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Ag education gets $2 million boost at Chico State

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  • Largest-ever donation to California State University, Chico will benefit students in the Department of Agriculture through annual scholarship program.

His philanthropy at the University of Oregon endowed 40 presidential scholarships there, and in doing so “we increased the level of learning and the quality of instruction, and the quality of the university as a whole,” Guistina said.

Guistina’s donation to Chico State marks the largest-ever scholarship gift to California’s second-oldest CSU campus, and will fund up to 16 $5,000 scholarships a year for students in Chico State’s College of Agriculture. CSU Chico is one of four agriculture colleges in California. Agriculture enrollment at the university has doubled since 2006, according to university Spokesman Joe Willis.

Students who apply to be Bell Presidential Scholars must have strong academic backgrounds and a commitment to agriculture, and demonstrate a history of leadership and service.

“One of my great passions in life has been education,” said Guistina prior to making his donation.

Agriculture is well-represented at Chico State, which boasts an 800-acre university farm, including an organic dairy and programs for students in animal science, crop science, ag business and ag education.

Current Chico State student body president Taylor Herren of Kern County, Calif., is a senior studying animal science. Last December, Chico State agriculture education student Natalie Oelsner of Galt, Calif., was the collegiate discussion meet winner at the California Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting. Oelsner went on to compete at the national collegiate discussion meet level.

Agriculture not only plays an important role in the history of California State University, Chico, but through generous donations like Guistina’s and, with the caliber of students involved in agriculture programs at Chico State, agriculture should continue to have success there well into the future.

 

Follow me on Twitter @ToddFitchette

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