Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Newspaper board visits Cal Poly

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Tonight several Capital Press board members are in San Luis Obispo, Calif., in preparation to meet with representatives from California Polytechnic State University … or better known as Cal Poly.

The university has more than 18,000 students, and one of the things that drew us here is its focus on agriculture and agricultural communications.

For the last few years, once a year, the CP board had visited different places to meet people from the state who are either organizational leaders, or faculty in universities, who can give us more insight into their state. We learn valuable lessons, such as how important agriculture is to Washington, Oregon, Idaho and California; what can we do to help provide information they need; and what stories are out there for us to cover in the future.

Flying from Portland, Ore. to San Francisco and then on to San Luis Obispo today showed the variances in terrain that farmers and ranchers deal with here. There are rich valleys, so green this time of year from the winter rains. There are mountains, some are thick with forests, others have only a few trees here and there and grass barely covering the slopes. There are large ranches reaching to the edges of the Pacific Ocean, with scattered herds of grazing cattle. And there are rocky, rugged, or sandy areas that challenge anyone to farm them.

Whenever one comes to this part of California, John Steinbeck’s novels come to mind and how his writing captured those who labored here during his time. Now, there are other images that Steinbeck would not yet have witnessed: roads winding up mountains and hillsides to huge houses, or expensive mansions seem to be taking over where perhaps farm houses once stood.

Tomorrow is our main day on campus, meeting faculty, staff and even students. It should be a great learning experience, and hopefully we can have a good discussion on how better share their stories and changing agriculture in this part of California to the rest of the world.

We had similar discussions in the past with UC Davis at Davis, Calif., with Washington State University in Pullman, Wash., and Oregon State University in Corvallis, Ore.

We appreciate the time these universities take to meet with us, explaining their past, their present goals as well as their challenges and opportunities of the future.

Stay tuned to this blog to hear more about what we learn here.

Technorati tags:

No comments:

Ag in the West social media watch

Capital Press videos on YouTube

Our most popular videos