CSU, Chico

Matthew Lagorio, Crops, Horticulture, and Land Resource Management

Matthew Lagorio, Crops, Horticulture, and Land Resource Management

Pest Control Advisors (PCA’s) are an important and vital part of California agriculture. Matthew Lagorio, a senior majoring in crops, horticulture, and land resource management, is on his way to earning his PCA license after graduating from California State University, Chico in May 2012.

A PCA works with farmers to help them efficiently and effectively manage pests in crops and orchards. Lagorio made the decision to set his goal for a PCA license while attending Shasta Junior College in Redding, Calif.

“I really liked the quality of life that comes with being a PCA,” said Lagorio. “I will get to be outdoors and help farmers grow their crops.”

For the summer of 2010, Lagorio was employed for three months as an intern for Pioneer Hi-Bred in Woodland, Calif. During his internship he served as a field scout and monitored 60 or more fields at a time all over Northern California.

“Because the fields I monitored were scattered all over California, I learned the importance of time management,” said Lagorio. “For each of the 60 or more fields, I had to monitor for growth, vigor, soil moisture, and pest pressures.”

The fields he monitored were producing seeds for commercial seed growers and included sunflowers, sorghum, and alfalfa.

“During the internship, I learned how to conduct bloom counts, which were used as growth research data for the different varieties,” said Lagorio. “I also learned some of the challenges that come with hybrid seed production, such as county isolation ranges, scouting, and managing any isolation issues that were within range of our fields.”

Once transferring to CSU, Chico, Lagorio dove right in and became active in the College of Agriculture. He is a member of the crop science and horticulture club, served as an agriculture ambassador for 2009, and pledged to the agriculture fraternity Alpha Gamma Rho (AGR).

Lagorio pledged to AGR because of the networking and lifelong friendships AGR brothers form. While in AGR he has served as the vice president of recruitment, historian, associate justice on the judicial board for the Interfraternity Council, and a College of Agriculture Inter Club Council representative for AGR.

A California native, Lagorio grew up in Douglas City, Calif., and attended Trinity High School. He decided to transfer to CSU, Chico from Shasta Junior College because of its small, close-knit feel and because “it’s close to home but far enough away.”

When not in class, Lagorio enjoys the outdoors and sportsman’s activities such as hunting, fishing, snowboarding, sailing, and golf. He also enjoys adrenaline pumping activities such as skydiving.

After graduation, Lagorio plans to get his PCA license right away and start employment as a PCA in the Klamath Falls, Ore., area or in Northern California.