CSUC Agriculture department gets million dollar gift

"It was him reaching out to me .. that's set the tone of this entire scholarship opportunity, people reaching out and offering their help," said Dowse.

Posted: Dec. 1, 2017 5:35 PM

"As a child it was kind of my escape; every evening when I got home from school, it was that calming moment for, being with the animals" said Austin Dowse a scholarship recipient.

A few years ago, the Dean of Agriculture at Chico State called Austin Dowse with an incredible offer.

"It was him reaching out to me .. that's set the tone of this entire scholarship opportunity, people reaching out and offering their help," said Dowse.

Dowse was one of two students to benefit from the Bell Family Presidential Scholarship Endowment, created from a two million dollar gift from benefactor Dan Giustina in 2013.

"Dan believes in education, he believes in students, and he wanted to pay it forward," said Ahmad Boura - Vice president for University advancement

"The scholarship's $5,000 a year and I couldn't have done it without it," said Dowse.

Part of what makes the Agriculture program so special? Most of the learning happens right here at the University Farm.

"I've spent more time there than anywhere else in Chico, to experience how their operations work has been an amazing chance," said Dowse.

And now, Giustina's added another one million dollars to the pot.

The university will now offer 5 scholarships each year to students who show community leaderships and maintain a 3.5 GPA throughout their education.

And these students will go on to help not only the industry, but their own communities as well.

"As an agriculture student I think that's my greatest responsibility, is to let people who are consumers know how the industry works so they can be educated consumers and make educated choices," said Dowse.

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