Fall Conferences attended by Fresno State Plant Science and Ag Business students

Plant Science and Ag Business students attend national conferences

(November 20, 2015) – A host of Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology students gained important experience connecting with faculty, professionals and researchers from across the nation at two key conferences in recent weeks.

Agricultural Business senior Nick Hastin attended the Agriculture Future of America’s Leaders Conference in Kansas City, November 5-8 with Dr. Mechel Paggi, Fresno State Institute for Food and Agriculture director.

The Bakersfield native Hastin was one of 82 seniors selected to attend the conference to help develop leadership skills and prepare for agricultural careers. Returning to the event for the second consecutive year, his application was successfully approved for an industry sponsorship with Syngenta that paid for his conference expenses. An additional campus grant through Fresno State’s agriculture ambassadors program from an IRA campus fund helped cover his travel expenses

Overall, more than 600 students between the ages of 18-24 from across the nation attended the conference that included industry leaders, speakers, discussion group leaders, exhibitors and guests. The conference featured the theme “BE: The Voice, The Catalyst, The Future” to inspire college agricultural students to help share agriculture’s story more successively with the general public.

“It was a great experience to learn about the future of agriculture around the world and how to transition into the workforce from successful professionals,” Hastin said. “One of the most informative sessions was about becoming a successful leader by using computational thinking, cross cultural competency, new media literacy, and novel and adaptive thinking. I also made a great contact for a possible job and learned how important it is to make a difference in the future while loving what you do professionally.”

The Fresno State plant science department also was well-represented at the 2015 Tri-Societies Annual Conference in Minneapolis, November 15-18 that brought together members of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of America.

The Plant Science Club continued its success in the President’s Speech Trophy contest with a second-place finish after winning the competition two of the past three years. Sophomore Grant Verdegaal presented to the judges the many ways that the club prepares students for the professional sector and its many volunteer and charitable opportunities that connect it with the Central Valley.

Graduate students Giulano Galdi, Josue Samano Monroy, Elizabeth Mosqueda, Eeva Sharma and Touyee Tao competed in poster competitions, while Elizabeth Mosqueda entered the oral contest.

Thao was one of four student award winners for his research presentation on lysimetric measurements of ET for drip-irrigated crops.

Undergraduate seniors Julie Pedraza and Sarah Parry competed in the Plant Health Society poster presentation, and Pedraza also presented a poster on her USDA research.

Pedraza and Parry were selected Golden Opportunity Scholars prior to the conference, while Parry also was one of five students recognized nationally at the event as a Greenfield Scholar.

Parry also gave an oral presentation and exchange student Larissa Larocca presented a research poster.

Professor Dr. Anil Shrestha attended the event and chaired an ASA/ESA joint session titled 'Management and Biological Control of Weeds in Agroecosystems'. He serves as the leader of the ASA’s Weedy and Invasive Plant Species Community group and organized the session with his ESA colleague Dr. Linda Buergi of Oregon State.

Other Fresno State undergraduate students that attended the conference included Katie Asai, Holly Deniston-Sheets, Crystal Espindola, Mauro Trujillo, Jr., Clayton Kruse, Jose Omar Carrillo, Doran Clark and Jose Villanueva.

More information on the conferences are available at the Agriculture Future of America’s Leaders Conference and Tri-Societies Conference websites.