College of Agriculture

Michael Spiess

Professor

Personal Information

Mike has an AA in natural resources from Delta College, a BS in agriculture (ag mechanics) from CSU, Chico, a MS in plant science (emphasis in irrigation) from Fresno State, and a doctorate from UC Davis & CSU, Fresno. He is a former vocational agriculture teacher and spent 13 years designing and supporting agricultural accounting software. Previously he taught in the Plant Science Department and served as general manager of the Agricultural Information Technology Network (ATI-Net) which is part of the California Agricultural Technology Institute (CATI) at Fresno State. He also owns a consulting business specializing in Internet solutions for businesses and education.  Mike retired in 2016, but continues to teach in the College part-time.

In his free time, he enjoys flying small airplanes, restoring old cars, fly fishing, backpacking, and caving. He has served on the boards of the Sierra Foothill Conservancy, Northern California Regional Land Trust, and University Hope.  

Courses

  • AGET 120 - Introduction to Agricultural Mechanics
  • AGET 150 - Agricultural Machine Systems
  • AGET 360 - Irrigation
  • AGRI 421 - Curriculum and Methods for Teaching Agricultural Mechanics
  • AGET 340 - GPS/GIS/Precision Agriculture

Research and Professional Interests

Mike's recent projects include service as a facilitator for the new California Agricultural Teachers' Induction Program (CATIP) and developing certification for secondary agricultural mechanics students.   He continues to be involved in water conservation projects.  

Service to the College, University, and Community

Mike has served as Program Coordinator of the Agriculture program, interim Associate Dean of the college, and President of the Western Region of the American Association for Agricultural Education.  Mike is involved in FFA career development events at colleges and universities throughout California. He serves on the boards of the Butte County Habitat for Humanity  and Western Cave Conservancy (treasurer).  He has served as a judge for ag mechanics projects at the California State Fair and county fairs.   Mike developed and hosts sites to support California junior jackpot shows.