FRESNO STATE — Four Fresno State students in the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology were recognized on May 5 with area ag scholar awards by 23rd District Assemblyman Jim Patterson at a ceremony at the Vincent E. Petrucci Viticulture Building.
Plant science senior Omar Albughanam (of Clovis), agricultural business senior Riley Barney (Chowchilla), agricultural education senior Jocelyne Juarez (Wasco) and plant science junior Aalexis Woolf (Bakersfield) were selected for the awards based on their passion, growth and innovation related to their academic success, research and service to industry and the community.
Each student also received a $500 scholarship from My Job Depends on Ag, a national grassroots organization that started in Fresno and shares personal perspectives on how agriculture impacts all lives.
Albughanam placed fourth in the national speech contest this past fall at the Students for Agronomy, Soils and Environmental Science Conference, and also competed in related soil judging and quiz bowl team events. He has worked with students, faculty, industry and community members as the Irrigation Club president and as a Plant Science Club member. He also studies topics related to gas, moisture and nitrate topics as a USDA technical research intern.
Barney has worked with students, faculty and staff as Agricultural Business Club president and Jordan College Student Leadership Council member. She has worked on a legislative bill that impacts the labeling and usage of California olive oil as a California Apple Commission intern. She has studied the potential impacts of genetically modified walnuts and domestic and international market response as a member of the Jordan College Honors Research Cohort. She will start a master’s degree in international affairs this fall at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M.
Juarez has been committed to Central Valley agricultural education and outreach as part of the state FFA Field Day planning committee and multicultural ambassadors campus program. She has dedicated her honors research to studying learning activities that develop soft skills that are tied to the Ag Career Readiness Certificate Pathway project. She has served as a co-coordinator for the state agricultural ambassador conference and hosted campus visits and farm tours for Central Valley schools.
Woolf has served as president and former secretary of the FFA Field Day committee, which welcomes 3,000 students, advisers and volunteers to campus each year. She has served as a campus agricultural ambassador and judged various speaking competitions for local high school students. She spent this past summer interning with Syngenta Crop Protection and created presentations to educate future customers.
By Geoff Thurner.