College of Agriculture


Wes Patton

Brought up by sheep ranchers in Northern California, Westley "Doc" Patton came to California State University, Chico in 1963 as a transfer student from Coalinga College. After earning his Bachelor of Science in agriculture, Patton attended graduate school at Oregon State University, where he met his wife, Jane. In the fall of 1969, Patton returned to Chico, where he would teach in the College of Agriculture for the next 35 years.

Doc’s teaching career extended far beyond the classroom. “His teaching never stops. Even while walking through a field he is educating us,” said Brian Miller, a senior animal science minor. “He never gets mad and is the most sincere person.”

College of Agriculture professor and Doc’s former student Dave Daley said, “The lifelong learning attitude, the caring nature, and his willingness to work with everyone is unparalleled.”

The admiration students, faculty, and staff have for Doc is a mutual feeling. He credits his mentors while he was a student at Chico State for their inspiration: Jack Nolan, Ron Hutchings, Bob Wallace, Doc Busch, and Ken Bensel. In the more recent years his students have been his source of motivation.

“The energy I receive from the students, the close working relationships I have with faculty and staff, and the tremendous connection we have with the industry has given me the greatest place I could imagine to work my whole academic career,” Doc said. 

He says his fondest memory while at Chico State was greeting his son during his graduation ceremony from the College of Agriculture. His son went on to become an agriculture teacher.