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Dee Jordan Donates $29.4 Million

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Our Mission

In 1979, several faculty, alumni and friends of the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology had a million-dollar idea -- to start a foundation that would benefit, promote and support the college and its programs. The supporters set out to raise $1 million in endowed scholarships. Today, the Ag One Foundation has raised more than $19.5 million in endowed funds.

Over the years, donors, board members and volunteers have made it possible to award some 4,400 students with more than $6.2 million in scholarships and program support. For the 2018-2019 academic year, Ag One will provide more than $700,000 to deserving students and programs. For a complete list of endowments, click here.

In Memory of Ruben "R.E." Pahl

Ruben and Bonnie Pahl

Ag One, the Jordan College and Fresno State lost a dear friend, Mr. Ruben "R.E." Pahl on August 15, 2018. During the Korean War he enlisted in the US Air Force and was assigned to Castle Air Force Base where he was a member of a B- 50 Bomber flight crew. After active duty, Ruben completed his education at Fresno State and received a bachelor's degree in Plant Science and Viticulture. He was a student of Professor Vincent E. Petrucci and later a graduate instructor in the Department of Viticulture and Enology at Fresno State. He was a key volunteer for Ag One's Turf Day Golf Classic for a number of years. Ruben was a longtime supporter of the college and lifelong friend of Vince Petrucci, the two continued to attend Fresno State Football Tailgates even in their 80's. His passion for Fresno State was an inspiration to many.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, remembrances may be sent to the Ag One Foundation for support of students majoring in the Department of Viticulture and Enology in Ruben's name. Click for more information.

In Memory of Rob O'Rourke

Rob O'Rourke

Ag One, the Jordan College and Fresno State lost a dear friend and alumnus, Mr. Rob O'Rourke on July 12, 2018.

Rob graduated from Fresno State in 1988 and spent nearly 40 years working in procurement, inspection, and sales and marketing of all major produce categories. He and his brother, current Ag One Director John O'Rourke ('93), started RJO Produce Marketing in 1993, where he most recently served as vice president of business development. With a reputation for being forward-thinking and innovative, Rob was well known throughout the produce and retail industries.

He was passionately involved with and supported Catholic Charities, Boys Scouts of America, Knights of Columbus, Fresno State, San Joaquin Country Club and served on the membership committee for the Produce Marketing Association.

He is survived by his wife, Monica; children Katie, Megan, Ryan and Kevin; parents Ron and Kathi; brothers, Rick, Michael and John; and many in-laws, nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts and cousins.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, remembrances may be sent to the Ag One Foundation to establish an RJO scholarship in Rob’s name, click for more information, or to Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Fresno,  149 N. Fulton Street, Fresno, CA 93701.

In Memory of Fernando C. "Fred" Machado

Fred and Maxine MachadoAg One, the Jordan College and Fresno State lost a dear friend, Mr. Fernando C. "Fred" Machado on July 9, 2018.

Fred emigrated from Flores, Azores in 1949 with his family at the age of 16. He joined the US Navy and with great pride served in the Korean War - he loved America, Portugal too. He was a dairyman and farmer. He was very active in many agricultural, Portuguese and church organizations over the years. He served on the Ag One board and was a Community Salute honoree in 2003. His name will forever be linked to the Jordan College and deserving students through the endowment established in his honor. He was an advocate for Fresno State agriculture and you'd see him and his wife Maxine at many an Ag One event - always with a glass of red wine, a big smile, hug and a compliment.

Fred and Maxine traveled the world extensively and visited Flores, Azores routinely. Fred, Maxine, granddaughter Kylie Woodward along with his brother Richard and wife Carol Machado were part of the group from the Central Valley that joined President Joseph I. Castro and wife Mary, Dean Sandy Witte and me in Terceira, Azores for the signing of the student exchange agreement with the University of the Azores. He was very proud to have witnessed this milestone.

We are forever grateful for Fred Machado.

- Alcidia Freitas Gomes

Click to read the full obituary.

In Memory of Margaret "Marnie" Jensen

Margaret JensenAg One, the Jordan College and Fresno State lost a dear friend, Mrs. Margaret "Marnie" Jensen on July 2, 2018.

Marnie was born in 1919 to W.E. "Ed" and Clarice Roberts in Bakersfield before moving to Fresno in 1920, when her parents began farming in the Fig Garden area. She graduated from Fresno High School in 1937 and attended Fresno State College where she met her husband of 76 years, Rodger. 

Three weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Marnie and Rodger married for life. While Rodger was in training, she traveled to be near him, even after their son, Douglas, was born in 1943. They both welcomed Rodger home after the end of World War II. The family was complete when their daughter, Marjorie, was born in 1947.

Marnie was devoted to her family and valued her friends in the Bridge Club, which was formed during the war years and continues still. She was a life member of the Delta Gamma Sorority, and her and Rodger received honorary doctorates from Fresno State in recognition of their support for the university. Marnie also received the Common Threads award in 2004. 

Friends and family are invited to honor Marnie by making a contribution to their favorite charity. 

Click to read the full obituary.

In Memory of Manuel "JR" Mancebo, Jr.

Mancebo at dairy banquet
Manuel "JR" Mancebo (center) with students from the Dairy Science Club, President Joseph Castro, Dean Witte and Dairy Science professor Dr. Kyle Thompson in 2017.

Ag One, the Jordan College and Fresno State lost a dear friend on June 17, Manuel "JR" Mancebo. 

Mancebo helped build Kings County Truck Lines into an industry leader before selling the company in 2006. Starting as a mechanic apprentice for the family company at the age of 17, he climbed the company ranks, taking over the family business in 1971 at the age of 41.

Founded in 1940 by Mancebo’s father and Portuguese immigrant Manuel S. “Spike” Mancebo, the company developed a reputation for its safe and reliable transportation of milk products and dry goods throughout the Central Valley and Southern California. Mancebo’s commitment to client service helped the company expand its operations to Northern California, Oregon, Arizona and Utah, as it added major contracts with companies such as Safeway and Baskin-Robbins. At the height of its business, its shipping line grew to 1,000 trucks and more than 800 employees.

Mancebo was equally respected within the Tulare community with his wife of 61 years, Katye, who passed away in November 2014. They were active in supporting local charities, including Valley Children’s hospital, St. Aloysius Catholic Church and other community and education-based organizations.

In 2017, Mancebo pledged a $1 million bequest in support of the Fresno State dairy science program. Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro, Jordan College Dean Sandra Witte, faculty, staff, students and industry supporters honored the former trucking magnate and his late wife, Katye, May 6, 2017 at a dairy science club banquet in Tulare. In recognition of their generosity, Fresno State will request that the campus dairy production facility be renamed the Manuel “JR” and Katye Mancebo Dairy.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial tributes may be made payable to the Ag One Foundation, click for more information.

Jordan Agricultural Research Center

Bridging academic research with practical education

As the flagship university in the top agricultural region in the world, Fresno State is a fitting home for a world-class research center to discover and investigate the most advanced concepts and practices of agriculture, food and natural resources. The new Jordan Agricultural Research Center at Fresno State will foster collaboration between some of the brightest minds in agriculture, engineering, science and mathematics. The 30,000-square-foot facility is reinventing Fresno State as a leading research institution for decades to come.

President's Commission on the Future of Agriculture

The Commission on the Future of Agriculture issued its report on May 9, 2014 with several key recommendations to enhance and build the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology. The full report is available here

Important Date

November 9, 2018 - West Side Alumni and Friends Luncheon, Five Points

November 29, 2018 - Trap Shoot, Kingsburg Gun Club