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ETS to Gift Lab Services to Fresno State University's Department of Viticulture and Enology

ETS will also provide expertise in the interpretation of the data
by Kerana Todorov
July 11, 2018
Miguel Pedroza, assistant professor at Fresno State, left, Hal Huffsmith, industry liaison at Fresno State, and Qun (Kristy) Sun, assistant professor at Fresno State, right, visited ETS at the invitation of ETS co-founder Gordon Burns, second from right. ETS is gifting $100,000 in lab services over the next five years to the four-year academic institution. Photo by Kerana Todorov

Napa Valley’s ETS has pledged to donate $100,000 worth of lab services over a five-year period to Fresno State University’s Department of Viticulture and Enology.

ETS co-founder Gordon Burns on Tuesday said ETS will gift up to $20,000 for lab services every 12 months over the next five years. Under the agreement, ETS will also provide expertise in the interpretation of the data.

Burns discussed the grant after showing ETS’ St. Helena laboratory to Fresno State visitors – assistant professors Qun (Kristy) Sun and Miguel Pedroza and industry liaison Hal Huffsmith.

Huffsmith, who retired from Trinchero Family Estates in June 2017 after more than four decades with the company, praised ETS’ in-kind gift to Fresno State, his alma mater. ETS, Huffsmith said, is the “gold standard of all wine analysis in the world right now.”

“What a tremendous opportunity it is for our students to expand their knowledge beyond the confines of (the Department of Viticulture and Enology) at Fresno State,” Huffsmith said.

“It also gives both Kristy and Miguel an opportunity to be a little more creative with some of the work they intend to do,” he said, adding they will not be limited by the tools on campus. The Department does have its own lab.

Sun invited ETS to speak to her students, an invitation Burns accepted. Pedroza, who like Sun teaches undergraduate classes, said students conduct research projects as part of their coursework. ETS already provided in-kind analyses to students earlier this year.

Huffsmith said student and faculty projects that require sophisticated analyses will send samples to ETS. They will get data – along with expert opinion that will be helpful in understanding that data and its implications. Fresno State professors and ETS technicians will collaborate in crafting and designing projects. 

ETS has shared research data at Walla Walla Community College in Washington state, where ETS has a laboratory. ETS in March announced a $50,000 gift over a five-year period to San Luis Obispo’s wine and viticulture program. The company will provide each year $10,000 worth of lab test services to the Central Coast school, along with guidance.

“It can happen - and it’s unfortunate when it does – but it can happen that there is some kind of a perceived antagonism between academia and industry,” Burns said. “This happens with some frequency where academia sees themselves above and separate from industry instead of something integrated with industry.”

Instead Burns looks forward to the new partnership with Fresno State. To find an opportunity where academia and industry can partner and combine their respective, he said, is “very valuable.”

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