HONORING FRED H. SWANSON; Congressional Record Vol. 155, No. 93
(Extensions of Remarks - June 19, 2009)

Text available as:

Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.

[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1507]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                        HONORING FRED H. SWANSON


                             HON. JIM COSTA

                             of california

                    in the house of representatives

                         Friday, June 19, 2009

  Mr. COSTA. Madam Speaker, I rise today to pay special tribute to Mr. 
Fred H. Swanson. On June 29, 2009, after 26 years, Fred is retiring 
from his position as Director of the University of California Kearney 
Research and Extension Center near Parlier, California, a tenure that 
saw the transformation of a quiet UC field station into a world-class 
agricultural research facility.
  Mr. Swanson's journey began only five miles from Kearney on the 
family farm. Upon graduating from high school, Fred left for college to 
the University of California, Davis. In 1965, upon receiving his 
Bachelor of Science Degree in Viticulture, the adventurous side of Fred 
led him to take a position growing food for thousands of workers who 
were tasked with constructing dams in West Pakistan. Three years later, 
the job finished with West Pakistan's electricity capacity successfully 
doubled and the 35-acre farm effectively turned over to the Pakistan 
army. With the completion of this project, Mr. Swanson returned to 
California where he took a post managing a vineyard in the McDowell 
Valley of Mendocino County.
  Mr. Swanson was then hired as a UC Cooperative Extension viticulture 
farm advisor for Fresno County, a position he held for 10 years. Fred 
then returned to expand his own farming operation while helping others 
with their farms. During this time, Fred met the legendary viticulture 
specialist Fred Jenson which led Mr. Swanson to apply for the open 
directorship at the Kearney Ag Station.
  Since 1983, Fred has made outstanding contributions to the Kearney Ag 
Station. One of his early additions was the purchase of 75 acres of 
farmland across the street from the original parcel. With this 
purchase, the total amount of land available for research grew to 330 
acres with 45 different varieties of agricultural crops including stone 
fruit, nut crops, raisins, wine and table grapes, specialty vegetables, 
blueberries and kiwifruit being grown on this acreage.
  In 1989, Swanson made one of his most visible improvements with the 
construction of a two-story state of the art laboratory, office and 
meeting complex. This laboratory and office complex provided UC 
scientists, recognized worldwide for their pioneering agricultural 
research, the facilities needed to further their research. 
Additionally, under Fred's direction, a 20,000 square foot greenhouse 
complex was completed in 2003. This complex continues to give Valley 
agricultural scientists access to 24 high quality greenhouse modules 
with computer controlled heating, cooling and lighting systems. Among 
his many awards, Fred's accomplishments have been recognized by the 
University of California, Davis through the Award of Distinction from 
the College of Ag & Environmental Sciences and the Citation for 
Excellence by the Cal Aggie Alumni Association.
  Madam Speaker, it goes without saying that Mr. Swanson's dedication 
and accomplishments to the San Joaquin Valley's agriculture community 
have gained him respect and appreciation from all who have worked with 
him and know him. With retirement now a reality, Fred is preparing to 
spend more time with his wife Cheryl, as well as enjoying fishing and 
hunting trips. We owe Fred a magnificent collective thank you. I honor 
Fred Swanson, before you my colleagues, for his productive years of 
service to agriculture and the nation.