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Chico State Alumni Association

Wildcat Connect Career Center Webinar Series: Alumni in Agriculture

ag alumni webinar

View the ag careers webinar recording

Panelists: Ray Griffin, '86, Brenae Royal, '13, Alex Orozco-Lopez, '19, Matt Patton, '98

Ray GriffinRay Griffin earned his bachelor’s degree in agricultural business at Chico State in 1986, then returned home to the Salinas Valley, where he has built an impressive career in produce marketing, international sales, and supply chain management. He has worked for some of the largest agricultural companies in the state and co-founded FoodSource Inc., which was purchased by Fortune 500 logistics company C.H. Robinson in 2005. He now serves as director of client services at Sabor Farms in Salinas, Calif. Sabor Farms is a large fresh vegetable grower supplying fresh cut processors with tender leaf items as well as a wide array of mixed vegetables for other grower-shippers to market. Ray was named the College of Agriculture’s Distinguished Alumnus in 2013. He sits on the College of Business Advisory Council at California State University, Monterey Bay, where he has served in mentorship program for seniors to prepare them for their upcoming career search.

Brenae RoyalBrenae Royal grew up in the town of Atwater, in California’s Central Valley. She joined the Future Farmers of America at the age of 13 and became an officer when she was 17. The program took her all over California and immersed her in a world she knew she wanted to be a part of for the rest of her life. Brenae studied Crops and Horticulture Science at California State University, Chico and during her senior year, after developing a palate for bold red wines, decided to pursue a career in viticulture. She joined E. & J. Gallo Winery in 2013 as an Operations and Viticulture Intern. Since joining Gallo, Brenae has farmed Monte Rosso Vineyard with increasing levels of responsibility. In addition to her internship, Brenae also served as Viticulture Technician for 11 months before being named Vineyard Manager in 2015.

Alex LopezAlejandro “Alex” Orozco-Lopez earned his bachelor’s degree in animal science with a minor in agricultural business in 2019. Currently, he is a rangeland research technician for University of Nebraska, Lincoln while also working on his masters in Agronomy specializing in Range and Forage Science through UNL. While at Chico State, Alex was active in the Chico State Young Cattlemen’s Association, served as president of the Rangeland Management Club, and led three teams to the national Society for Range Management’s (SRM) Rangeland Cup competition. He also served two years as secretary of SRM’s Student Conclave. During his freshman year, Alex held a summer internship for UCCE out of Lassen County where he worked along research in identify the affect of livestock on water quality. During his sophomore and junior year, Alex held a summer internship at High Plains Grassland Research Station in Cheyenne, Wyoming where he worked alongside researchers in plant identification and rangeland animal management.

Matt PattonMatt Patton is the Executive Director of the California Agricultural Teachers’ Association (CATA) and the Future Farmers of America (FFA) Foundation. The CATA consists of 1,000 ag teachers from across California at the middle school, secondary and post-secondary levels. FFA is the largest youth organization in the nation and has 95,000 student members in California. Matt spent 18 years in the classroom as an agricultural teacher at both Florin High School and most recently Elk Grove High School. Matt graduated from California State University, Chico in 1998 with his bachelor’s degree in agriculture and an agriculture specialist teaching credential. He went on to complete his master's in teaching from National University. Matt is also a graduate of the California Agricultural Leadership Program.