Tastes of the Valley! What is it?
It is the only fundraising event organized by the Stanislaus State Agriculture program. The event is conducted in a fun, family-friendly and exciting atmosphere.
How was the event established?
The Tastes of the Valley event was started by the Agricultural Studies program in 2003 in order to raise money to support program development and scholarships. Planning, organizing and implementing the event served as a professional development opportunity for students. The event was also meant to raise awareness of the program in the community. The event eventually outgrew its initial location at Hilmar Cheese and was moved to Assyrian Hall in Turlock. Eventually, a partnership was formed with the Stanislaus County Fair in 2013, where it continues to grow and provide funds for both organizations. The event continues to provide significant support to the Stanislaus State Agriculture program and provides a professional development opportunity for students.
When is the event?
The event is usually held on the first Thursday of October every year, from 6-9pm.
Where is the event held?
It currently takes place at the Stanislaus County Fairground, 900 N Broadway, Turlock, CA 95380.
Is the program organized with community partners?
Yes. Our major partner is the Stanislaus Friends of the Fair Foundation. The organization’s staff work with the Stanislaus State Agriculture program in the planning, organizing, and promotion of the event.
How is the event related to the academic program?
The event offers a networking and leadership activity opportunity for students. The event has become a key activity in some agriculture courses such as AGST 2100 – Professional Development in Agriculture. Students are also encouraged to include it in their resumes as a volunteer/fundraising activity.
How do students benefit from the event?
- Scholarship for Agriculture majors who meet the 2.5 GPA minimum requirement
- Networking opportunity with potential employers for jobs, internships and job shadow opportunities
- The event raises about $50,000 every year
- Half of the funds raised will support students, related activities and educational programs in the following ways to support agricultural education programs:
- About 80% of the Stan State Agriculture portion of the money goes to scholarships for all agriculture majors and supporting the Agriculture Ambassadors (Only association for Ag Majors).
- The remaining is used for outreach, professional development, and agriculture program support to enhance student learning.
- The second half of the raised fund goes to Stanislaus Fairground, to support agriculture education programs annually
- The event has raised over $400,000 since its inception
- Social gathering for community members, students, staff and faculty of Stan State
- Resume booster – Students include it in their resumes!
What role do students play in the event?
All Agriculture majors are required to participate in the following ways:
- Event promotion through the distribution of flyers, posters, invitation letters, “save the date” cards, solicitation of both silent and live auction items and, donations.
- Event set up and tear down. For these, students are assigned specific tasks either through the Ag Ambassadors (Agriculture student organization) or through their classes. So, students are strongly encouraged to attend the Ag Ambassadors meetings and check with their Ag instructors/faculty advisors.
- Working the event by assisting exhibitors and event staff, parking and in other specifically assigned roles
What types of donation are accepted?
Donation items include checks, new articles of value starting from $20 upwards. Donations can also include tickets to a sports event, theme park tickets TVs, barbecue grills, art pieces/collections, etc. Feel free to ask if you are not sure that your gift will qualify.
Are donation solicitation materials available?
Contact the Agriculture program faculty and Administrative Support Coordinator for donation or sponsorship solicitation documents/letters
Are the faculty involved in the event?
Yes. All agriculture faculty are actively involved in the event. They encourage their classes to participate. In most cases, their classes participate in the planning, setup, tear-down, staff support, and other assigned activities. Many Stanislaus State staff and administrators also volunteer at the event.
Are the Agriculture Ambassadors involved?
Yes. Being the only student organization in the Agriculture program, and the sole beneficiary of the fundraising effort, it is the primary responsibility of the Ag Ambassadors executive to organize and coordinate the participation of members and ensure that ALL members are involved.
Who typically attends?
- All community members, families and friends
- Wineries, restaurants, and other local agribusinesses and vendors
- Key players in the local agriculture industry
- People working in the agriculture industry
- Community supporters of the agriculture industry and Stan State Agriculture program specifically
- Stan State President, various university administrators, faculty and staff
- Parents and alumni of Agriculture program
Do I need a ticket to attend?
Attending guests need tickets to attend. Volunteers and participating students, faculty or staff working at the event do not need tickets
Where do I get the ticket?
Tickets are available online from:
Where do I get more information about the event?
Contact Agriculture Program office at 209-664-6648 or Bizzini Hall Room C-108, Stanislaus State, Turlock. Any Agriculture faculty member can also answer your question or direct you appropriately.