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College of Agriculture

Danielle Hansen

Agriculture Business 

When Danielle Hansen left for school on the morning of November 8, she had never imagined it would be the last time she would see her childhood home. Born and raised in Paradise, Hansen is one of the thousands displaced and forever impacted by the tragedy of the 2018 Camp Fire. But this is not what defines her. Although a tragedy, the fire provided clarity for Hansen and a new appreciation for the love and support of her family and friends.

The quote, “Strength grows in the moments when you think you can’t go on but you keep going anyways,” has been a pillar of hope for her.

Hansen graduated from Paradise High School in 2013 and began at Butte College shortly thereafter, unsure of her career path. Initially an engineering major, Hansen decided to change her major after meeting Butte College faculty member Carrie Monlux and being encouraged to join the agriculture ambassador team.

“We didn’t have FFA in high school, so that was my first real exposure to the opportunities in agriculture. My family always had a walnut orchard in south Chico, but I never thought of agriculture as a lifestyle for me, and volunteering for events and being on the [agriculture ambassador] team really opened my eyes,” she said.

Now an agriculture business major at CSU, Chico, her career path has shifted. Volunteering her time at State FFA Conference, the Field Day Leadership Team, and as an agricultural ambassador, Hansen has found her niche and knows that a career in agriculture is where she belongs.

In the College of Agriculture, Hansen says she found a family.

“It’s cliché but it’s true. They pick you up when you’re feeling down, and the faculty want you to come in and make one-on-one connections,” Hansen said.

For incoming students, Hansen recommends making those one-on-one connections with faculty and not being afraid to go to office hours. Staff in the College of Agriculture have added to Hansen’s support system. In particular, Hansen appreciates the unwavering support she has received from student success coordinator Ashley Person.

“She’s always there for me to drop in and vent, complain about my classes, and keep me on track,” Hansen said. “She’s the person that always gets all of my annoying text messages and responds because she really does care.”

While handling her coursework, Hansen has also worked two jobs throughout her college career at Ed Brown Trucking in Chico and the restaurant Casa de Paradiso in Paradise. This has allowed her to receive her degree with no debt.

When she’s not at school or work, you can find Hansen at the sprint car racetrack every Friday and Saturday night. With her boyfriend, Wyatt Brown, racing and her father as crew chief, she has traveled as far as North Carolina to be in the pits cheering them on.

“There’s no off season, so the races are neverending—but we love it,” Hansen said. “When we’re not at a race, we’re always in the shop working on cars.”

Although she’s always going with a busy schedule, she looks forward to the times that she can relax with her dog, Charlie, and binge watch Grey’s Anatomy.

Finishing her final semester at Chico State this fall, Hansen had plans to purchase a home in Chico and begin a position at RaboBank in Paradise as a loan specialist. But due to the Camp Fire, her plans have significantly changed.

Through the recent tragedies of the fire, Hansen says what she is most proud of is how close her family is.

“We’re together and we’re figuring it out. That’s all that matters,” she said.

In five years, she sees herself owning her own home, working at a bank in Northern California, and starting a family. Hansen hopes for one thing: stability.