CHICO, Calif. — Dante Disano is only in his second semester in agriculture classes at California State University-Chico, but a career fair at the university’s farm caught his attention.
He browsed and talked to vendors from the 39 businesses and government agencies that set up booths at the fair Feb. 19, gathering ideas of what to do after he graduates.
“If I had a choice, I’d probably go more toward resource things like seeds or plant protection,” Disano said. “I’m just more of a science guy.”
Disano was one of hundreds of students and alumni who packed the farm pavilion for the College of Agriculture’s 11th annual Career and Internship Fair, which included organizations such as Agri-Beef, E & J Gallo, Foster Farms and Simplot.
Unlike general career fairs on campus, which include companies from a wide variety of fields, this fair is meant to help agriculture-related businesses meet students who could eventually help their operations.
The 39 vendor booths were an increase from 32 last year, university advancement director Sarah DeForest said.
“This is definitely a good turnout with the number of companies and people looking for a mix of employment options,” DeForest said.
The career fair’s growth comes as the 60-year-old agriculture program at Chico State has become one of the fastest growing institutions in the country, with enrollees having risen from 370 students in 2005 to 720 taking classes this academic year.
Foster Farms superintendents Jeff Walsh and Andrew King were attending their first career fair at Chico State, though the company has been sending representatives for several years.
“We have a lot of alumni at Chico State come and work for us,” Walsh said. “We always like to come back to Chico State and support them.”
Julie Centner, an accountant for the Woodland, Calif.-based Lyman Group, Inc., which provides pest control, said she was impressed with the turnout.
“We’ve been coming up here for years,” she said. “We do get a lot of word out.”
CSU-Chico College of Agriculture: http://www.csuchico.edu/ag/