College of Agriculture

John Boyes

Animal Science

Focus, passion, and great attention to detail are just a few of the necessary qualities any avid livestock showman must possess. After 14 years in the show ring, junior animal science major John Boyes radiates these qualities inside and out of the ring.

Boyes moved around the West Coast growing up, and he graduated from Durham High School.  His first taste of agriculture came about through his father. A Chico State alumnus, Stephen Boyes taught high school agriculture and managed beef herds for several universities, providing the initial spark to his son’s passion for the industry. From the moment the younger Boyes picked up a show stick, he was hooked. Boyes found a home in agriculture, from which he has not strayed.

Upon graduation from Durham High School, Boyes’ quest for an agricultural education led him to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Shasta College, and Butte College before he found the perfect program to fit his educational needs at Chico State. It was not until his last local fair, when he met Chico State animal science professor Celina Phillips, that he discovered an agriculture program that encompassed what he was looking for.

Phillips played a vital role in helping Boyes’ make the decision to transfer to Chico, but she has since become a mentor, advising Boyes both academically and at the Chico State Sheep Unit.

“I first met John as an FFA member at the Silver Dollar Fair [in Chico] and saw his dedication to the care and well-being of livestock. He has a passion for learning, which will serve him well in his future endeavors,” Phillips said.

Throughout his experience in 4-H and FFA, Boyes served in a number of leadership positions and competed in public speaking events. At Chico State, Boyes’ has been active in the Young Cattlemen’s Association and the Rangeland Management Club. Serving as vice president for the Rangeland Management Club and attending annual conferences on its behalf, Boyes’ enthusiasm for the livestock industry has flourished. Although it seemed an obscure topic at first, Boyes has found enthusiasm for rangeland management through close work with mentor and faculty member Kasey DeAtley. One of his proudest accomplishments was at the Annual Society of Rangeland Management Conference in February, Boyes said, where he competed in the extemporaneous speaking contest and Rangeland Cup, placing second for their presentation on wildfire prevention and suppression.

Boyes’ involvement does not cease at the local level, as he has been concurrently involved with the National Charlois Breed Association, Red Angus Breed Association, California Wool Growers, and California Farm Bureau.

In recognition of his dedication to the industry and his academics, Boyes was awarded scholarships from the National FFA Association as the recipient of the Tractor Supply Growing Scholars Award as well as the Chico State Agriculture Alumni Recruitment Scholarship.

A resident and student employee of the University Farm, Boyes said that his favorite thing about the College of Agriculture is the hands-on experience the farm has to offer.

“Having the farm as a constant resource for learning and getting our hands dirty as students is highly valuable,” Boyes said. “It’s a way we can find our niche in the agriculture community.”

Upon graduation from Chico State, John will looks toward a career in rangeland management and ecology. He plans to continue his studies in graduate school with an emphasis on invasive species and their impact on the local ecosystem. A field with various facets and a world of opportunities, a career in rangeland management for Boyes’ will likely encompass employment with the Bureau of Land Management, University of California Cooperative Extension, or in a research and teaching position pertinent to rangeland ecology and grazing systems.

For incoming freshmen in the College of Agriculture, Boyes says the most important advice he could give is to diversify themselves and find new experiences.

“Get involved and network like crazy, especially with professors,” he said. “Without Dr. DeAtley, I wouldn’t have found my passion and understanding for what rangeland is and how it is a good fit for me.”