CSU, Chico

Jacqulyn Buffham, Crops, Horticulture, and Land Resource Management

Jacqulyn Buffham, Crops, Horticulture, and Land Resource Management

California State University, Chico senior Jacqulyn (Jackie) Buffham has an uncommon appreciation for dirt. Her love of soil is something she is known for within the walls of Plumas Hall and in the CSU, Chico College of Agriculture. Through her love for soil, she has been the land-judging contest chair for the annual FFA field day for the past three years. Buffham will be graduating CSU, Chico this spring with an Option in Crops, Horticulture, and Land Resource Management. Ideally, she would like to find a career path in crop production as an agronomist working with growers and managing their crops.

Buffham has always known she wanted to attend CSU, Chico. It's a family tradition. Her aunts, uncles, and cousins are all Chico State alumni with various agriculture degrees. Buffham is the first in her family to pursue crops, horticulture, and land resource management option. The Susanville native and Lassen High School graduate comes from a cattle-ranching background. In high school, Buffham was highly active in the FFA as a chapter officer while also competing in land judging and parliamentary procedure.   

Buffham is currently the CSU, Chico Crops and Horticulture Club's vice president. She has been working hard this semester to expand membership and resources. The club sells plants on campus every Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. outside of Plumas Hall. They currently sell herbs and spider plants and have plans to further expand their sales. Through Buffham's efforts, and those of fellow club member Kristina Moore, the club has obtained a section of the Organic Vegetable Project, where they are growing flowers to cut and sell with their regular sales each week. 

In addition to her position in the Crops and Horticulture Club, Buffham is also the censor for the professional coed honors organization, Alpha Zeta. As censor, she also carries the title of education coordinator. Through her position, Buffham is in charge of hosting all recruitment and initiations for the group. This year, the organization saw its highest number for incoming new members. In order to be a member of Alpha Zeta, students must be invited after meeting the requirement of having a minimum of a 3.0 cumulative GPA.

Buffham has been in Alpha Zeta since spring 2012, which means she has maintained at least a 3.0 GPA for more than a year. She is looking forward to attending the biennial Alpha Zeta National Conference at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, April 7-9, along with four other CSU, Chico members. The conference will consist of agriculture industry tours, workshops, and guest speakers. 

"The College of Agriculture has made my experience here great by allowing me to have opportunities to get involved and connect with the agriculture community in ways that wouldn't have been possible without coming to Chico State," said Buffham. 

For the past three years, Buffham has attended the California Seed Association Tour with Professors Rosecrance and Altier. The tour usually lasts two days and varies in location. In the years that Jackie has attended, the tour was held in the Salinas Valley and in Woodland, California. Students from various colleges throughout the state generally attend the event to further their knowledge of the seed industry. In past years, they've toured tomato processing factories as well as nurseries. 

Outside of the College of Agriculture, Buffham works with Pioneer Hi-Bred International in Woodland. Last summer, she interned with them after meeting a representative at the annual career and internship fair held at the University Farm. This summer, she plans to hold a summer internship with them again.  Through her position as production technician, Buffham works in the sunflower parent seed area of the company. In order to maintain a specific genetic purity in the company's crops, she drives to visit each field to examine crops and make sure they aren't cross-pollinating with other varieties. 

The Plant Science 309 class offered on campus is one of the only classes that allow students to get a portion of the income made by their efforts in that class. The class entails students maintaining various crop fields at the University Farm. Each semester, the students receive around $500 for their minimum of three hours a work a week. Buffham has been enrolled in this class for two semesters now and completed work including disking, planting, and cultivating various crops at the University Farm.

When she's not working and going to school, Jackie enjoys hiking and riding her bike in Bidwell Park.