Cindy Leonard—A Love of Ag and the University Farm
"The students’ love of agriculture is contagious."
“I have 365 days of beautiful scenery,” Cindy Leonard says of the view from the Farm Office window. "I can look out my window any day and see sheep, goats, and tractors. And I love the seasonal aspect of agriculture—the hustle and bustle of the farm."
Leonard has worked at the 800-acre University Farm (officially the Paul L. Byrne Agricultural Teaching and Research Center) since 2008. Prior to that she worked on campus in Public Affairs and Publications and in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs. Leonard brought her background in agriculture and years of experience in educational administrative support to her job as administrative support assistant at the University Farm. Leonard believes she has found her niche.
“I just love ag,” she says.
Raised in Chico, Leonard and her husband have worked in a variety of ag-related businesses, including farming almonds and irrigation design and installation.
The University Farm, located on Hegan Lane, five miles south of the main campus, is where ag students apply the concepts they learn in the classroom. And that’s one of things Leonard loves about working there.
“The students’ love of agriculture is contagious,” she says. “And I get to help them work out their problems and find solutions.”
Leonard says that hundreds of animals are sold from the farm each year, to young 4Hers for projects and to the general public for consumption. Leonard helps with accounting, payroll, and other duties associated with those sales.
She also enjoys helping the nearly 20,000 annual visitors to the farm learn about agriculture. “I like to make sure visitors get a good perspective on ag and understand that this farm is also a lab for our students.” School children are her favorite, she says, because they want to “taste and feel, and see how the farm works.”
“Cindy is a wonderful asset to the farm staff and campus community,” says Farm Manager and Associate Dean Dave Daley. “She works very effectively with all kinds of people while always looking for new ways to improve what we do at the University Farm.”