New Agribusiness Department Chair
Welcome to the 2016 edition of the Cal Poly Agribusiness Department newsletter.
I was hired to lead the Agribusiness Department (AGB) in July 2015. I bring three decades of experience in agricultural economics and business.
It has been extremely gratifying to learn about the tremendous achievements of our AGB students and faculty over the past nine months, as well as the alumni, industry partners, and other friends and constituents of the department.
This past academic year has been an eventful one. In July, Professor Jay Noel retired as department chair and I was asked to assume leadership of the department. Noel’s many years of stellar service as both a faculty member and chair led to the hiring of several quality faculty members, some of whom you will hear from in this newsletter. Under his stewardship, the AGB department grew steadily and is now the second most in-demand major in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES). The department's success is due to Noel’s nurturing of faculty and students, as well as overseeing major improvements in teaching and research effectiveness. Noel will retire from Cal Poly in fall of 2016. Please join me in thanking him for his many years of service to the AGB department and Cal Poly.
Looking to the future, we plan to revamp our curriculum, reinvent our internship program, complete our five-year program review, and renew and refocus our industry advisory council. We will also make improvements to our classrooms, including the creation of a tutoring center that will also serve as a study space, so that our students will have an academic area close to our classrooms.
The AGB faculty continue to attain high levels of success, presenting their research at professional gatherings, obtaining research grants, and publishing research in respected journals. The faculty commitment to the Cal Poly teacher-scholar model immensely benefits students by exposing them to instructors who are fully equipped with state-of-the-art knowledge and the tools to tackle real world problems. Their success in many national competitions is a testament to the quality of our faculty and the willingness of our students to work hard and deliver first-rate performances.
Our students continue to be successful in securing jobs that lead to meaningful careers in the industries they love. As you read this newsletter, I hope you share my pride in the department and the fantastic opportunities it offers our students. I hope to hear from many of you in the coming months and encourage you to stop by and see us whenever you are in San Luis Obispo. On behalf of the AGB students, faculty and staff, I wish you an outstanding and productive remainder of 2016, and hope that success will continue to find you and your loved ones in 2017.