College of Agriculture


Wes and Jane Patton

The son of Northern California sheep ranchers, Dr. Wes “Doc” Patton first joined CSU, Chico in 1963 as an undergraduate transfer student from Coalinga College. After earning his bachelor of science in agriculture, Dr. Patton went on to pursue his masters and PhD, both in animal science, from Oregon State University.  It was there at Oregon State that he met and married his wife, Jane, a Hillsboro, Oregon native studying food science and technology. In 1969 the couple returned to Northern California where Doc joined the faculty in the Department of Agriculture at Chico State.

For the next 35 years as a professor, Dr. Patton embodied the philosophy of student-centered learning. A lifelong learner himself, Doc took every opportunity to encourage, challenge, and nurture his students while teaching them in the classroom, visiting with them in his office, mentoring them through undergraduate research projects, and working alongside them at the University Farm. Meanwhile Jane taught part time, raised the couple’s sons Kevin and Matt, and produced and showed breeding sheep and project lambs for 4-H and FFA exhibitors across the country. Jane’s talent in painting and crafting has taken the couple to countless craft fairs and special livestock events, where she sells her famous painted gourds and decorated wood and metal creations.

In 2000, Doc received the CSU, Chico Outstanding Faculty Service Award. He and Jane used the monetary stipend that came with the award to establish the Wes and Jane Patton Student Advancement Award in the College of Agriculture. The award encourages undergraduate students to further their education by assisting students traveling to visit graduate schools or present research at professional meetings.

In 2004, Dr. Patton retired from the University and left the hallowed halls of academia to return to his roots as a sheep rancher. Doc and Jane own Glenn Land Farm in Orland where they raise registered White Dorper ewes and Dexter cattle. They are also proud grandparents to the children of their sons Kevin, a professor of Kinesiology at Chico State, and Matt, executive director of the California Agricultural Teacher’s Association. Wes and Jane remain tightly and generously connected to the College of Agriculture, never turning down requests for field trips to their ranch, guest speaking engagements, or silent auction donations in the form of Jane’s beautiful handiwork.

In 2005, Wes Patton was named the College of Agriculture’s Distinguished Alumnus in recognition of his many professional achievements and contributions to the College of Agriculture. With today’s Hall of Honor Induction, we bestow the College of Agriculture’s other top honor on the couple, believing that Jane’s partnership, dedication, and personal contributions to agriculture and to our students merits equal recognition.