Farm History

The Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology is firmly rooted in the tremendously fertile San Joaquin Valley. Instruction in vocational agriculture started three years after the 1911 establishment of Fresno State Normal School. The Agricultural Department began in 1925 and included a biology program. Land was rented for the self-supporting Millbrook farm in 1937. During the early 1940s the curriculum was expanded to include animal husbandry, agricultural mechanics, and food processing. From 1947 to 1954 the first farm laboratory was established at Hammer Field. Leaders in California agricultural industries launched a state-wide fund-raising effort to acquire the State College site. In 1952 the Agriculture Department became the Division of Agriculture composed of three departments -- Agricultural Mechanics, Animal Sciences, and Plant Sciences. Animal science and plant science advanced degree programs were added to the curriculum in 1968.

The Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences was established in the late 1960s. The Department of Agricultural Economics was created during the 1969-70 academic year. In 1977 the Department of Family Studies and Home Economics joined the school, which was renamed School of Agriculture and Home Economics. The Department of Industrial Arts and Technology became a part of the school in 1980. In 1982 an advanced degree in Agricultural Business was approved.

Today, the school offers five advanced degree programs. The agricultural laboratory was enhanced by the 1983 addition of the 4,500 acre San Joaquin Experimental Range in the Sierra Nevada foothills. In 1987 the school adopted the new name of Agricultural Sciences and Technology to more accurately reflect the growing emphasis of academic and outreach programs in scientific research, technology transfer, and management efficiency.

A significant addition to the school occurred in 1984, when the California Agricultural Technology Institute (CATI) was founded to sponsor applied research and technology transfer needed by agricultural industries of California. CATI oversees the funding and administration of the Viticulture and Enology Research Center (1985), the Center for Irrigation Technology (1980), the Crop Production and Protection Center (1986), and the Center for Agricultural Business (1986).