Fresno State hosts dedication of Mancebo dairy facility
(April 25, 2019) — The renaming of the Manuel Mancebo Jr. and Katye Mancebo Dairy Production Unit after the program's generous supporters was celebrated Thursday morning by a crowd of over 100 campus staff, faculty, students, alumni, friends and family.
The facility, which was built in 1983, will commemorate the Mancebo's who donated $1 million to create a fund to support dairy science students and program initiatives.
The campus dairy is the largest student-run operation on the 1,000-acre campus farm laboratory and was started in 1954. It is overseen by dairy science program coordinator and assistant professor Dr. Kyle Thompson.
A workforce of 24 students gain valuable hands-on career training in every part of the dairy industry that has strong historical ties to Central Valley agriculture and the nation’s leading dairy state.
A milking line of approximately 160 Holstein and Jersey cows are milked twice every day. Milk is then transported each day to the California Dairies Co-op, and used at the campus creamery to produce milk, 30 flavors of campus ice cream and cheese that are sold at the nearby Gibson Farm Market.
The facility is also utilized for animal science classes, dairy club and judging team activities, campus tours and youth outreach events.
Manuel Mancebo, Jr., helped build Kings County Truck Lines into an industry leader before selling the company in 2006. He started as a mechanic apprentice in the family company at the age of 17, and climbed the company ranks before taking over the family business in 1971.
The company was started in 1940 by his father, Manuel S. “Spike” Mancebo, and initially known for transporting dairy products throughout Central and Southern California.
Ultimately growing to 1,000 trucks and more than 800 employees, the company expanded to serve clients in Northern California, Oregon, Arizona and Utah, and companies such as Safeway and Baskin-Robbins.
Manuel Mancebo, Jr. and his wife of 61 years, Katye, were equally respected within the Tulare community for supporting area charities, including Valley Children’s hospital, St. Aloysius Catholic Church and other community and education-based organizations.
The campus dairy gift was pledged initially in 2013 and fulfilled after Manuel, Jr. passed away in 2018, while his wife, Katye, passed away in 2014.
Family members who fondly commemorated the couple at the naming event Thursday included their daughter Susan Sowash; granddaughter Kary Mancebo-Ingram, her husband Billy Ingram and their daughter, Victoria; Manuel’s sister, Carmen Pinheiro; and Pinheiro’s nephew, Robert Quinn, and his wife Diane Quinn.
The event also featured presentations by University president Joseph Castro, Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology dean Sandra Witte, dairy faculty Dr. Kyle Thompson, dairy science senior and student herd manager Makayla Toste, and Kary Mancebo-Ingram.