College of Agriculture

Trenton Thompson

Fall Student spotlight Trenton Thompson

Trenton Thompson, a senior majoring in agriculture education, attributes his interest in agriculture to his high school Future Farmers of America (FFA) program. Thompson grew up in the Southern California town of Lakeside and attended El Capitan High School. With a supportive agricultural community and an opportunity to get involved, it was an easy decision for Thompson to start his FFA journey freshman year. 

Throughout his time in the FFA organization, he was involved in meats judging, served on the officer team, and won second place with his citrus fruit project at the National FFA Convention and Expo in Indianapolis. 

One outstanding figure in Thompson’s life was his high school agriculture teacher, Mr. Mead. Thompson pointed out that a relationship built with an FFA advisor is much different than with a teacher. Students spend a great deal of time outside of school with their agriculture teacher traveling to FFA conferences and speaking competitions. Thompson appreciated that Mr. Mead “talked to students like they were real people” and cared about their personal success. It is because of Mr. Mead that Thompson was inspired to become an agriculture teacher. 

Thompson now attends Chico State as a Bell Family Scholarship recipient and is pursuing a degree in agriculture education. He has “fallen in love with Northern California” and appreciates the nature surrounding the Chico State campus. While Thompson was not raised in an agricultural family, his passion for teaching others about the industry is strong. He hopes to be the type of teacher that Mr. Mead was for him, helping students foster a love for agriculture.

Over the last four years, Thompson has participated in many extracurriculars within the College of Agriculture. He is founder of the Meat Science Club and was a member of the Chico State Meat Judging Team. He also serves as an Ag Ambassador and develops workshops for the California FFA State Conference each year. These endeavors have created skills applicable to his future teaching career and have contributed to his own personal development.  

Thompson recognizes that getting involved and taking risks helps foster new relationships, and he advises students to “put yourself out there, take advantage of the opportunities presented to you, and be present and stay in the current moment.”

Trenton Thompson standing on campus grounds.

It is because of his involvement at Chico State that Thompson has met so many inspiring individuals. Thompson has created a strong bond with many of his college professors and he treasures all their insight. Alyssa Schager, a professor within the College of Agriculture, has greatly contributed to Thompson’s aspirations in becoming an agriculture educator.

“She has taught me how to handle situations with grace, while also gaining respect from students, which is very important as a young high school teacher,” said Thompson. 

In his free time, Thompson enjoys spending time with friends and his dog Chuck, a Terrier mix he adopted from a shelter in Chico. He also spends a significant amount of time with a camera in his hand—photography is a favorite creative hobby of Thompson’s.

“I enjoy the idea of being able to snapshot a moment in time and be able to relive it later. I think that is the most beautiful thing about photography, because you can capture the emotion behind memory,” said Thompson. He often photographs College of Agriculture club events, with his most recent being Sigma Alpha, the Chico State Line Dancing Club, and the Crops Club. He has also taken graduation photos for College of Agriculture students.  

While photography may only be a hobby for Thompson, he plans to use the skills learned in his future career. His expertise in photoshop and technology will be something he can teach future students in a tangible way. 

After graduating with his bachelor’s degree in agriculture education, Thompson plans to return to where it all started—a high school agriculture classroom.