Bee Sweet Citrus founder pledges $1.5 million for new Cal Poly plant pathology lab

Cal Poly’s Agricultural Sciences building.
Cal Poly’s Agricultural Sciences building.

A pair of longtime Cal Poly supporters pledged $1.5 million for the J.G. Boswell Agricultural Technology Center, the university announced.

The gift from Jim and Michelle Marderosian will fund a new plant pathology lab that will be used to diagnose and explore plant diseases and disease control strategies, according to a Cal Poly statement.

Jim Marderosian attended Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business in the 1970s and founded Bee Sweet Citrus in Fowler in 1987.

In prepared remarks, Marderosian said the new pathology lab will allow Cal Poly students “the ability to research environmental effects, diseases and agricultural pest issues to compete with the ever-changing world conditions.”

The facility is expected to be completed in 2021, and will feature 11 labs.

Andrew Sheeler: 805-781-7929, @andrewsheeler