Two groups are honoring the agriculture department at Modesto Junior College, a key part of the region’s economy for 96 years.
The department will be inducted Nov. 3 into the Stanislaus County Ag Hall of Fame, at the 20th annual banquet in Turlock.
Last month, the California Agricultural Teachers’ Association named MJC the Outstanding Post-Secondary Agricultural Education Program for 2017.
Ag classes were among the offerings at the 1921 opening of MJC, one of the first junior colleges in California. Graduates raised crops and livestock in an area that was booming with new irrigation canals, machinery and scientific methods.
Today, the program is formally known as the Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Division. It offers 16 associate degrees and 13 technician certificates in fields such as animal science, horticulture, power mechanics, irrigation, forestry and ag business. It got a major boost in recent years with construction of classrooms and other facilities through Measure E bonds.
The hall of fame is part of the National Ag Science Center, which originally was to be a building on the MJC West Campus. It now mainly operates a mobile laboratory for junior high schools and has other programs that expose teachers and students to this knowledge.
The inductees over the first 19 years were farmers, food processors, public officials and other supporters of agriculture. MJC is the first school to be honored.
The banquet, a fund-raiser for the Ag Science Center, will be at the Assyrian American Civic Club. The $150 tickets can be purchased at www.agsciencecenter.org.
The statewide award was presented at a conference in San Luis Obispo for the teachers group. It has more than 900 members from middle schools through universities.
John Holland: 209-578-2385