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Jeff Place

#146 Jeff Place, Class of 1973, Staff
(AS degree in Horticulture)

My family came to the Coachella Valley in 1925 and was involved in agriculture and ag support services. I was raised in Indio and came to COD in the fall of 1968 and enrolled in general education courses. After one year, I volunteered for the draft and served in the Army Infantry for almost two years. When I returned to COD in the fall of 1971, on my first day of school, in my first class, there was one open seat left in the class and it was next to me. My future wife sat down in that chair and that was the beginning of my fondness for her and for the college. We’ve been married 37 years.

I graduated from COD in the spring of 1973 with an AS degree in Horticulture and transferred to Cal Poly Pomona where I graduated in 1975 with a BS in Parks Administration. I returned to the Coachella Valley and began teaching Horticulture as an adjunct here. I also worked as a Horticulture Technician at the college until I went into business as a Landscape Contractor in 1978. I remained fond of COD and returned as an adjunct instructor in 1994 and became full-time in Turfgrass and Horticulture in 1997. In many ways, it seems the college and I evolved together.

I find great satisfaction in continuing to “grow” the program and having a direct impact on our students who keep the valley green and beautiful.