Fresno State University kicked off a new era in agricultural research with the opening and dedication of its Jordan Agricultural Research Center.
The Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology at Fresno State is a 30,000-square-foot interdisciplinary agricultural research center located on the campus farm in the heart of Fresno. The facility features three floors of dry and wet research laboratories, flexible space and meeting rooms for Fresno State students and faculty to conduct advanced studies on agriculture, food and water.
Made possible by a $29.5 million dollar gift to the Ag One Foundation from Hanabul “Bud” and Dee Jordan family in 2009, the research center is designed to foster collaboration between students and faculty in Fresno State’s Jordan College, Lyles College of Engineering and College of Science and Mathematics, as well as industry partners.
The Ag One Foundation began in 1979 as an idea to benefit, promote and support the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology. Since then the foundation has raised more than $17 million in endowed funds.
“The research that will take place within these walls will have global significance for years to come,” said Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro.
The first floor includes research areas for robotics, computer water modeling and visualization and sensory evaluation, and is home to the California Water Institute. The second floor is home to environmental air and water quality and bioenergy system research laboratories. The top level includes genomics, entomology, microbiology and plant physiology laboratories. The second and third floors have flexible modules built in for future research needs.
All three floors include large lounges and interaction areas for collaboration. A spacious conference and training room and a lobby will be located near the main entrance.
“The Jordan Agricultural Research Center is a revolutionary place that will better connect our college with the nation’s leading agricultural area,” said Sandra Witte, dean of the Jordan College.
At its May 13 dedication ceremony two leading agricultural companies announced combined gifts of $700,000.
The Wonderful Company donated $500,000 which will be used to enhance the first floor conference room of the center.
According to Castro, the space will be named in honor of The Wonderful Company and will provide students, faculty, staff, and industry partners with a dedicated area for collaboration, teaching and training.
“Fresno State is rapidly becoming one of the top agricultural education and research institutions in the country,” said Stewart and Lynda Resnick, co-owners of The Wonderful Company. “As an agriculture industry leader and one of the world’s largest growers of citrus, nuts and pomegranates, we have a vested interest in the future of farming. We are pleased to lend our support to this unique research facility, which will further the science of agriculture and train our next generation of industry leaders.”
Bayer CropScience donated $200,000, which will be directed towards the research center’s entomology laboratory, which will be named in honor of the company.
Bayer President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Blome said the center will help students develop key skills for the agricultural marketplace.
“This effort will focus on talent development in order to provide internship and job opportunities for current students, continued research on key pests facing agriculture in the Central Valley and collaboration with students in the agricultural department to address crucial issues in the ag sector,” said Blome.
Last year the Jordan College announced additional naming gifts from:
- Dr. Harry B. Moordigian, Jr., Fresno State alumnus and dentist, in support of the microbiology laboratory;
- Earl and Beverly Knobloch, Fresno State alumni, for the instrument and robotics laboratory; and,
- Olam Spices and Vegetable Ingredients, a global provider of agriculture products and food ingredients, to support sensory evaluation, tasting and prep laboratory.
Dee Jordan was present at the center’s groundbreaking in June 2014 and monitored its construction through occasional visits and contact with Ag One Foundation staff before passing away in Nov., 2015 at age 87. Her husband Bud preceded her in death in 2002 at age 83.