Staff Profile

Diane Friend

San Joaquin Valley Regional Coordinator for the FARMS Leadership Program

Ever since Diane Friend was old enough to work in the field, drive a tractor and witness a harvest from her family farm, she knew agriculture was in her blood forever. Early recollections of hard work, leading to many lessons learned from her father, left an indelible mark that would guide a career in agriculture.

Diane grew up on a family farm near Corcoran, California, where she developed a love for the land and what it could produce. After graduating from Cal Poly, SLO with a B.S. in Agriculture Business Management, Diane returned to Corcoran to help manage her family’s 2500 acre farming operation. She soon began her own farming operation that let to growing experimental varieties of rice, cotton, alfalfa and seed crops.

Diane is characterized as a true entrepreneur; having started several businesses ranging from production agriculture to real estate, technology, public relations and marketing to consulting. Over her 30+ year career, Diane has also served on several boards including Lower Tule River Irrigation District, State USDA/FSA Board and Tulare Co. Fair Board. As a California Ag Leadership graduate (class XV), Diane continues to be involved in industry leadership by serving on the SJVPCB Citizens Advisory Council and Environmental Justice Committee, Tulare-Kings Career Pathway Advisory Board and the California FFA Foundation Board. Diane has a passion for Ag Education. As an Adjunct Professor in Ag Business, Diane taught at College of the Sequoias for many years as she earned a M.S. in Agriculture Education from Cal Poly, SLO. She developed several agricultural curriculums in areas of marketing, management, communication and entrepreneurship.

Currently, Diane serves as the San Joaquin Valley Regional Coordinator for the FARMS Leadership Program through the Center for Land Based Learning. In this role, she continues her commitment to Ag Education by preparing the next generation of agriculturalists.