New Jordan College staff - fall term 2015

Jordan College welcomes new campus farm, faculty & research staff

(August 21, 2015) – The Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology introduced several new employees at its assembly that welcomed faculty and staff back for the 2015 fall semester.

The Agricultural Business Department added Dr. Serhat Asci as an assistant professor after he spent the past year as a researcher for the Fresno State Institute for Food and Agriculture.

His recent research has focused on decision-making under uncertainty, demand modeling and international trade. He has applied his analytic and quantitative skills to other research projects involving water demand, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as well the dairy, grape, pistachio, almond and pomegranate industries.

The Antalya, Turkey native received his doctoral degree in Food and Resource Economics Department from the University of Florida (2013), master’s degree in Food Economics and Management (2008) from Akdeniz University and bachelor’s degree in Food Engineering (2000) from Middle East Technical University.

Matt Brain was hired in July as the new campus winemaker and class lecturer. He previously held the winemaking lecturer position at Cal Poly since 2012 and served as co-owner and co-winemaker of his own boutique winery, Baker and Brain. The 1,600-case brand practices sustainability and minimal intervention, and features Pinot Noir and Rhone varietals from vineyards across the Central Coast.

His resume includes professional experience as an enologist and technical representative for Laffort USA, winemaker at Edna Valley Vineyard and Juniper Canyon and cellar master at Tolosa Winery and Courtside Cellars. He received his bachelor’s degree in plant physiology from San Houston State in 2000, and added a master’s in biological control and fungal pathology in 2002, and a wine and viticulture distance learning program degree from UC Davis in 2010.

Tim Jacobsen returned to the Center for Irrigation Technology as a field research manager in May and focuses on studies that maximize agriculture production with limited water. He has been involved in both permanent and row crop production since arriving in the Central Valley in 1981 and has worked with a wide range of crops including tomatoes, cotton, grapes, almonds, alfalfa, and other forage crops. Most recently, he has worked with dairies and dairy farmers in the production of forage crops.

He previously served as a lecturer for Fresno State and conducted field research from October 2000-July 2005. He received a bachelor’s degree in soil science from Cal Poly in 1981 and a master’s degree in plant science from Fresno State in 1991. His other professional experience includes as a sales representative for Advanta, agronomist roles for Sygenta, Resource Seeds, Silveira Brothers, Crop Care Services and Boyle Engineering, product development manager for Horizon Ag Products, and irrigation engineer for Westside Pump Company.

Fresno State alumnus David Sieperda returned to campus as its new farm manager in August to oversee the 1,000-acre University Agricultural Laboratory and a workforce of 120 full-time and part-time employees among its 20 enterprises.

He spent the past four years as farm operations manager at Stahlbush Island Farms in Corvallis, Ore. The farm increased fruit and vegetable production revenues and conventional and organic farming acreage, and implemented new technologies that included utilizing precision camera-guided cultivators and the application of biogas plant byproducts to enhance soil quality. He also served as a Llano Seco Rancho ranch manager in Chico from 2003-11 and helped dramatically increase its revenues among its conventional beef, organic pork, almond and walnut units. A 1991 Fresno State crop science graduate, he also worked from 1996-2003 as an agronomist, assistant manager and pest control advisor for Meyers Farming near Firebaugh.

The Jordan College Advising & Career Development Center filled its full-time advisor positions by attracting talents from other campus units – Gaby Delgado de EncinasTerence Wan and Tahler Winfield - to help guide the academic paths of the 2,700 Jordan College students this fall. They will be housed in newly renovated offices in Ag Science Building Room 110 later in November with Mary Willis, the college’s first year coordinator for internships and professional experiences.

The Departments of Child, Family and Consumer Sciences and Food, Science and Nutrition each added new department advisor assistants – Kathy Mathew-Coelho and Belinda Rossette. The will replace the retiring Cheryl Jackson and Andrea Magdaleno who shifted to the same role with the Viticulture and Enology Department.

The previous viticulture and enology DAA, Jayne Ramirez, now works in the Dean’s Office as an assistant to Interim Associate Dean Kathie Reid-Bevington, while her former assistant Teresa Ramos now works as the Dean’s Assistant in the College of Science and Mathematics with former plant science entomology professor Andrew Lawson.

The Agriculture Operations unit also added Arlan Hartman as an automotive and equipment mechanic.

Other department transitions included Dr. Katie Dyer being named the department chair for Child, Family and Consumer Sciences, and the return of Plant Science professor Dr. Dave Goorahoo from sabbatical.