Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture

Dean's Council Gains Three New Members

Published Date: Jun 14, 2016 10:00:00 PM

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A produce industry leader and two students were added to the Dean’s Council.

Karen Caplan is the president and CEO of Orange County-based Frieda’s Specialty Produce.

Frieda’s is known for introducing the kiwifruit and other specialty produce to the United States since the 1960s. It has become the preeminent marketer and distributor of specialty produce to American supermarkets and foodservice distributors.

Caplan was the first chairwoman of the United Fresh Produce Association and the first female president of Southern California-based Fresh Produce & Floral Council. The College of Agriculture also honored Caplan with the Jim Hicks Agricultural Achievement Award earlier this year.

In addition, Josh Klockmann and Ben Steiner will serve on the council. They take the places of graduate student Christina Romero and Luke Lightbody, who had served previously as the student representatives.

An Apple Valley native, Steiner (’16, food and nutrition) is continuing his education at Cal Poly Pomona by pursuing a master’s degree program in food science and technology. A single father and nontraditional student, Steiner transferred to Cal Poly Pomona after studying at Victor Valley College. He works as a teaching assistant running chemistry labs at Victor Valley College and also as a student assistant to Professor Martin Sancho-Madriz, chair of the Department of Human Nutrition and Food Science. As a graduate student, he will work on research in lutein with Assistant Professor Gabriel Davidov-Pardo.

Klockmann is a fifth-year senior majoring in both plant science and agricultural science, with a minor in agronomy. He grew up on a 5-acre date farm in Imperial County, where he participated in FFA and 4-H. At Cal Poly Pomona, he has served as president of the Ag Council and the Los Rancheros agronomy and soil science club, and vice president of the Los Robles Horticulture Club. Josh will serve as the ASI senator representing the College of Agriculture in 2016-17. He is considering a career teaching agriculture in high school.

The council includes industry figures, alumni, and students who advise Dean Mary Holz-Clause on issues related to the College of Agriculture.