnMarie Cornejo ancornej@calpoly.edu 805-756-2427

Publication Designer IE Design + Communications, Hermosa Beach, California Printer Lithographix, Los Angeles, California Staff Photographer Felipe Vallejo, agricultural communications student

cafes.calpoly.edu Andrew J. Thulin | Dean Stay connected on:


STUDENT FEATURE

Pop-Up Pantry A unique collaboration between two college departments brings student-grown fresh fruits and vegetables to those in need across campus. CalFresh Outreach, a program to assist students who may need help with food access, recently partnered with the Horticulture and Crop Science Department to host a weekly, two-hour Pop-Up Pantry in the heart of campus offering free produce grown by students on the Cal Poly campus. The goal is two-fold. “We want to share the healthy bounty of Cal Poly-grown fruits and vegetables with our campus community and to raise awareness of food access and food security issues on campus,” said Aydin Nazmi, director of the project and associate professor in the Food Science and Nutrition Department. Jill Caggiano, who oversees the sale of campus produce, said that the Horticulture and Crop Science Department has long contributed to the local food bank through Glean SLO, a network of volunteers that harvests or collects excess fruits and vegetables. “We are thrilled to now be a part of the on campus effort to reduce food insecurity,” she said. “It is also a great way

for us to let students who might not be familiar with our program know what we do and let them know that they get a discount at both campus u-pick events and farmers markets.” Student leaders of CalFresh Outreach use the weekly Pop-Up Pantry to spread awareness of Cal Poly’s other free food resources available to students such as CalFresh Outreach, campus food pantries, and the Mustang Meal Share program that allows students to donate up to 10 meals per quarter from their dining plan to students in need. Earlier this year Cal Poly was awarded renewed funding to increase CalFresh enrollment among students in an effort to help them gain access to healthy food, as part of a 40-campus statewide effort to increase CalFresh program enrollment among college students. Since 2016, Cal Poly’s CalFresh Outreach project has increased student participation in the program through eligibility determination, application completion, and post-enrollment follow up. “Food is a basic human right,” Nazmi said. “And Cal Poly has many free and effective resources to help anyone get food. Everybody deserves to have healthy food.”

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NEWS & NOTES

Healthy Soils Program

A National Winner Cal Poly earned a third-place award for its student-produced Grand Gouda against some of the top cheesemakers in the nation in the 2019 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest in March. The university also placed fifth with its Smoked Gouda. The contest, held every other year in Green Bay, Wisconsin, is the nation’s largest and most prestigious technical cheese judging competition. This year, a record 2,555 entries from 35 states competed for awards in 116 classes of cheese and butter. Much of the credit for Cal Poly’s success goes to students in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, about 20 of whom work part time in the dairy plant and help manufacture cheeses and other products, such as chocolate milk and ice cream. “This award is validation of Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing philosophy,” Creamery Operations Manager Tom Johnson said. “In the end, it’s about providing valuable student experiences. Our students produce and care for everything we manufacture. The skills and knowledge they gain in the process will serve them well, no matter what path they ultimately choose.”

Cristina Lazcano and Charlotte Decock, assistant professors in the Natural Resources Management and Environmental Sciences Department, completed the first year of a three-year Healthy Soils Program project funded by the California Department of Food and Agriculture and California Climate Investments. The research team, in partnership with J. Lohr Vineyard and Tablas Creek Vineyard in Paso Robles, is studying the effects of compost application and no-till methods on soil carbon and greenhouse gas emissions relevant to the production of wine grapes on the Central Coast. The Healthy Soils Demonstration Project, funded by a three-year $200,000 grant, was inspired by Cal Poly’s industry partners who are seeking information about the benefits of management practices for soil health. In conjunction with the project, the Cal Poly research team held two demonstration field days showcasing agricultural practices for soil health, the most recent held in June at Tablas Creek Vineyard. To be notified about future Cal Poly Healthy Soils Project demonstration days, please email cfs@calpoly.edu.

Diversity and Inclusion Terry Baker, CEO of the Society of American Foresters, gave a keynote address on the role of diversity and inclusion in leadership titled “Leadership: The Challenge of Being Yourself” on May 9 in Cal Poly’s Performing Arts Center Pavilion. The talk was sponsored by the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, the Office of University Diversity and Inclusion, the Career Services Diversity Funding Committee and the Society of American Foresters. Baker was named the first African American to lead the 118-year-old Society of American Foresters in September 2012. His talk addressed diversity and inclusion through the personal and professional journey of a person of color who is a national leader in natural resource management, an industry that has historically had very little diversity.

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SUMMER 2019


NEWS & NOTES

Second Annual Strawberry Automation Summit The Cal Poly Strawberry Center and the California Strawberry Commission hosted the second Strawberry Automation Summit at Cal Poly’s Performing Arts Center on April 3. The all-day conference was attended by more than 150 strawberry growers, processors and shippers representing 80 percent of California’s strawberry industry. The event showcased the latest advances in production automation, highlighting on-farm robotics and integration of digital technologies in strawberry production agriculture.

CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS AUG. 29

Summer Undergraduate Research Program Final Presentations

SEPT. 19 Fall Quarter Classes Begin OCT. 11 Fall Preview OCT. 18 Alumni and Friends Reception,

PMA Fresh Summit

Student Enterprises Two separate student enterprises, Tomato Spectacular in April and Succulentopia in May, showcased student grown products. More than 70 different types of tomato plants were sold at Tomato Spectacular, with more than 5,000 plants grown from seed in campus greenhouses by a team of six students. “Tomato Spectacular really embodies the Learn by Doing philosophy at Cal Poly and gives students the opportunity to get involved directly in the industry and experience hands-on learning,” said Beth Funke, a junior agricultural and environmental plant sciences major. “There are so many different dynamic aspects of working in agriculture, and being involved in the tomato enterprise demonstrated that developing social media skills to sell the plants was just as important as growing them.” At Succulentopia more than 100 varieties and 4,000 succulents were sold, with five students overseeing the project. “We have an incredible student succulent crew that handles every aspect of the growing process, including propagation, fertilization and pest management,” said Karianne Rydberg, a senior agricultural and environmental plant sciences major who oversaw the student production team. “Working on this project was a great supplement to my coursework because it gave me a practical application for the things I have leaned throughout my time at Cal Poly.”

NOV. 16 Homecoming

Aspire to Grow Conference The College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences hosted the Aspire to Grow Conference on March 1, exploring innovation in food and agriculture. The symposium, supported by industry partners including lead sponsor Nutrien Ag Solutions, focused on new technologies and developments and the role diversity of thought and experience plays in achieving these. Keynote speaker Ebony Webber, chief officer of operations for the National Society for Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences, was joined by seven featured speakers for two separate panel discussions aimed at creating a forum for students to learn from and network with companies for which diversity and inclusion are an essential part of their visions, and that have recognized that workplace diversity increases productivity, innovation, and other factors that provide a competitive edge.

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PHOTO ESSAY

Two new complexes that will directly benefit students in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences recently broke ground. Construction of the $20 million JUSTIN and J. LOHR Center for Wine and Viticulture began in April, and is estimated to be complete by fall 2020.

Want to watch the progress? A live stream feed is available at cafesbuilds.calpoly.edu.

The university also broke ground on the $123 million William and Linda Frost Center for Research and Innovation (name pending CSU Board of Trustees approval) that will house the Boswell Ag Tech Center, where agriculture, food and technology will come together. 4

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FACULTY RESEARCH

Poultry Pioneer Animal Science Associate Professor Ike Kang was recently honored with the 2019 National Chicken Council Broiler Research Award for his innovative and scientific contributions to the field of broiler processing. He received a similar award in 2018 for turkey research, the National Turkey Federation Research Award for Achievement – a prestigious accomplishment. Kang is a pioneer in the area of poultry processing to improve processing efficiency, quality and tenderness, as well as product safety. Ultimately, Kang’s approach reduces the carcass chilling time by half, improves the tenderness of the meat, and significantly reduces the fresh water, using the proprietary technology of sub-zero saline chilling. Kang is seeking a patent for the improved technology, a process that takes up to four years. “This has truly been a collaboration of academia and industry,” Kang said. Kang’s research of the sub-zero saline chilling was funded by the California State University Agricultural Research Institute. Additionally, Kang is actively conducting a U.S. Department of Agriculture-National Institute of Food and Agriculture research project on reducing the sodium and fat contents of processed meats. “Many people love processed meats but are concerned about high sodium and fat consumption,” Kang said. “The goal of the USDA project is to reduce the sodium content and fat content in processed meats like hot dogs without sacrificing the quality of the meat, meanwhile improving national health.”

This has truly been a collaboration of academia and industry. Ike Kang

Before joining Cal Poly four years ago, Kang taught at Michigan State University and previously worked for Kraft/Oscar Mayer Foods, where he centered his research on turkey hot-bonding and cold-batter mincing to improve processing efficiency and overall quality. At Cal Poly, he teaches courses in meat science, processed meat products, a sausage enterprise course in which students learn to make sausage and then sell it at the Farmer’s Market, and oversees a meat industry tour that takes students to 10 industry plants throughout California.

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COVER STORY

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Funding research gives professors the opportunity to continue their scholarly advancements while researching issues important to farming in California and take that knowledge back to the classroom. Rick Tomlinson, president of the California Strawberry Commission

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The future is filled with both exhilarating opportunities and arduous challenges in fields of agriculture, food and environmental sciences. For generations, students have attended Cal Poly’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences for the hands-on training and education needed to prepare them to be leaders in the industry. They graduate poised and ready to employ innovative solutions to the challenges ahead, such as feeding a growing population, meeting the demands for more efficient, sustainable production methods, and navigating a global marketplace.

SUMMER 2019


COVER STORY

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Students are hard at work. They are analyzing data and using technology to increase the pace of automation. They are working on best management practices and supply chain solutions to ensure a safe food supply. They are engineering solutions to find smarter and more efficient ways to use and conserve water. And this is just the beginning. The Learn by Doing opportunities that enable students to create, collaborate and innovate are driven by the college’s mission to be a center of excellence in applied sciences through responsive scholarship, leadership and service to others. Cal Poly’s fundraising campaign – The Power of Doing: The Campaign for Learn by Doing – made public in May, is intended to empower the college to do even more by providing the funding needed to increase the college’s investment in cutting-edge facilities, enhance hands-on learning opportunities and expand access to applied research and technology.

The college is building for the future and progress is already underway in several key areas – all because of donors who have been willing to step forward and invest in the future. The JUSTIN and J. LOHR Center for Wine and Viticulture, the Boswell Ag Tech Center in the new William and Linda Frost Center for Research and Innovation (name pending CSU Board of Trustees approval), and the George Wurzel Plant Sciences Building will all bring faculty, students and industry together to discover new solutions to the complex issues of the future. To date, donors such as Jerry Lohr, Lynda and Stewart Resnick, Jim and Suzanne Boswell and the James G. Boswell Foundation, and Jim and Michelle Marderosian have contributed more than $20 million to those three buildings alone. But there is much more to be done.

Empowering Excellence Jerry Lohr, founder and co-owner of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, has donated more than $2.5 million to the college’s JUSTIN and J. LOHR Center for Wine and Viticulture and has been an instrumental proponent of the project. Lohr made the first $1 million pledge in 2011 to kick-off the fundraising efforts for the project and has continued to give since. He sees it as an investment in the future of the industry and in the students, who are eager for hands-on experiences. The value of education is immeasurable, he said. Lohr, the oldest of five siblings, said the importance of higher education was imparted to him at a young age, following in the footsteps of his parents and family before him.

Critical areas in need of support to provide Learn by Doing opportunities include investment in scholarships to recruit and retain the best and brightest students, the Summer Undergraduate Research Program to encourage more students to work closely with faculty and engage in research projects that tackle complex issues, and the Industry Engagement Fund to strengthen the college’s ties to industry in the classroom, in the workplace, and in the field.

Dean Andrew Thulin and Jerry Lohr at the construction site of the JUSTIN and J. LOHR Center for Wine and Viticulture.

Cal Poly’s Power of Doing capital campaign has a goal of $700 million raised by 2021. Funds raised will support three primary campaign pillars: Empowering Students, Empowering Excellence, and Empowering Innovation. Below are several stories about what has compelled some of the college’s donors in each of these areas.

“I have a tremendous appreciation for education and when I think of the opportunities I was lucky enough to have in universities, I want others to have those same opportunities,” Lohr said. “The new winery will give students real world experience in techniques that you can only learn by doing.” Lohr frequently employs Cal Poly students and alumni at his own vineyards in Monterey and Paso Robles. Each summer as many as 15 Cal Poly interns work at the J. Lohr Paso Robles Vineyard and Winery in production, viticulture and the laboratory. “Cal Poly students are practical, intelligent, and still down to earth,” Lohr said. “Students come to us eager to see how what they have learned in the classroom is applied – now they will be able to do that on campus. We are not only raising the bar of their educational experience, we are raising the industry professionalism on the Central Coast and beyond. ”

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COVER STORY

Learn more about The Power of Doing: The Campaign for Learn by Doing and how you can donate directly to programs in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences at https://bit.ly/2VouHVh.

Empowering Students Andy LaVelle (Ornamental Horticulture, ’92) and his wife Lisa (Agricultural Business, ’93) recently donated $27,000 to create the Andrew and Lisa LaVelle Scholarship Endowment to benefit students within the college for years to come.

Strawberries use less than 1% of California’s farmland to create the fourth most valuable crop in California. When new challenges emerged to its continued success, the industry turned to Cal Poly. In 2014, the California Strawberry Commission partnered with Cal Poly to create a Strawberry Center on campus to foster innovation and problem solving. With an original investment of $1 million from the commission, Cal Poly hired a new faculty position and launched the Strawberry Center, which has since grown to include an on-campus test farm and a team of faculty and staff specialized in plant pathology, entomology and automation. Rick Tomlinson, president of the California Strawberry Commission, said that the private-public partnership is about investing in human knowledge to help California farmers. “That is what a university does – it cultivates knowledge and people,” Tomlinson said. “The true partnership is converting the investment into value for everyone — learning opportunities for students, scholarly research for faculty, and solutions for farmers. Funding is required, but the real innovation is the collaboration.”

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SUMMER 2019

Now in the fifth year of this partnership, the California Strawberry Commission has contributed $4 million to Cal Poly and attracted an additional $1.2 million in state and federal grants. Industry funding has been used to purchase equipment for laboratories, to provide facilities for faculty and students, to hire additional scientists and technicians, to fund numerous research projects, and to provide internships and Learn by Doing opportunities for 53 undergraduate and 10 graduate students. “Funding research gives professors the opportunity to continue their scholarly advancements while researching issues important to farming in California and take that knowledge back to the classroom,” Tomlinson said. “Cal Poly with its Learn by Doing focus is interested in giving students real experiences. We are investing in the next generation who will enter the strawberry industry ready to address future challenges and implement new solutions in agriculture, engineering and data science – advancing strawberries into the next generation of precision agriculture.”

“While attending Cal Poly, our experiences were fantastic,” said Andy LaVelle, president of Arborwell, a professional tree management company in California. “I also know the value of a Cal Poly degree, as it meant a lot within my career because the Cal Poly name is held in such high regard in terms of agriculture in California.” LaVelle said he and his wife, Lisa, who is vice president of the Gap Outlet global inventory management, decided to fund the endowment to give a focus to their philanthropy after assessing their overall charitable giving to a variety of organizations. The couple maximized matching funds from each of their employers to create the endowment. Andy LaVelle recently joined the advisory council of the Natural Resources Management and Environmental Sciences Department to provide industry insight and expertise. Arborwell employs nearly a dozen Cal Poly graduates, he said. “We realize how much it now costs students in California to attend college,” he said. “We just loved our experience at Cal Poly and want to as much as possible make that opportunity available to others.“


Q&A

Stephanie Jung, a professor in the Food Science and Nutrition Department, was named a faculty fellow in the college Dean’s Office in August 2018. Jung, who earned a doctorate in agricultural and food science from the National School for Engineers in Nancy, France, specializes in converting agricultural and food waste into feed, food, fuel and pharmaceutical applications. She joined Cal Poly in 2014.

What did your role as a faculty fellow involve this past year?

A: This past year, I had the opportunity to bring increased focus to the college’s ongoing diversity and inclusion efforts, as well as advance the onboarding program for new faculty. I worked closely with leadership across campus who are developing and implementing strategies to make Cal Poly a more inclusive and diverse environment. As a result, I have a broader view of Cal Poly as an institution and the key role the college plays in our campus. I also worked closely with the college’s reinvigorated Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which is comprised of undergraduate and graduate students, staff and faculty, on a number of initiatives concerning diversity and inclusion. This year the college hosted several events aimed at encouraging conversations and

learning around diversity and inclusion, including the Aspire to Grow Conference, several panel discussions, and a multi-day training workshop.

Why is diversity, equity and inclusion important?

A: When students graduate, they will work in an ever-broader world and they need to be aware of the benefits diversity of thought and experience brings to an organization, and have exceptional skills to make them the most competitive for jobs and to prepare them for their career and life success. Certainly, it’s about making Cal Poly a better place, but for Cal Poly to continue to be an important player in higher education, equity, diversity and inclusion are some of the most important tools we need to rely upon, embrace and support.

How can it be enhanced in the college?

A: Equity, diversity and inclusion is about all of us – we each have a role to play at Cal Poly and in the larger world. I believe in a world where there is a meaningful place for everyone, regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, religion, orientation, social status or nationality. Supporting each other and being open minded, showing kindness and empathy, having the courage to challenge ourselves, and reflect on our experiences and thoughts are starting places that can benefit every single person on campus. Providing and exposing faculty, staff and students to a variety of events, activities and platforms to reflect on their personal journey is one powerful but simple way that we can contribute to increasing diversity and inclusion in the college.

Q&A CAFES.CALPOLY.EDU

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STUDENT SUCCESS

Definition of success

• degree or measure of succeeding. • satisfactory completion of something. • the gaining of wealth, respect or fame. • a person or thing that succeeds.

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1 Finalist

Gabriella Hernandez, a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in animal science, was selected as a finalist in the American Society for Nutrition’s Emerging Leaders in Nutrition Science Poster Competition for her research on pediatric non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in neonatal Iberian pigs. The competition highlights the best research done by students pursuing their masters and doctorate degrees and clinical fellows in the American Society of Nutrition. She was also selected as one of six finalists to participate in the 2019 American Society for Nutrition’s (ASN) Young Minority Investigator Oral Competition, organized by the Minority and Diversity Affairs Committee this June in Baltimore, Maryland.

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2 Reserve Champion

Armando Nevarez, a second year ag systems management major, was named the Reserve Champion of the state of California at the Young Farmers and Ranchers Leadership Conference Collegiate Discussion Meet in Sonoma County in February. Fourth-year agricultural communication major Chloe Fowler, first-year dairy science major Genevieve Regli and fourthyear agricultural communication major James Broaddus also competed in the event, advancing to the Elite Eight round. The students met Kevin Kester, immediate past president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and Jamie Johansson, president of the California Farm Bureau Federation.

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3 2019-20 ASI President

Third-year environmental management and protection major Mark Borges was elected to serve as the 2019–20 ASI President. He is the 25th ASI president from the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. Borges, who ran on a platform focused on improving campus health and well-being, diversity and inclusion, sustainability and empowering student voices, previously served as the chair of the ASI Board of Directors.

4 Cal Poly Loggers

The Cal Poly Loggers traveled to Fort Collins, Colorado, to the Association of Western Forestry Clubs 80th Annual Conclave. Senior bioresource and agricultural engineering major Will Kraemer took top honors at the Stihl Western Men's Collegiate Qualifier and

agricultural and environmental plant sciences senior Erin Sheridan finished third in Stihl’s Women’s Triple Event. Kraemer will head to Milwaukee this summer to compete in Stihl's National Men's Collegiate Championship.

5 Top Three

Six students attended the national conference of the Society of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences in April, placing in the top three of four separate speaking contests. Junior agricultural science major Mayte Magallon won second in the Business Pitch Contest; sophomore ag systems management major Armando Nevarez won second in the Impromptu Speaking Contest; senior agricultural science major Angel Carrillo won third place in the Prepared Public Speaking


STUDENT SUCCESS

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Contest; and sophomore agricultural science major Gissel Corcoles won second place in the Prepared Public Speaking Contest. In addition, Corcoles and graduate student Omar Benitez, who is pursuing a master’s degree in plant science, were both elected to national office.

6 Dairy Science Students

A team of four Cal Poly students: dairy science majors Hank DeVries, Alexandra Gambonini, and Elisabeth and Elise Regusci took first place at the 18th annual North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge held March 28-30 in Tifton, Georgia. During the competition, students evaluated a dairy including analyzing financial statements and health records. The students then presented recommendations to a panel of judges. This is the fifth time in the

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last six years that a Cal Poly team placed first in its division.

study about bile acid dysregulation and colon cancer in Iberian pigs.

7 Quadrathlon

9 Polo Teams Advance

A team of four Cal Poly animal science majors took first place at the 2019 Western Section American Society of Animal Science Academic Quadrathlon, held April 5-6 in Moscow, Idaho. The team, consisting of Selby Boerman, Sarah Dreyer, Kaitlyn McFarlan, and Hannah Neer competed in four events, including a written exam, oral presentation, a practicum of eight labs, and a quiz bowl.

8 First Place

Victoria Smith, a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in animal science, won first place at the CSU Student Research Competition in Fullerton on April 26 for her

The men’s and women’s polo teams both advanced to the 2019 National Intercollegiate Polo Championship in April. Claire English, a sophomore majoring in animal science, was awarded the Sportsmanship trophy. She was selected for the award by members of all three competing women’s teams from Cornell, UVA and Texas A&M.

include: senior recreation, parks and tourism administration major Sterling Humphry winning men’s all around; freshman agricultural communication major Sadie Noblitt winning women’s reserve all around; and senior marine sciences major Hannah Steagall winning women’s rookie of the year. In addition, the women’s team won the regional title and the men’s team won second place.

10 Rodeo of the Year

The Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Rodeo Team had 14 members advance to the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyoming. The Poly Royal Rodeo was also named regional Rodeo of the Year. Additional regional accolades

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THEN & NOW

Cal Poly Kismet When Patrick “Jerry” Duval (Soil Science, ’57), started as an undergraduate at Cal Poly in 1955, he remembers looking around and asking the guy standing in front of him while waiting to register for classes where all the “coeds” were. At the time, Duval had no idea he had enrolled in an all men’s school. Duval, who was raised on a farm in Anaheim, California, had planned on being a pharmacist. But after two years of attending George Washington University, he was unable to pay to the tuition for his third year, lost his college deferment, and was immediately drafted into the Korean War. He was deployed to Germany to the Army of Occupation, where he worked alongside a U.S. Army pharmacist while deployed, quickly learning that it wasn’t what he wanted to pursue a career in. When he returned home from Germany, his brother suggested that he check out Cal Poly’s brand new Soil Science Department. Soon, he was enrolled. “I had chopped enough weeds growing up on a farm that I wanted to get as far away from it as I could, but I guess it got ingrained in my DNA,” Duval jokes. And by a stroke of luck, or kismet, he met the love of his life, Lilli, the following year. Women were again allowed to enroll at Cal Poly in the fall of 1956 for 12

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the first time since 1930 after they were banned by the state government because of a lack of funding at the start of the Great Depression. As Duval tells the story, “During the summer I was introduced to a very nice girl who had just graduated from San Luis Obispo High School. She had applied and was accepted by Cal Poly. As I remember, there were about 80 female students and 4,000 male students! By the time that classes started, Lilli and I were dating and getting to know about each other and her family who lived in San Luis. I felt that I was the luckiest one out of the 4,000.” The two married shortly after he graduated in 1957. Duval was the first Cal Poly soil science graduate to be hired by the UC Ag Extension Service at the Citrus Experiment Station in Riverside, California. He then went on to work for the California Department of Water Resources, where he worked as a land and water use analyst. He later purchased a soil testing lab in Mountain View, Perry Laboratories, with Lilli working alongside him managing the business, consulting with ornamental horticulture nurseries in the Bay Area, Salinas and Watsonville. The two never left each other’s side. In December, the happy couple celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary.

Jerry and his wife Lilli visiting at her parents’ house in San Luis Obispo shortly after their daughter Suzanne was born.


EMPOWERING STUDENTS EMPOWERING EXCELLENCE EMPOWERING INNOVATION

THIS IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY. THIS IS OUR POWER.

JOI N U S G IVING . CALP OLY. ED U


California Polytechnic State University 1 Grand Avenue San Luis Obispo, California 93407-0250

LEARN BY DOING WAS BORN HERE AND WILL THRIVE HERE, ALWAYS.

STAY CONNECTED WITH US: /calpoly.cafes /calpoly_cafes /calpoly_cafes Dean Andrew Thulin and Jerry Lohr of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines discuss future hands-on learning opportunities while overlooking the construction of the winery at the new JUSTIN and J. LOHR Center for Wine and Viticulture.

Cultivate Summer 2019  

The quarterly magazine of the Cal Poly College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, a globally recognized center of excellence i...

Cultivate Summer 2019  

The quarterly magazine of the Cal Poly College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, a globally recognized center of excellence i...