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Remarks by Dr. Charles B. Reed
Chancellor, California State University
Agricultural Industry Event
Fresno, CA
February 4, 2005

1) CSU Impact

Thank you, President Welty.

The CSU is the country’s largest four-year university system, with 23 campuses and approximately 400,000 students.

In November, the California State University released a report showing how the CSU dramatically affects the economic, intellectual and cultural life of our state.
This is the first time anyone has conducted a systemwide impact analysis of this magnitude. The results show that:

  • CSU-related expenditures create over $13 billion in economic impact each year and support over 207,000 jobs in California.

  • For every dollar the state invests in the CSU, $4.41 in spending is generated each year.

  • The CSU essentially pays for itself.

Aside from the economic impact, the CSU also has a massive educational impact.

2) CSU Programs Serve the Industries that Drive California’s Economy

The CSU educates the most students in the knowledge-based industries that drive California’s economy. These include:

  • Agriculture, Food & Wine
  • Electronics & Information Technology
  • Media & Cultural Industries
  • Life Sciences
  • Tourism
  • Engineering Services
  • Apparel
  • Aerospace
  • Transportation Services

The CSU is also a leader in educating California’s diverse population: More than half of all undergraduate degrees granted to Latino, African American and Native American students in California were awarded by the CSU in 2002/03.

3) Agriculture is Critical to California

There’s no question that agriculture is a key industry in California.

You may have seen a recent report from the Great Valley Center showing that California is by far the most productive agricultural state in the U.S. California has 4 percent of the nation’s farms and it generates 13 percent of the country’s farming dollars.

Also we grow more than half the nation’s fruits, nuts, and vegetables.

Agriculture provides 20 percent of the jobs in California’s Central Valley. If the Central Valley were a state, it would be ranked first in agriculture production.

4) The CSU is a Leader in Agricultural Education

Given the CSU’s vast impact around the state, it’s no surprise that more than half of California’s agricultural graduates come from the CSU. In specialized majors like food and nutrition studies, agricultural engineering, plant sciences, and horticultural services, the CSU produces over 90 percent of the state’s graduates.

The CSU has five campuses that specialize in agriculture: Chico, Fresno, Humboldt, Pomona and San Luis Obispo.

These five campuses offer students practical knowledge and first-hand experience through the teaching and guidance of expert faculty and staff members.

They work hard to stay connected to the industry and stay on the cutting edge.

5) The CSU is a Leader in Agricultural Research

The CSU is also a leader in agricultural research.

The California Agricultural Research Initiative (CSU/ARI) is an applied agricultural and environmental research program that builds university-industry partnerships.
CSU/ARI project themes include business, biodiversity, biotechnology, food science, natural resources, production, public policy, water, and irrigation technology.

The California Agricultural Technology Institute, known as CATI, is a non-profit educational institution dedicated to improving California’s agriculture.

CATI, which is based at Fresno State, administers the CSU/ARI collaborative research partnership working with Cal Poly Pomona, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and CSU Chico.

As we get our program started, you will be hearing more about these and other projects.

We are very pleased to have a distinguished group of guests with us today who will share their perspectives on the future of the agricultural industry and the CSU.

I hope that this day offers a good opportunity for learning, networking, and idea-sharing. And I hope you will share your ideas with us for how we can continue to partner with the agricultural industry.

I would now like to turn the podium over to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo President Warren Baker. The College of Agriculture at Cal Poly SLO is the fourth largest undergraduate agriculture program in the nation, with more than 3,500 students.

Please join me in welcoming President Baker.

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