College of Agriculture

Seanna Griffis

Star Student in Agricultural Business

2017 Agricultural Business Star Student Seanna Griffis grew up the small mountain town of Grass Valley, the fourth of six children. High school FFA triggered her love for agriculture and spurred her to become the first in her family to pursue higher education. Her goal has been to advocate for an industry that she is passionate about.

Griffis started at Butte College, working two jobs to put herself through school. While majoring in agricultural business, Griffis sought a variety of experiences to expand her agricultural understanding. One such opportunity in the summer of 2014 took her to the UC Davis Rice Research Experiment Station in Richvale, where she served as a research assistant testing mixtures of chemicals on weeds and their impacts on rice. Griffis was able to help create a variety of samples and results on the over 800 plots at the research facility.

"Over all the experience was valuable, to allow me to see the research side of agriculture, and how precise it needs to be," Griffis said.

Originally Chico was just a pit stop on Griffis' road to success. She had planned to transfer to another university, but as she got involved in the College of Agriculture, she quickly learned that Chico was the place for her. She has been a member of the Food Marketing Team for two years. She and four other teammates won the Food Distribution and Research Society's Marketing Case Competition in Philadelphia during the fall of 2015, then competed again in New Orleans in the fall of 2016.

Academically, Griffis has worked exceptionally hard to make it on the Dean's List repeatedly. She is known for being active in all of her classes, and always a good addition to the discussion.

"Seanna is a great student both in and out of the classroom," Professor Baohui Song said. "She is actively involved in the College of Agriculture and a great addition to any team she is a part of."

Despite her busy school schedule, Griffis has still made time to work at the University Farm in the Crops and Orchards unit. She particularly values this experience because she believes it gives her a better insight to the production side of agriculture.

"The staff and fellow students of the farm have been extremely influential to my time here at Chico State. The opportunity to work at the farm has helped me grow as a student, an employee, and a future representative of agriculture," Griffis said. "They have helped me to gain valuable hands on experience and knowledge that I doubt I would have gained elsewhere."

Griffis also valued this experience because she was able to work along other students who quickly turned into friends. She said that it means so much more to go to work with the people you enjoy being around, and still love doing the work.

Through her studies at Chico State she has also obtained an internship with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) as an international trade intern. As the CDFA intern Griffis was able to gain experience working with the Western United States Agriculture Trade Association to facilitate trade with small scale producers and companies worldwide.

"The experience was enlightening. I fell in love with Sacramento, and was able to build connections inside the capital," Griffis said. "I learned a lot about trade with companies around the world, and the experience as a whole solidified my ambition to go into a career involving agriculture policy and legislation."

As for her future, Griffis plans to pursue her master's degree in public policy. Eventually, she hopes to work for a commodity board or the Farm Bureau as a legislative analyst or policy advisor.

Seanna Griffis