2017 Ag Hall of Fame Inductee Announcement

The National Ag Science Center is pleased to announce the confirmation of the Modesto Junior College’s Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Department induction into the Ag Hall of Fame. “As we celebrate our 20th Annual Ag Hall of Fame Gala, it is fitting for the inductee to be an educational institution. The MJC Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Department has one of the finest agriculture programs in the nation. We are thrilled it will take its place alongside the other notable companies and individuals who have impacted the community in the Ag Hall of Fame,” stated NASC Director, Dr. Emily Lawrence.

The annual induction ceremony is a time where the community comes together to recognize the accomplishments of individuals, families and companies who have contributed to Stanislaus County’s role as one of the nation’s leading agricultural counties. With a longstanding history in this community, the MJC Agriculture Department has impacted and assured/continued the development of agriculture in this community, inspiring future farmers, business people and leading innovators in the industry. MJC President, Dr. Jill Stearns stated “Induction into the Ag Hall of Fame is an honor and wonderful recognition of the Modesto Junior College Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Department. MJC is proud to partner with the National Ag Science Center in providing agriculture education to our community.”

For nearly 100 years, the Modesto Junior College Agriculture Department has prepared students for future careers. Whether it is education and training to enter the workforce or to strive for higher educational pursuits, the MJC Agriculture staff has been a model of professionalism in providing “hands-on” skills and a strong educational foundation for student success. Many of the staff members have been recognized for their contributions to agricultural education by being selected to the highest honor bestowed by the California Agriculture Teachers Association (CATA), the “Teacher of Excellence.” With an outstanding reputation, MJC Agriculture enjoys a great deal of notoriety for its exemplary programs and leadership opportunities for students.

Modesto Junior College is located in the fertile soil of the Northern San Joaquin Valley which features the production of almonds, walnuts, peaches, apricots, grapes, corn, small grains, vegetables, livestock, dairy products, poultry and poultry products as well as many wholesale and retail nurseries.  The area also includes a large food processing industry, implement manufacturing and implement dealerships.  Agriculture and related businesses are the major employers in the Modesto Junior College service area.

MJC Agriculture offers one of the most comprehensive community college agriculture programs in the nation. MJC’s agriculture curriculum encompasses 16 Associate of Science Degrees and 13 Technician Certificates. Commitment to excellence is evident in the instructional program, which utilizes modern technology and practical hands-on approaches to student learning. Industry collaboration has always been a hallmark of the MJC Agriculture Department. Located in the heart of California’s Central Valley, industry field trips enable students and staff to experience the latest developments in technological advances in food and fiber production, on many occasions within 30 minutes of the campus.

Student leadership has always been a highlight of the program. With well over 150 members in the MJC Young Farmers Club, which is a Charter Affiliate of the California Agriculture Leaders, members can take advantage of many opportunities to hone their leadership skills.   Students have additional opportunities for leadership training by being active participants in the Ag Ambassadors. There are also program area clubs such as the Animal Science Club, Dairy Club, Quarter Scale Tractor Club, Environmental Horticulture Club and the Poultry Club.

The Modesto Junior College Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Department offers a unique blend of modern instruction offered by a diverse, talented and dedicated staff utilizing the most current technology in an applied class and farm laboratory setting. It is the vision of the MJC Agriculture Department to continue to provide the most outstanding agricultural education experience for the existing and future leaders of this dynamic and rich agricultural industry.  The next generation of agriculturalists are being developed and will continue to serve the food and fiber needs of California, the United States, and the world.

Chris Lehikainen, NASC Board President commented, “We were very impressed by the swell of support and efforts of the Advisory Board of the Modesto Junior College Agriculture Department to bring this nomination forward. We hope the community will join us in congratulating and celebrating this wonderful institution.”

This year’s Gala Induction Ceremony will be held on Friday, November 3, 2017. Event details will be announced in the coming weeks. For more details regarding event sponsorship and underwriting opportunities please contact Edie Nehls at edie@agscienccecenter.org

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