Video by Julia Espinoza/The Collegian
Fresno State had its own booth at the World Ag Expo, held at the International Agri-Center in Tulare, to represent its reputation for agricultural education at one of the largest agricultural expos in the world. .
After last year’s event was held virtually, exhibitors and attendees were excited to be back in person in 2022.
From Feb. 8-10, cars flooded Highway 99 as the farming community rushed to see exhibits from leading farm companies and organizations, showcasing a variety of products from giant vehicles and machinery to technology. the latest in agriculture.
Upon entering the 2.6 million feet of exhibit space the event had to offer, the smell of barbecue filled the air with people enjoying their beer and children climbing on 20-foot tractors. The event was not just a place to network, but for many to come and have fun with their families.
“We have gone through difficult times to be able to come together and share what we have love and passion for, which is to expose agriculture, education and literacy,” said Ivan Trujillo, student in second year in Fresno State.
Specializing in teaching agriculture, with a focus on teacher preparation, Trujillo volunteered at the Fresno State booth at this year’s expo. Many kiosks, such as the one at the university, presented various career paths that young people can follow in the agricultural field.
Fresno State agricultural education junior and major Amy Suarez has also volunteered with Trujillo. Both are Agriculture Ambassadors for the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (JCAST). They said they volunteered because they have “a passion for agriculture,” so the World Agriculture Expo was a great opportunity.
Suarez said the Fresno State booth was there to promote the school’s agricultural education program and let “the World Ag Expo know what Fresno State is all about.”
“I’m super excited to be here. Not only am I here so I can represent Fresno State…but I make so many connections with people in the industry,” Suarez said.
“I think it’s a really great opportunity to have us here and to be able to have those in-person connections that when we were in [the pandemic]we couldn’t have.
Trujillo noted how “sadden” it was not to have the show in person last year. He thought back to his first experience with the exhibit while in high school and how he enjoyed the surroundings.
The exhibition had several tents that contained 30 to 100 booths inside, lined up next to each other. The Fresno State booth was next to other college exhibits and across from a beer and grill area for adults.
Local high and elementary schools also sponsored the event and had food stalls, selling things like smoked ribs and ice cream. Some kiosks offered games that people could play, such as operating an excavator to turn a volleyball into a bucket.
Trujillo’s freshman year at Fresno State was entirely online, so being able to represent his university in Tulare was exciting, he said.
Both students said they felt comfortable and safe at this year’s event, which encouraged indoor masks and attendees to stay home if they feel sick. . The university booth was located outside with Bulldog merchandise for those interested in Fresno State.
Suarez said it was exciting to see former students take to the booth and share how they are using their Fresno State education in their careers. She said it was nice to see Bulldog’s support, ranging from students dropping by to visiting Victor E. III.
Suarez shared his earliest memories of the exhibit while at Dos Palos High School as a member of Future Farmers of America (FFA). It was the start of her love for farming and the reason she decided to become a Bulldog, she said.
“All the facilities offered by Fresno State and hands-on experience within [JCAST] That’s definitely why I started coming to World Ag Expo and that’s why I’m here today as a student from Fresno State,” Suarez said.