College of Agriculture

Brenden Johnson

Student smiling at camera

Brenden Johnson’s passion for agriculture started at a young age—a true Northern California local, he grew up in Gridley and participated in the 4-H Club and the Future Farmers of America (FFA), and he raised livestock. Johnson’s dad bred livestock, and he influenced his son to do the same. 

Johnson started out raising swine for the Butte County Fair, and eventually showed pigs competitively all over California. In the FFA, Johnson competed in the opening and closing ceremonies contest, agricultural sales, and cooperative marketing career development events. He is now a sophomore majoring in animal science and focusing on pre-veterinary medicine. 

Johnson shares a tight bond with his family, and knew he didn’t want to move too far away for college, so he decided to come to Chico State. He still enjoys traveling back home to help his younger siblings with their 4-H and FFA livestock projects.  

After graduation he plans to attend veterinary school, ideally at the University of California, Davis. Johnson is currently trying to gain industry experience and learn more about livestock. He interned at the dairy unit on the University Farm and is focusing on livestock-based classes.  

One of his favorite memories is working at the dairy unit, where he enjoyed his coworkers and working with the cows. Johnson also loved attending the Ag Ambassador retreat spring semester. His favorite classes so far include “Principles of Sheep and Goat Production” with Celina Phillips and “Veterinary Practices” with Josh Brownfield.  

“With both of these classes, I learned so much about the things I would be doing in the vet field, which had positive influence on my undergraduate experience,” Johnson said.  

Johnson is an active member in the College of Agriculture through Ag Ambassadors, and he is treasurer for the Pre-vet Club and Alpha Zeta. In his free time, he enjoys hiking and spending time with livestock and his family and friends.   

One of Johnson’s biggest role models is professor Celina Phillips, who has always encouraged him to stay on the path of becoming a livestock veterinarian.  

“Celina has been so encouraging as my advisor to continue to pursue vet school by ensuring that I stay on track,” Johnson said. “She’s an amazing professor and I enjoy all her classes.” 

Johnson has some valuable advice for incoming students in the College of Agriculture:  

“It is important to keep your grades up, especially if you want to attend veterinary school or a graduate program. Make sure to stay on top of all your classes, but have fun and relax,” Johnson said.  

Johnson will be traveling to Ohio during the summer to job shadow a family friend who is a large animal veterinarian, and he is looking forward to gaining more experience with livestock at a new location.