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Latinos in Ag Feature

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L AT I N O S I NA G R I C U L T U R EThe Latinos in Agriculture club was formed in 1975 by students who identify as part of the Latinx community in the College of…
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L AT I N O S I NA G R I C U L T U R EThe Latinos in Agriculture club was formed in 1975 by students who identify as part of the Latinx community in the College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences (CAFES). As founding members graduated, the club became inactive but was reinstated in 1993 by Bill Kellogg, Ph. D. and Robert Flores, Ph. D. as co-advisors, according to Robert Flores. Latinos in Agriculture, also known as LIA, is a multicultural club in the College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences. The club is under the blanket organization known as Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Science, or MANRRS. Through this organization, LIA is able to participate and interact with other clubs throughout thenation whose focus is diversity and agriculture. Members are able to attend a regional cluster (conference for schools on the west coast such as Cal Poly SLO, Cal Poly Pomona, UC Davis, Oregon State University and Arizona State University) and National Conference to compete in Job Interview, Business Pitch, Impromptu Speaking and more. Over the last few years, LIA has grown to over 30 members for the 2017-2018 academic26HOURSyear. Currently, the club is made of students in ten majors including Animal Science, Agribusiness, Wine & Viticulture, Agriculture & Environmental Plants Sciences and more. The leadership board consists of seven students; President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Reporter and two Ag Council Representatives. Together, the club hosts large scale events and socials for its members. In the 1990’s, Latinos in Agriculture began planning and hosting the 26 Hours program and has done so through student volunteers in the club. 26 Hours of Science and Technology in Agriculture event is one of LIA’s biggest events and had seen a great amount of success throughout the years. The success lead to a spin-off event known as Discovering Agriculture, the Transfer Experience, also known as DATE. 26 Hours is traditionally targeted towards high school students, however, a handful of LIA members come in as a transfer students. The club created DATE for transfers to experience Cal Poly agriculture for themselves. As a multicultural club in CAFES, Latinos in Agriculture has focused on being intersectional by highlighting cultural roots and agriculture. This past year, LIA has been able to participate in PolyCultural Weekend for the first time, an event to increase a diverse student climate at Cal Poly by inviting conditionally admitted students of color. The event allowed LIA to be the only CAFES club to be showcased and give students and first hand experience of diversity in the College of Agriculture. Since the event, LIA has been able to interact with other cultural organizations on campus and be recognized outside of CAFES.
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