Campus Farm benefits from $2 million in updates

New boiler- Fresno State food procesing labKeyed by a recommendation by President Castro’s Commission on the Future of Agriculture, the University Agricultural Laboratory is in the process of $2 million in maintenance updates to many of its units that supply the Gibson Farm Market’s wide array of student-made products.

The dairy and food processing centers are making Fresno State ice cream and other favorite products more safely and efficiently thanks to a new shared boiler. The larger unit is energy efficient, reuses water better, reduces room humidity and allows both operations to run equipment simultaneously.

The buildings have also undergone painting and ceiling, and repairs to the floor, lighting and roof.

The units are also in the development phase for a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. In the summer, high temperatures and humidity provide difficult work conditions for employees and food processing.

The agricultural operations shop that services the Jordan College’s motorized fleet has replaced auto lifts and a worker’s well, and has added trucks, trailers and a computer server.

Other completed projects include horticulture nursery tables and electrical upgrades, sheep feeder and chute equipment, a hot water system at the winery and a water heater at the meat science laboratory.

In upcoming months at the meats lab, a cattle and hog knock box will be installed to improve student safety with more modern equipment and provide a more stress-free animal environment. A new grease trap is scheduled for next summer to handle wastewater more efficiently.

A new post-harvest storage cooler is being designed to ensure better preservation of fresh-picked campus fruits and vegetables.

Other potential projects include a new quarter horse unit foaling barn, dairy barn, pump and well repairs, a back-up poultry operation water source and student horse center barn repairs.