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Nishinaka Receives Outstanding Horticulture Education Award

Oct 17, 2018

Ron NishinakaState Center Community College District Trustee, Ronald H. Nishinaka, has received the Outstanding Horticulture Education Award from the California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers (CANGC). The award ceremony was held October 10, 2018 at the CANGC Convention in San Diego, California.

The Outstanding Horticulture Education Award is given to an individual, business, chapter, school or agency that has made significant contributions to a horticulture education program.

Ron was recognized for serving the industry in many capacities over his long career. For many years he headed up the horticulture department at Reedley College, training hundreds of students in the basics of the nursery industry. He was uniquely qualified to train the students as he also owned Dinuba Garden Center. Ron served his community at Tree Fresno, coordinating workshops, tree plantings and becoming the go-to-person at the organization. Ron has been teaching at California State University, Fresno in the plant science department for several years and continues to introduce the industry to young people interested in teaching, propagating and more. Ron has served as a proctor, grader and educator for the CCNPro program for CANGC for many years.

Born in a Japanese internment camp and speaking no English upon entering school, Ronald H. Nishinaka is a graduate of Reedley College where he taught for 37 ½ years and serves as District Trustee. His community service includes Reedley Mayor Pro Tem, Councilmember, Fresno County Solid Waste Commission Chairman, Lions Club, Kiwanis Club, Reedley Historical Society, Sierra Kings Hospital Foundation, and he attends an average of 20 college and community events per month. Accomplishments during his teaching tenure include Academic Senate President, acquisition of the 300 acre farm laboratory, establishment of the natural resources program’s school forest at Sequoia Lake, crafting the Quinn/Caterpillar partnership in diesel mechanics, and formation of the international education program through Georgetown University. He was also instrumental in the passage of Measure C, the $485 million facilities bond which passed in 2016.

Trustee Nishinaka is a true public servant. He has been recognized by the California State Senate and Assembly for Outstanding Public Service and Civic Involvement. Ron received the Lifetime Service Award at Reedley College for his continuing contributions. He was also named Citizen of the Year by the Greater Reedley Chamber of Commerce. Other groups he has been involved with include California Landscape Contractors Association, Boy Scouts of America, Japanese American Citizens League, and the Reedley Buddhist Church. In addition, he has served as an Agriculture Advisory Committee member for Fresno State, Reedley High School, Fresno Duncan Polytechnical High School, Pershing High School, Dinuba High School, Fowler High School and Hanford High School. He has also served as a consultant or industry expert for Contractors State License Board, California State Department of Corrections, California Department of Food and Agriculture and Professional Gardeners Federation of Northern California.

Ron earned his A.A. in landscape horticulture from Reedley College, his Vocational Teaching Credential and Courses for Vocational Supervision Credential from U.C. Berkeley, a B.A. of vocational education in ornamental horticulture, and M.A. in educational administration from University of San Francisco. CANGC is a trade organization that was founded in 1911 to promote and protect the California nursery industry. Over 100 years later, CANGC continues its efforts on behalf of the state’s diverse group of growers, retailers, and allied partners. The convention provides a forum to learn about new resources, network with peers and address challenges and other issues of interest and concern to California nursery industry.