CSU, Chico

Daniel Fishman, Agriculture Education

Daniel Fishman, Agriculture Education

Since graduating from high school in 2007, Daniel Fishman has been on a path to becoming an agriculture teacher.  The Merced College transfer student graduated from CSU, Chico with a degree in agriculture and an option in ag science and education in May.

But before he enters the credential program, Fishman plans to take a detour into the United States Army.  He has applied for Army Officer Candidate School, which is the civilian route to becoming an Army officer.

“I want to serve my country first and teach agriculture later on in life after retirement from the military,” said Fishman.

As an Army officer, Fishman will command troops, and though he doesn’t know yet what job he will be assigned, he hopes to be in aviation flying helicopters. Positions are determined by ranking in candidate training school.

Fishman developed his interest in agriculture and education through his family. Many members of his family, including both his parents, majored in agriculture in college and are now teachers. His father teaches agriculture mechanics at Merced College, and his mother is a teacher at a middle school.

“I enjoy agriculture because it is such a broad field and it has a wide range of things you can do with in it. For example, as a high school agriculture teacher, you may teach shop one period and agriculture biology the next,” said Fishman.

Being around agriculture growing up, he became active in Future Farmers of America and 4-H in his hometown of LeGrand, Calif. In FFA he raised swine for his county fair and did agriculture mechanics projects. He also took on leadership roles in FFA, serving as a chapter, sectional, and regional officer.

Fishman came to CSU, Chico as a transfer student from Merced Junior College in the fall of 2009. “I liked how far away Chico was from home, but it was still a small college that made the transition easy,” said Fishman. “I had also heard a lot of good things from friends about the College of Agriculture and the agriculture education program.”

As an undergraduate student, Fishman stayed quite busy.  He worked in the University Farm repair shop fixing vehicles, equipment, and anything else that came in. He was a member of Alpha Tau Alpha, the agriculture education society, Phi Kappa Phi, Chico State Dirt Riders Club, and he also played several intramural sports, including football, basketball, and co-ed softball. During fire season, Fishman also served as a firefighter for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Fishman’s mechanical and construction skills were put to the test when Ag Mechanics Professor Mike Spiess recommended him to build a chicken coop for the new pasture poultry project. Fishman did most of the design on the coop and spent the spring 2010 semester constructing it. Using the mobile chicken coop, chickens in the student-run pasture poultry project are raised on pasture and rotated through the pastures with the dairy cows. They are fed in the coop and sleep in the coop at night.

As a hobby, Fishman enjoys off-road riding and occasionally motocross riding. This interest led him to join the Chico State Dirt Riders Club, an opportunity for students who share an interest in motorcycles and riding dirt bikes to ride together.

Looking back as a graduating senior, Fishman said, “I have gained a well rounded education from CSU, Chico. I have had the opportunity to take classes on a broad range of topics from irrigation to agriculture business management.”