Dr. Carmen Licon-Cano (left) at the Fresno State Creamery. Photo courtesy Fresno State.

published on July 1, 2022 - 12:47 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

The Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology at Fresno State announced Thursday that they have received nearly $900,000 in grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Only nine grants were awarded by the department to assist in expanding education and conducting agricultural research and other activities.

Jordan College received two of the nine available grants.

The grants are intended to help colleges develop necessary infrastructure to conduct agricultural research and education. They will also go to support outreach activities and personal development opportunities for faculty and staff, as well as increase numbers and diversity of graduates in the industry.

“These two grants represent the hard work of grant writing by Drs. Licon, Pheasant and Brillante, along with our pre-award grant research administrators, Maral Kismetian and Director Doug Carey,” said Dr. Joy Goto, interim dean of the Division of Research and Graduate Studies at Fresno State.

The first grant dispersal of $750,000 went to Dr. Carmen Licon, assistant professor of food science and nutrition, and Dr. Susan Pheasant, director of the Institute for Food and Agriculture at Fresno State. The grant will go toward strengthening the food and dairy processing programs at Fresno State.

The grant will fund the purchase of state-of-the-art equipment aimed at expanding production at the Fresno State Creamery. The program plans to provide paid internships for graduate and undergraduate students, the development of various conferences and workshops for students and faculty to participate in, and outreach and technical assistance to dairy businesses.

“I don’t have words to express how happy and excited we are,” Licon said. “It really complements what we are building in the long run.”

A second dispersal of $149,943 was awarded to Dr. Luca Brillante, assistant professor of viticulture, and Bronco Wine Company Viticulture Chair.

Brillante plans to focus on purchasing new equipment allowing faculty and students to research spatial analysis of plants and soil, using various high-tech tools to determine whether or not plants require extra resources like water or fertilizer.

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