BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Bakersfield College received a $2 million gift to its agriculture program on Friday from friends and family of Bakersfield College Agriculture faculty and pig farmer, Billy Barnes.
BC's leadership also unveiled the “The Billy Barnes Animal Science Institute at Bakersfield College” during the ceremony with future signs at the entrance of the new Animal Science Lab to be located in the upcoming agriculture building to be completed in 2024.
“Billy Barnes was a much-loved member of the BC Agriculture family. He was both a pig-farmer and an educator at heart. Throughout his successful career, he was named ‘Pork All-American’ by the National Pork Producers council and went on to become internationally known as a top swine judge. He was a valuable addition to Bakersfield College, passing on his knowledge to students, and also showing his heart and passion for caring for animals and seeing students succeed.”
Barnes attended Bakersfield College after graduating from South High School in 1983. He then transferred to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo before later graduating from Fresno State University in Animal Science. He earned the title “Pork All-American” by the National Pork Producers Council which honored pig farmers under 40 who established themselves as community leaders.
“BC’s Animal Science program will forever benefit from the commitment Billy made to nurturing and growing our program into a state and national leader. With this generous gift from family and friends, Billy’s legacy will remain at the forefront of our program, inspiring generations of farmers who care for others, care for animals, engage in their community through livestock shows and fairs, and most of all, lift one another through kindness and generosity,” said Chancellor of the Kern Community College District Dr. Sonya Christian.
The proposed building is set for the east side of the campus off the entrance on Mt. Vernon Ave. The three-story 48,2900 gross square foot building will contain laboratories, classrooms, shop space, and offices.