Raj Khalon Agriculture Complex Opens in Merced College, CA
Raj Khalon, to support agriculture in the region, has given $5million to Merced College. Seen here with Indian Consul General Dr.T.V. Nagendra Prasad
India-West News Desk
MERCED, CA – Merced College on September 15 formally inaugurated the 29,000-square-foot Raj Kahlon Agriculture and Industrial Technology Complex, here. The $25-million complex will house several academic programs, the college said, allowing them to train students for jobs in agriculture, industrial technology, and other related workforce programs.
Among those who attended the event were California Attorney General Rob Bonta, Assemblymember Adam Gray and Dr. T.V. Nagendra Prasad, Consul General of India.
Indian American farmer Raj Kahlon, after whom the complex is named, has committed $5 million to support the programs within the complex—the largest donation in Merced College history.
“For our agriculture industry to continue to thrive in an uncertain future, we need advanced technology, and we need students who are equipped to use that technology,” Kahlon said. “Merced College plays an integral role in educating and preparing our workforce, and this new building will help ensure a successful future for local students and our entire region.”
Raj Kahlon has quietly become a pillar in the Merced community, the college said.
The owner of RHM Farms has steadily grown his family business and reputation over the last 20 years. During that time, Kahlon has earned praise from his peers for his business savvy and integrity. Generosity can be added to his list of attributes, it said.
Khalon has thrived as a pistachio and almond farmer. “I believe that Merced College is the foundation of the Merced community,” Kahlon said. “They’ve had strong ties to local agriculture since the school opened and continue to educate the area’s future agriculturists and leaders. It is the reason I entered this partnership. Helping to grow the workforce of Merced County is important to everyone. I want to be a part of that growth.”
The partnership agreement, between Kahlon and the Merced College Foundation will include developing approximately 100-acres of pistachios, which will generate additional funds for the College as well as provide an agricultural land lab for students to learn production and harvesting practices, the college said.
College President Chris Vitelli expressing his gratitude to Khalon said, “Throughout this process, Raj has expressed his desire to give back to the community who has given him so much. I couldn’t be more appreciative of his incredible generosity and the long-term impact of this donation.”