Fresno State Dairy Science Department Revitalized

At the annual banquet of the Fresno State dairy science club held May 6, a $1 million bequest was announced from Manuel Mancebo, former owner of Kings County Truck Lines. Shown here from left are Dr. Sandra Witte, dean of the Jordan School of Agriculture at Fresno State, Mr. Manuel “JR” Mancebo and Dr. Joseph Castro, Fresno State president.

The Fresno State dairy program has received a pledge of $1 million bequest from Manuel Mancebo, trucking company magnate from Hanford, Calif. The dairy production facility on campus will be named for Mr. Mancebo and his late wife, Katye. The gift was announced May 6 at the annual banquet of the Dairy Science Club.

In accepting the gift, Fresno State President Dr. Joseph Castro said, “We sincerely appreciate this gift that will benefit our dairy program for years to come. The dairy industry is a key part of agriculture in California, so it’s important to modernize our facilities and resources to give our students a real-life experience to prepare them for careers around the Central Valley and beyond.”

Mancebo, 87, helped build the Kings County Truck Lines into and industry leader before selling the company in 2006. At the height of its business, the company grew to 1000 trucks and more than 800 employees, with a reputation for safe and reliable hauling of milk and milk products and dry goods.

“On behalf of my late wife and myself, we are especially happy to support Fresno state as it educates future leaders for the dairy industry – an industry that played such an important role in our lives, said Mancebo.

The Fresno State dairy is run by first-year faculty member and Fresno State graduate Dr. Kyle Thompson and as workforce of 20 students. With a milking string of 170 Holsteins and Jerseys, the dairy supplies milk to the campus dairy processing facilities and California Dairies.

During the Dairy Club banquet, some 75 attendees also heard about the students’ participation in the National Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge competition held earlier in the spring in Visalia.

Alumni and Supporters to Meet on June 29

To continue this progress, Fresno State alumnus and widely known dairy sale manager Ken Melvold is inviting supporters of the dairy program to an open meeting on June 29 at O’Neill Park next to the dairy on campus.

“Our hope is… to help the dairy program at Fresno State be the top program in California and the West,” Melvold writes.

Those wishing to attend can contact Melvold at 559.906.1714 or Dr. Thompson at [email protected] or 209.679.5290.

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