College of Agriculture

Zion Brigham

Student smiling at camera

Zion Brigham is getting ready to graduate in May with a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural business. He grew up around the agriculture industry in California’s Central Valley, and currently resides in Atwater.  

Brigham has been an active member of the agricultural business program at Chico State for the past two years. In high school he participated in 4-H and FFA through the Farm Business Management team, served as a Greenhand and chapter officer, and raised and showed about 40 head of sheep. 

Brigham transferred to Chico State from Merced College with an Associate of Science degree in agriculture business. When deciding between colleges, a tour of campus is what sealed the deal. 

“All of my high school agriculture teachers were Chico State alumni, which first sparked my interest in attending college here, but the atmosphere during my tour confirmed that decision. I loved the campus and learning about the College of Agriculture,” Brigham said.  

When his dad’s side of the family came to the United States from South Africa, they started a crop-dusting business in the Central Valley. Brigham became fascinated with the business side of the company, especially learning about micro and macroeconomics.  

Brigham has competed in two USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) contests. The Agricultural Export Market Challenge used a case study method and role play to examine the export opportunities for US food and agricultural products. In spring of 2022, the team was named regional and national champions. In the spring of 2023, the team placed third overall. These competitions have been the highlight of his college career.  

“Competing in these contests has taught me a variety of skills, like communication and team work,” Brigham said. “With both of my teams, we had many late nights preparing for this contest. I feel I have better developed my work ethic through this contest.”  

Brigham’s proudest moments in college include being on the dean’s list and being featured in the College of Agriculture’s “Student Spotlight.” During the commencement ceremony in May, he will be the Gonfalonier and hold the college’s flag while walking into the ceremony.  

One of his most significant experiences during college was learning what true independence is. As assistant manager for Tractor Supply in Chico and a full-time student, he has learned how to cultivate a healthy balance of work and school. Outside of work and academics, he enjoys taking his dog on hikes to enjoy the fresh air.  

Brigham’s favorite part of the College of Agriculture is the faculty. His most impactful mentors within the college are Tatevik Avetisyan and Mina Hejazi, but he feels that all of the faculty members are willing to do anything for student success.  

In the future, Brigham is looking into earning an MBA after a few years of working in the industry. Eventually, he wants to receive a PhD and then teach agriculture business at the college level. Brigham will continue to focus on academics and learning and hopes to contribute to the agriculture business industry and eventually share his passion with future students.