After a year and a half of methodical planning, construction is finally underway at CSU Fresno for the Tree Nut Processing Course. This lab & lecture structured course will provide students with an in-depth look at various equipment, technologies and programs that assist tree nut hulling, shelling and processing operations throughout the season. Mirroring a similar class offered at Fresno State focusing on citrus packing, the Tree Nut Processing Course will provide students with hands on experience with industry equipment operation and maintenance.
WAPA Board Member Dan Pronsolino (Dunnigan Hills Hulling & Shelling) was instrumental in developing the overall scope of the course, while also contacting manufacturers on potential equipment donations for the lab. WAPA would also like to recognize Gary Dunn with Wonderful Pistachios for his tireless work on developing the layout of the lab space, and for assisting in the installation of equipment. This class would not have been possible without the partnership of CSU Fresno’s Department of Industrial Technology Department Chair, Dr. Athenasios Alexandrou as well as CSU Fresno’s AgOne Foundation Director Alcidia Freitas Gomes. We would also like to take the opportunity to thank Tomra, Nolin, Forsberg, Wonderful, Cortina Hulling and Shelling, and Capay Canyon Ranch for their equipment donations; and a big thank you to Excelsior Construction and JTI for their installation expertise. The course will undergo a semester to fine tune the curriculum this Spring, and will be opened for further student registration come Fall of 2021.