Cultivate Summer 2018

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Riding on a Dream Discover the Oppenheimer Family Equine Center and what it means for Cal Poly students. Page 8





Reason to Celebrate Dean Andrew Thulin with Peter and Mary Beth Oppenheimer in the Equine Center's new covered riding arena.

As another academic year comes to a close, I cannot help but pause for a moment to celebrate our many successes. As another group of seniors dons caps and gowns and makes its way into the future, another freshman class prepares to begin its journey here with us. As parents you entrust your children to Cal Poly to provide the very best education available, and we take that to heart. As industry supporters, you partner with us knowing that the investment you make defines a successful future. In the last two months we have enjoyed some great achievements. In May we celebrated the ground breaking of the Cal Poly Center for Wine and Viticulture that will provide generations of students with a world class facility and educational program. A multi-year fundraising effort to achieve this has raised more than $14 million to date. That support is invaluable in moving the college into the future. In June the new Oppenheimer Family Equine Center was unveiled — another project completely paid for by private donors. When Peter and Mary Beth Oppenheimer donated $20 million to Cal Poly, they pledged their support of our vision: to provide students with the best education and facilities for Learn by Doing that we can. The Oppenheimer Family Equine Center will benefit students from across the university and provide a place for varying disciplines to connect and thrive.

This is Reality — you, working with us, to support tomorrow’s leaders. Thank you for supporting Cal Poly. Public education is a partnership and we are fortunate to have you all working alongside us. There is still much work to be done. Together, we can do it. Warmest regards,



Q&A ————


Cover Story RIDING ON A DREAM ————



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 805-756-2933 AnnMarie Cornejo 805-756-2427

Publication Designer IE Design + Communications, Hermosa Beach, California Printer Lithographix, Los Angeles, California Staff Photographer Mady Braught Andrew J. Thulin | Dean

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Meet Our New Faculty

Zach McFarlane Department: Animal Science Area of Specialty: Beef Cattle Production Systems Education: Ph.D. in Animal Science from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; master’s degree in Animal Science from the University of Arizona; bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Science from the University of Arizona Hometown: Gridley, California What book are you currently reading? "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success," by Carol S. Dweck and "Letters to a Young Scientist," by E. O. Wilson

Siroj Pokharel Department: Animal Science

New Director of Development Allyson Fischlin joined the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences’ advancement team in June as a director of development. She is returning to her native California after four years in Indiana. While in the Midwest, Fischlin worked at Purdue University as the director of development operations and donor stewardship for the College of Science. In this role, she was responsible for stewardship strategy, annual giving solicitations, donor event planning, and fundraising for diversity initiatives. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from UCLA and recently completed her master’s degree in public relations from Indiana University.

Area of Specialty: Meat Food Safety Education: Ph.D. in Food Safety and Microbiology from Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas; master’s degree in Meat Science and Muscle Biology from the University of Nebraska Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska; bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry from Tribhuvan University, Chitwan, Nepal


Summer Undergraduate Research Program Final Presentations

Hometown: Kathmandu, Nepal

SEPT. 20

Fall Quarter Classes Begin

What book are you currently reading? “Karnali Blues,” by Buddhi Sagar

OCT. 12

Fall Preview

NOV. 8-11


AUG. 30




Open House 2018 Thousands of alumni and prospective students visited campus April 13-14 to learn more about the programs offered by the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. Students showcased the college’s many programs, offering interactive displays and answering questions. In addition, the 78th annual Poly Royal Rodeo was once again held in Cal Poly’s Alex G. Spanos Stadium, bringing more than 14,000 spectators to the rodeo performances.




Pictured from L to R: Chris Meyer of George P. Johnson, Alex Sapiz of Cisco Systems, Catherine Simmons of Salesforce, and Bill Hendricks, head of Cal Poly's Experience Industry Management Department.

Award of Excellence Professor Marni Goldenberg (pictured above second from the left), who teaches outdoor and experiential education in the Experience Industry Management Department, was honored with an Award of Excellence from the California Park and Recreation Society for outstanding research. “The California Park and Recreation Society’s awards program is the highest recognition our department faculty can receive and it is credit to Goldenberg’s dedication to her scholarship, which has assisted our department in becoming a highly recognized and respected academic program across the U.S.,” Experience Industry Management Department Head Bill Hendricks said. Goldenberg’s research on participant motivation has spanned from skateboard and dog parks to Special Olympics and outdoor trails and marathons. Her research findings have been published in more than 25 books and journal articles and in more than 120 international, national, regional, state and local presentations. “She’s demonstrated her commitment to public parks and recreation not only through engagement at the state level but also at the district level,” said Keri Schwab, assistant professor in the Experience Industry Management Department. Since 2003, Goldenberg’s research has been accepted at all but one research symposium at the annual California Park and Recreation Society conference, a year in which she was on leave.

Photos provided by students Olivia Larsen and Sam Snowden.

The Power of Experiential Marketing: Q&A with Industry Leaders The Experience Industry Management Department hosted an event in February that brought key leaders from leading experiential marketing firms to Cal Poly to meet directly with students. Alex Sapiz, Cisco Systems senior director of global sales events and talent, Catherine Simmons, Salesforce vice president of strategic events, and Chris Meyer, CEO of George P. Johnson, presented “The Power of Experiential Marketing: Q&A with Industry Leaders” to a crowd of several hundred students of varying academic focuses. George P. Johnson is a global creative agency that designs and delivers unique experiences that build brand devotion, including global events for Cisco Systems and Salesforce. The interactive presentation provided an overview of the power of experiential marketing and highlighted why Experience Industry Management curriculum and other programs at Cal Poly — including Construction Management, Graphic Communications, Engineering, Journalism, Computer Science, Information Systems, and Marketing — are relevant to the success of Cisco, Salesforce and George P. Johnson. “Our industry is one in rapid revolution,” said Sapiz, who oversees a number of high-profile sales events for Cisco, including the company’s annual global sales conference. “Nothing will ever replace live experiences.” Simmons encouraged students to gain global experiences to enhance their ability to provide genuine customer interactions. “We are always trying to be innovative and sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t,” said Simmons, who oversees the annual Dreamforce conference in San Francisco. “The significance lies in the stories we tell around our values and the experiences we create to display our products and our brand.” Sapiz said she was impressed by students’ questions and enthusiasm to enter the experiential industry. “These students are so brilliant, poised and thoughtful,” she said. “I am blown away with how hands-on the Cal Poly program is — these students have a huge leg up in their future endeavors.” CAFES.CALPOLY.EDU



Students Aim to Ease Food Insecurity


We take for

granted that

students have safety, food, housing and

clothing — but

many students do not. If our goal

at Cal Poly is to get students to graduate, then

they have to be

equipped with the tools they need to get there — and one of those is adequate food. Aydin Nazmi

Every day as many as 6,000 Cal Poly students experience food insecurity — not knowing where their next healthy meal will come from. A student outreach group, overseen by Professor Aydin Nazmi of the Food Science and Nutrition Department, have stepped up to make sure that struggling students are connected with resources to reduce hunger on campus. A comprehensive survey conducted by the California State University Chancellor’s Office found that in 2017 as many as 27 percent of Cal Poly students experienced food insecurity. “A lot of students think food insecurity is hunger or starvation — which does exist on the far end of the spectrum,” said Kelly Condron, a second-year graduate student studying nutrition. “However, it can also be anxiety about where they are going to get their next meal or not having enough money for food.” Condron helped launch the CalFresh outreach effort at Cal Poly, a nutrition assistance program funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered by the state Department of Social Services. The federal program provides funding to low-income individuals or households for nutritious foods at participating stores and farmers markets. On average, Cal Poly students who qualify receive $150 a month to spend on groceries. Cal Poly is one of 11 CSU campuses participating in the outreach efforts — led by California State University, Chico’s Center for Healthy Communities. A two-year grant has paid for campus outreach efforts. The team is seeking a renewal of the grant for an additional three-year period.



Today, 15 student interns and a five-member student leadership team from across Cal Poly assist outreach efforts by canvassing the campus with information about the program and holding drop-in hours and private appointments at various locations to assist students in applying for the program. Third-year nutrition major Angela Yue has been working with CalFresh outreach since fall 2016. “I was looking to be more involved on campus and the topic of food insecurity is important to me,” Yue said. In the last two years, the group has helped 300 students apply for the CalFresh benefits but only about half of those qualified. A stringent set of requirements must be met in order for a student applicant to qualify for assistance. Yue said that she was surprised at the number of people that need help but are not eligible. “Students have come in before that are homeless and are in obvious need of the CalFresh benefits, but they just didn’t meet the guidelines.” Third-year nutrition major Claudia Lavina, who also helps with outreach efforts, said that each time a student is approved is a moment of triumph. To qualify, students meet one of several criteria including: work a minimum of 20 hours a week; be approved for a state or federal work study; have parental control over a dependent; be a recipient of CalWORKs or be enrolled in Extended Opportunity Programs. “There is a definite gap between eligibility criteria and need that keeps students from receiving the benefits when they could really use them,” said Nazmi. While it is always difficult to turn students away, Cal Poly has launched a number of other options on

FEATURE Left: The CalFresh Outreach Team at Cal Poly. Right: L to R: Nutrition students Alex Udd and Emma Pierotti working during drop in hours.

By the Numbers:

campus to help students struggling with food insecurity including the Cal Poly Food Pantry, a monthly food distribution through the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County and the new Mustang Meal Share that allows students to donate unused meals from their campus meal plans. “Food insecurity can affect anybody,” Condron said. “From a societal perspective we often only talk about it in relation to low-income individuals…or in areas of urban blight. However, when it comes to college students, we have seen everyone you can imagine: athletes, students on full-ride academic scholarships, students working full-time to pay their tuition. Food insecurity touches all demographics.” Yue said that a lot of students worry that they will take benefits away from someone else who might need it more. “This is not true at all,” said Yue. “These funds are here for people in need, anyone in need. Receiving benefits will not stop anyone else from getting them.” Students who are hungry struggle more academically, become sick more often, and suffer mental health consequences. Nazmi said that the work students are doing to connect their peers with needed resources and raise awareness of food insecurity on campus is instrumental in student success. “We take for granted that students have safety, food, housing and clothing — but many students do not,” Nazmi said. “If our goal at Cal Poly is to get students to graduate, then they have to be equipped with the tools they need to get there — and one of those is adequate food.”

1 in 4 students at Cal Poly are food insecure

50 40 30 20 10 0 Very Low




Food security status among Cal Poly students At Cal Poly 27 percent of students are food insecure, with 15 percent of students at low food insecurity status and 12 percent of students at a very low status. Another 26 percent of students are only at marginal levels of food security, with the remaining 47 percent of students food secure. Data from a 2018 CSU study.




For the Joy of the Sport


Where else do

you get to see the best of people,

just working hard

to make someone else’s life better? Jody Watty

Alumna Jody Watty (Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration, ’97) has long been passionate about working with and for people with special needs. While growing up in Thousand Oaks, California, Watty became close friends with her neighbor, Jeff, who had a developmental disability. Today, she still considers him one of her “favorite people in the world.” Her friendship inspired her to become a volunteer at the Special Olympics in Ventura County — foreshadowing an illustrious career helping those with special needs. When Watty arrived at Cal Poly in 1992, she immediately sought out Special Olympics in San Luis Obispo County to volunteer while attending college. She established a relationship with the director at that time, which eventually blossomed into Watty’s role as the regional director of the San Luis Obispo County Special Olympics. She has held that title for 21 years. Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing philosophy prepared Watty for the career ahead. “I had some things come naturally to me for my job, but Cal Poly helped to nurture those and focus me,” she said. “Working in groups is something the department exposes students to and something very needed in my job and in the world. I was lucky to have some fantastic professors who shared their experiences, set the bar high and pushed each student to be their very best.” Watty gained more from Cal Poly than professional readiness — she also met her husband, Justin, who was also majoring in recreation, parks and tourism administration. They married in 2001 and have three kids: Logan, 15; Aly, 11; and Parker, 5. Today, their bustling family also includes three dogs, two cats, two tortoises and a bunny. In her role as regional director, she oversees special events for the athletes, fundraising, volunteer coordi-



nation and working with the public. She works with a small but mighty staff, including two Cal Poly alumni. “I have the best job!” Watty said. “I get the opportunity to work with people who give their time or their money to help out people in their community. Where else do you get to see the best of people, just working hard to make someone else’s life better?” Watty said she is constantly working to overcome the common perception that the Special Olympics is a once-a-year event — when realistically athletes compete year-round. “That means we need volunteers all year long to coach,” she said. “It also means that our funding needs are higher as we want to get more athletes doing more sports.” The memories that she has gained along the way will last a lifetime. “I have witnessed great personal achievements by athletes and experienced vivid moments where volunteers stepped up and made an incredible impact on our athletes,” Watty said. “If you ever want to see why it is we do what we do, all you need to do is show up to a practice or event and you will see greatness being achieved.” Under Watty’s leadership, Special Olympics in San Luis Obispo County partners with Cal Poly, working with students in the Experience Industry Management Department (formerly Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration), and the Engineering and Kinesiology programs. “We love working with Cal Poly students and welcome new ideas and ways to be involved,” Watty said. “I met some of the best people I know at Cal Poly, including my husband. I remain close to some of the professors I took classes from and still feel the support from the college — I hope everyone can say that, as I am grateful that I can.”


Q: What will the Fulbright Scholarship enable you to do? A: I will spend 10 months in Malawi, from January to October 2019, teaching and helping to build the curriculum for a nutrition training program at the University of Malawi, College of Medicine to train clinical dietitians. There are only a handful of countries in all of Africa that educate nutrition professionals, and Malawi considers nutrition a key national policy priority because of the illness and death of infants, children and adults that results from poor nutrition.

Q: Describe Malawi and how you have come to know it. A: I came to know Malawi through my work with the World Health Organization where I met a colleague from Washington University who was conducting research studies there. Our partnership began by providing an opportunity for Cal Poly nutrition students to spend three-month stints in Malawi gaining global health and nutrition experience. For part of my sabbatical I decided to reengage my field nutrition skills and lead a study of pregnant women in Malawi with the goal of reducing maternal malnutrition. A modification of the nutrient supplement we found successful is now being used in Sierra Leone.

Q: What is the country like? A: Malawi is known as the warm heart of Africa — and that describes it beautifully. The people are welcoming, hard-working, proud of their country, and willing to teach you about their culture. It is a wonderful place to do work. Malawi is an underdeveloped country with a mix of nice structures and a lot of old colonial-style buildings in town, and rural dirt roads, mud huts and thatched roofs. It is a population that suffers from diseases of both over- and under-nutrition. You can see elements of both no matter where you are, in a village or in the city.

Q: There are only six registered dietitians working in the entire country? A: In Africa, only a handful of countries produce nutrition professionals. Malawi has decided to educate and support nutrition professionals and to hire them — creating a class of health care workers who will be immediately able to work in the field. While there I will teach similar courses to what I teach at Cal Poly such as medical nutrition therapy and diet for prevention and treatment of diseases. I also want to develop curriculum for the university so that something stays there when I leave. I’m taking my experiences from Cal Poly as a tenured faculty member in developing outcomes and measuring them and starting that process there.

Nutrition Professor Peggy Papathakis joined Cal Poly’s Food Science and Nutrition Department in 2006 determined to engage in nutrition research in developing countries and provide global experiences for Cal Poly students. In the last decade she has conducted numerous research studies, which included more than 30 students, in the small country of Malawi in southeastern Africa focused on increasing the nutritional intake of pregnant women there. Papathakis, who received a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in April, will now continue her efforts in Malawi.


Q: What is your hope for the future in Malawi? A: That the country will be more self-sustaining. There are currently high unemployment rates with educated people unable to find jobs. This is a potential avenue to improve that. My biggest goal is to help build the professional capacity available to them so that they can use it in their homes, their communities and to help continue to build up their beautiful country. I want them to succeed.



COVER STORY This photo and the cover photo were provided by architectural firm Populous, Inc.

Riding on a Dream A grand opening celebration was held on June 1 to mark the completion of the first phase of construction of the Oppenheimer Family Equine Center at Cal Poly, but the true celebration began in March when the first foals of the season were born in the new mare barn.





fact, he even lent a helping hand, working alongside students to hang hooks in the new tack room and make other improvements. Mary Beth Oppenheimer worked closely with Equine Unit manager Julie Yuhas-Volk to comfortably furnish the student foaling barn lounge, which is used 24 hours a day during foaling season. Mary Beth also documented the first birth in the new barn in an iMovie featuring “Uno,” the first foal of the season born there. “We are so grateful for all that they have done for us,” said Ashlyn Frost, a senior biomedical engineering major, who comes from a cattle ranching family.


The now-complete covered riding arena, foaling barn, stallion barn and hay barn at the northern end of Cal Poly’s campus was funded by the $20 million donation made to the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences from longtime Cal Poly supporters Peter and Mary Beth Oppenheimer in 2014. “We are grateful to the Oppenheimers for supporting the vision of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences and investing in facilities and programs that will support generations of students to come,” Dean Andrew Thulin said. “It is partners like Peter

and Mary Beth Oppenheimer who allow us to reach our full potential in providing the best for our students.” Students from across campus will benefit from the equine center, with programs including a foaling and breeding enterprise, a quarter horse enterprise, the Cal Poly Dressage Team, the Cal Poly Polo Team and the Cal Poly Equestrian Team. Peter Oppenheimer took an active role in overseeing the design and construction of the new buildings, becoming a regular on the equine grounds as buildings were erected and students began to explore the new facilities. In

We are grateful to the Oppenheimers

Improvements Expand Student Opportunities

for supporting

There is a constant buzz on the grounds, with as many as 200 students a day using the facilities in some capacity. Cal Poly manages a herd of more than 125 horses used in its riding classes, dressage and equestrian teams, pack-horse enterprise, breeding, quarter horse and colt starting programs.

the College of

Animal science seniors Giavanna Caputo and Katelyn Ingwerson managed the new, expanded mare barn, overseeing a student team responsible for tracking and caring for each of the season’s 13 foals and the mares who birthed them. During the foaling season, students staff the barn 24 hours a day — working in shared shifts to ensure the safety of the mares. “A foaling emergency can happen quick,” Ingwerson said. “If no one was here, it could be dangerous.” A new student lounge gives students a place to do school work while there. Equipped with a large-screen television, the new

the vision of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences and investing in facilities and programs that will support generations of students to come. Dean Andrew Thulin



Photo by Brittany App





Donation amount made by the Oppenheimers in 2014 to fund the new space

Herd size managed by Cal Poly students at the new Equine Center

Square-footage of the covered riding area

setup allows students to monitor each of the stalls on a continual basis and for Yuhas-Volk to immediately offer advice to students if she is offsite. The new stallion barn, where the breeding program is headquartered, also offers remote viewing access into stalls and an improved laboratory setting. Students oversee the breeding program, coordinating with veterinarians throughout the U.S. when Cal Poly mares are bred to outside stallions to embryo transfers. “The new lab offers us more and improved space, and an overall better learning environment," said David Shandley, a junior animal science major and student manager of the breeding program. The 60,000-square-foot covered riding area allows students to ride year-around, a steep improvement from the past when riding



classes were postponed because of dangerous, muddy terrain. Students proudly showcased the arena June 2 at the annual Performance Horse Sale, the first large event to be held there. Students auctioned off 20 horses, all of which were raised by students during the Quarter Horse Enterprise program. Frost managed the Quarter Horse Enterprise, spending more than 10 hours a week during the spring quarter planning for the sale. Frost said she enjoys the comradery of the students, who spend up to three hours a day riding the horses they are training. The new facility allows for more training activities to occur simultaneously, working up to 25 horses at one time, she said. Ultimately Yuhas-Volk envisions expanding the Cal Poly equine program to offer more diverse classes, clinics and events.

x25 Number of horses that can now be trained simultaneously

Additional facility improvements to the Oppenheimer Family Equine Center are on the horizon. A second riding arena, an Animal Health Center and an Agriculture Event Center, all funded in some part by the Oppenheimers’ donation, are in various stages of planning. Peter and Mary Beth Oppenheimer in the recently unveiled mare barn.


Rooted in Our History Cal Poly and the FFA in the 1930s BY LA U R A S O RVE T T I | University Archives Beginning in the 1930s, Cal Poly students and staff welcomed FFA members from high schools across California for the annual State Convention, which was held at Cal Poly starting in the 1931-1932 school year, the same year Cal Poly established a local chapter of the FFA. Each May, approximately 800 high school FFA members from across the state came to Cal Poly for three days to attend the convention. The three days were filled with meetings, instructional sessions, tours of the campus buildings and farm units, and a “full program of entertainment” that included swimming, a banquet, music, boxing and wrestling, and a dance. Attendance for the convention doubled the number of students on campus — at the time

Cal Poly enrolled between 400-600 students. To accommodate the attendees, the campus installed a temporary “tent city” of 100 army tents in the center of campus (near where the Dexter Lawn is today), which could house up to 800 visitors.

Photo courtesy of University Archives.

Today, Cal Poly continues the tradition by welcoming more than 2,000 students from across the state at the annual California State FFA Finals competition in May. Students compete in 21 events in categories including agronomy, dairy cattle, farm business management, floriculture, forestry, livestock, nursery landscape, marketing, vegetable crops, vet science and welding. A group of volunteers including Cal Poly faculty, staff and students, industry professionals, and community members judge the events.




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



BioResource and agricultural engineering junior Will Kraemer at the Association of Western Forestry Clubs Logging Conclave hosted by Cal Poly in April.


The 2018 Cal Poly Dairy Challenge Platinum award winning team. L to R: Coach David Vagnoni with students Anthony Echeverria, Amber LaSalle, Matt Ruby, and Tony Lopes.


The 21 member Cal Poly student team who planned the California State FFA Finals competition at Cal Poly.


L to R: Cal Poly students Elise Regusci and Morgan Wonderly attended the 2018 AFA Animal Institute.




L to R: Kelly Reeves, Maria Griffin, Britney Moore, Blake Petrucci, Taylor Corder, Emma Manoukian, Eric Taggesell, and the National Agri-Marketing Association Team's advisor, Professor Christiane Schroeter.

L to R: Jim Douglass, manager of the J and G Lau Family Meat Processing Center, and students Catie Field, Lane Koontz, Beaujena DeSilva, Toni DeMatteo, Veronica Staggs, Kira Olson, Connor Smith and Morgan Metheny. The Cal Poly Soil Judging Team at the Region 6 Collegiate Soil Judging Contest.






California State FFA Judging Finals

BioResource and Agricultural Engineering Junior Advances to National Stihl TimberSports Championship

The Cal Poly Meats Team Wins the Norm Eggen Championship Cup

Twenty-one Cal Poly students and dozens of volunteers planned and executed the annual California State FFA Finals competition, hosted on campus May 5. More than 2,000 students from across the state attended, competing in 21 events throughout the day in categories including agronomy, dairy cattle, farm business management, floriculture, forestry and vet science. “I had a great experience as an FFA member attending State Finals, which led me to choose Cal Poly for my education,” said Emily Herzog, a dairy science graduate who is seeking her teaching credential. “I wanted to be able to give back to the organization while I had the chance, before I get to bring my own students to this awesome event.”

2 Agriculture Future of America Three Cal Poly students attended the Agriculture Future of America (AFA) Animal Institute from April 8 to 10 in Kansas City, Missouri. Dairy science junior Elise Regusci, animal science senior Morgan Wonderly and agribusiness sophomore Shane Stubblefield attended the institute along with nearly 100 students from colleges across the country with an interest in animal health. Students visited different businesses based in the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor, including companies specializing in animal health, nutrition and marketing, among others. Other opportunities for students to network with industry professionals included an industry panel and career roundtable.

3 National Agri-Marketing Association Team Cal Poly’s National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) team placed in the semi-finals at the annual student marketing competition in April. NAMA is the nation’s largest association for professionals in marketing and agribusiness. Each year, the association holds a competition between student chapters from universities across the U.S. and Canada. This year’s NAMA team consisted of 22 students, seven of whom traveled to the annual contest in Kansas City, Missouri with their project advisor, Professor Christiane Schroeter. Over 36 universities were represented at the competition, and Cal Poly placed in the semi-finals, among the top 12 universities in attendance. “The competition was an amazing experience,” said agricultural business junior Taylor Corder. “The team was not only able to expand our knowledge and meet industry professionals, but also make connections with future leaders of the industry.”

Will Kraemer, 21, a bioresource and agricultural engineering junior and president of the Cal Poly Logging Team, topped competitors from a dozen western colleges and universities at the highly competitive Stihl qualifier in March. The collegiate lumberjacks were the best all-around competitors from each of a dozen teams attending the three-day Association of Western Forestry Clubs (AWFC) Logging Conclave hosted by Cal Poly. The competition is the largest collegiate timber sports competition west of the Mississippi. In the Stihl qualifier, collegiate athletes competed in four disciplines: standing and underhand block chops with an axe, single buck with a cross-cut saw and stock saw, a speed-event done with a chainsaw. Kraemer won three and took second in the underhand chop. He will join the winners of four other regional qualifiers (as well as three wild card selections) from campuses throughout the U.S. when the best lumberjack athletes — collegiate and professional — in the country return to Milwaukee from July 27 to 29 to thrill fans with amazing athletic performances in the Stihl TimberSports Series Championships. The event draws some 15,000 fans. The competition will air on ABC in October, with re-airs on ESPN2.

5 Dairy Challenge Team The Cal Poly Dairy Challenge Team earned first place at the 17th annual North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge, held April 12-14 in Visalia, California. The win marks the fourth time in five years that Cal Poly has won the Dairy Challenge Platinum Award. The students assessed all aspects of a working dairy farm and developed a farm analysis that included a list of recommendations related to facilities, nutrition, financials, reproduction and animal health. The Cal Poly team ranked first in its division among eight teams. In all, 235 students from 28 states representing the top animal science and dairy programs in the U.S. and Canada competed at the event. The Cal Poly team members on the winning team were: Anthony Echeverria, Amber LaSalle, Matt Ruby, and Tony Lopes. The team was coached by Assistant Professor David Vagnoni, dairy science Lecturer Rich Silacci, and Assistant Professor Julie Huzzey. Students Hannah Neer, Elisabeth Regusci and Tate Nelson also competed at the event.

The Cal Poly Meats team brought home the Norm Eggen Championship Cup at the California Association of Meat Processors’ annual Cured Meats Competition, held Feb. 23-25 at UC Davis. Students competed in the collegiate class of 25 entries including UC Davis, Chico State and Fresno State. The award is named for former Cal Poly meats lecturer Norm Eggen, who taught in the 1970s and ’80s. Cal Poly students showcased flavor-coated bacons, with the team developing, processing and producing the product from concept to completion. Coached by Jim Douglass, manager of Cal Poly’s J and G Lau Family Meat Processing Center, the Cal Poly Meats Team was comprised of eight students: animal science senior Veronica Staggs; animal science junior Connor Smith; graduate student Lane Koontz; animal science junior Kira Olson; animal science senior Catie Field; bioresource and agricultural engineering senior Toni DeMatteo; agricultural business senior Beaujena DeSilva; and graduate student Morgan Metheny. Staggs also earned the Grand Champion Award for her maple bourbon pecan bacon.

7 Cal Poly Student to Join the USA National Team in the International Soil Judging Contest in Brazil Forestry and natural resources senior Braden Povah will travel to Itagui, Brazil, in August to compete with the U.S. team in the International Soil Judging Contest. Povah’s nomination to the team follows multiple accomplishments made by the Cal Poly Soil Judging Team in recent months. The team took first place overall and won all five of the top individual performance awards at the Region 6 Collegiate Soil Judging Contest, hosted by Chico State at Butte College, in Oroville, California in March. In addition, at the National Collegiate Soils Contest hosted by the University of Tennessee, also held in March, the Cal Poly team placed 12th overall, competing against 22 teams from across the U.S. Povah placed ninth in the individual competition, qualifying him to join the national team. This is the first time a Cal Poly student will compete at the international contest. Seven students were on the team this year: Povah; environmental management and protection senior Brian Clark; environmental earth and soil sciences senior Jaclyn Supkoff; environmental earth and soil sciences senior James Smith; environmental earth and soil sciences senior Ryan Cunning; environmental earth and soil sciences senior Taylor Wigglesworth; and wine and viticulture senior Kyle Angelich.




Five agricultural and environmental plant sciences majors grew more than 1,200 succulents featuring 75 different varieties, which were sold at a plant sale in May raising more than $14,000 for the program. Student succulent manager Allana Childs, who oversaw the student production team, said the experience of using credible industry sources to research succulent types and reaching out to experts helped solidify her knowledge of propagation, irrigation and fertigation. “I was able to experience the Learn by Doing motto to its fullest extent for this event,� Childs said. 14



Breaking Ground Cal Poly celebrated the groundbreaking of the new Center for Wine and Viticulture on May 4, commencing construction of a leading-edge facility that will provide space for academia, industry and the community to come together to learn, connect and collaborate. ยบ



Photos by Brittany App



The private event was attended by key donors and supporters, as well as Cal Poly leadership, faculty, staff and students. A public event will be held once construction is complete. The project is anticipated to open in fall 2019. The Center for Wine and Viticulture is a public-private partnership involving significant private funding that will enhance the Wine and Viticulture program at Cal Poly for years to come. The fundraising campaign for Cal Poly’s Center for Wine and Viticulture has spanned multiple years and has raised more than $14 million to date. “We would not be where we are today, breaking ground on a project that will benefit generations of future winemakers and vintners, without a legion of community support,” Dean Andrew Thulin said. “This is an affirmation that Cal Poly graduates are a tremendous asset to the industry and I look forward to a long and prosperous partnership.” Cal Poly’s Wine and Viticulture program, the largest of its kind in the U.S., provides a comprehensive education that focuses on the three major elements of the wine industry: viticulture, enology and wine business. The program currently has a 14-acre teaching and production vineyard and small pilot winery where students gain hands-on experience in all aspects of the industry, from vineyard cultivation and management to winemaking, marketing and distribution. The Center for Wine and Viticulture will include both a 15,600-square-foot winery and a 12,000-square-foot grange hall. The buildings will include crush, fermentation, barrel, sensory, bottling, enology and viticulture rooms, as well as teaching and research labs, a bonded winery, offices, and community and industry meeting spaces. Professional partners in the project include TLCD Architecture as the executive architects, Von Raesfeld & Associates as the winery consulting architects, and JW Design & Construction as the contractor.



want to be part of the


Join Cal Poly in creating the culinary, sensory and food labs that will train the next generation of industry leaders. To learn more about becoming our partner in the new Science and Agriculture Teaching and Research Complex, and working with us to create, innovate and discover our food futures, please contact Tim Northrop at or call 805-756-2166.

this future requires your participation

GIVING OPPORTUNITIES: • Culinary Teaching Lab • Sensory Analysis Teaching & Research Lab • Teaching & Research Instrumentation Lab • Nutrition & Food Studies Lab • Food Safety Teaching Lab

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


CAL POLY GROWN STAY CONNECTED: /calpoly.cafes /calpoly_cafes /calpoly_cafes

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