Precision Ag
Farm of the Future - Meet Our Faculty


Clint CowdenClint Cowden graduated from Cal Poly with a degree in agricultural systems management with a concentration in irrigation engineering and a minor in agribusiness. Clint worked his way through college at many jobs including a primary job with Environmental Care, Inc., in San Jose, Calif., (now Valley Crest) which is one of the largest landscape and golf course management companies in the United States. Upon graduating from Cal Poly, he moved to the Sonoma Valley where he worked for Gallo Vineyards -- first as an intern and then as director of special projects (irrigation and vineyard design). 

After Gallo, Clint moved to Wyatt Irrigation in Napa, Calif., where he was the branch sales manager and the head designer for vineyards in the Napa Valley. While working, he decided to return to Cal Poly, where he completed all of the coursework for a Master’s degree in precision agriculture. Upon leaving Cal Poly, Clint and his wife, Joy, started Cowden Advanced Agriculture in Coalinga, specializing in irrigation design, scheduling and agronomic decision making in the Central Valley. After a few years of having their own business, Clint and Joy were offered positions with a larger consulting firm, J.M. Lord, Inc., and moved to La Quinta, Calif., (Palm Springs) working on one of the largest water litigations in history. J.M. Lord was hired by the Coachella Valley Water District to quantify water savings due to their growers instituting scientific irrigation scheduling and management. While in the desert, Joy and Clint monitored and consulted on over 75,000 acres on soil fertility, irrigation scheduling, drainage and integrated pest control. During this time Clint sat on the advisory committee for WHCC’s Precision Ag program. When WHCC decided to create a new Precision Agriculture academy-style program, Clint was asked to help create the program. Clint decided that he would come for three years, create the curriculum, get the program started and return to industry. That was in 2003.

Clint and Joy have twin daughters.

Contact Clint via email at or by phone at 934-2701.


Dr Tim EllsworthDr. Tim Ellsworth joined West Hills College in August 2013 as an agriculture technology instructor. In addition to agriculture, he also teaches geology and environmental science courses. His primary academic areas of expertise are soil science, with a focus on precision agriculture and nutrient management, and distance education. Tim currently serves on the advisory board for the Canadian Biochar Consortium.

Prior to joining WHC, Tim worked for 23 years as a professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign where part of his duties included serving as the faculty director of the online master’s program for the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Science. Tim obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from Brigham Young University, a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside. In addition to working at the University of Illinois, his prior work experience includes serving as a soil scientist with the USDA U.S. Salinity Laboratory, a visiting faculty member at the Centre for Water Research, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Western Australia in Perth and a senior scientist performing hazard assessments and hazard evaluations for the U.S. Army with regard to management of the U.S. Army Chemical Weapon Stockpile.

Tim and his wife, Jennifer, have three daughters and a son.

Contact Tim via email at or by phone at 934-2711.


Sherri FreemanSherri Freeman joined the ag faculty at WHCC in August 2013. She was born in Fresno. Her family was very involved in the beef cattle industry, which led them to many ranches in Nevada and finally settling in the Imperial Valley. Sherri was very involved in her high school agriculture program and fell in love with agriculture education. She attended California Polytechnic State University, Pomona, and graduated in 1983. She also received her teaching certificate and master’s degree at Cal Poly in 1998. She was able to develop a new agriculture program at Warner High School in San Diego County, where she taught for 17 years. During her time in Warner Springs, she taught a wide variety of courses and was able to develop a four-year pathway of UC-approved agriculture science curriculum. She is currently enrolled in the Doc@Distance doctorate program with Texas A&M University and Texas Tech, majoring in agriculture education and communication. Her passions include spending time with family (which includes two sons and a daughter), riding horses and mules, leatherwork and packing in the Sierra.

Contact Sherri via email at or by phone at 559-934-2709.


Norman OilarNorman Oilar joined Farm of the Future faculty in August 2013. He started teaching agriculture education in 1996 in Northern California and has taught many diversified areas of agriculture including agricultural mechanics, animal science, agricultural business, natural resources and leadership. He has 25 years of experience in the construction trades industry. He taught students to become certified welders in the agricultural mechanics program at Greenville High School and Feather River College. Additionally, he has three years of experience in the livestock sales and service industry, which included business management and marketing. He has provided consultation services for a variety of agricultural producers, and he has been involved with his family’s commercial cattle operation.

Oilar earned a Master’s degree in agriculture education at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and holds teaching credentials and a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture from California State University, Chico. He started his college education at Shasta College, where he earned two A.A. degrees in agriculture and general education.

He has held leadership roles for 4-H, Future Farmers of America and California Agriculture Teachers Association including an American FFA degree and other honors from the CATA. He was a member of the 1991 California State University, Chico, Collegiate Livestock Judging Team.

Contact Norman via email at or by phone at 559-934-2710.

Clint CowdenCoach Justin Hampton is back as the Head Coach this time, after serving as an assistant coach and, prior to that,  as a student athlete here at West Hills College. Coach Hampton brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the program through years of teaching and competing at the highest levels. A seven time California Circuit Finalist and Circuit Champ in 1999 in team roping, Hampton is also an educator who served local school districts for many years at various teaching positions. 

Coach Hampton is excited about where the program is headed and enjoying the use of a state of the art rodeo facility. A graduate of West Hills College Coalinga and Fresno State University, Hampton is a product of College Rodeo, having qualifying for the CNFR numerous times. He pushes the value of education to each one of our student athletes. Coach Hampton was raised in Bakersfield, California and now resides in Coalinga with his Wife, Jennifer, and two children, Abigayle and Elizabeth.

Contact Coach Justin Hampton at 559-934-2702 or

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Student Success

"The time I spent at West Hills College in the Precision Ag program has been very beneficial and the lessons learned there have been useful in my everyday life."

Kerri Birdwell,
Pacific Coast Field Support Technician
Ag Leader Technology, Iowa

Farm of the Future

Strategic Plan