Bakersfield College Receives $2M from Family and Friends of Billy Barnes

2 million dollar check presented to bc

Friday, December 17, 2021

Friends and family of Bakersfield College Agriculture faculty and pig farmer, Billy Barnes, gathered at the BC Agriculture Farm on Friday morning to make a $2 million gift to support the college's agriculture program. Following the major gift, Bakersfield College leadership revealed “The Billy Barnes Animal Science Institute at Bakersfield College,” with future signage at the entrance of the new Animal Science Lab to be located in the upcoming agriculture building to be completed in 2024.

“Billy Barnes was a much loved member of the BC Agriculture family. He was both a pig-farmer and an educator at heart,” said Kern Community College District Trustee, Kay Meek. “Throughout his successful career, he was named ‘Pork All-American' by the National Pork Producers council and went on to become internationally known as a top swine judge. He was a valuable addition to Bakersfield College, passing on his knowledge and to students, but also showing his heart and passion for caring for animals and seeing students succeed.”

Barnes was a Renegade, attending Bakersfield College after graduating from South High in 1983, and then transferring to Cal Poly San Louis Obisbo and later graduating from Fresno State University with a major in Animal Science. He led a successful career, producing some of the finest show pigs in the county and earned the title “Pork All-American” by the National Pork Producers Council which honored pig farmers under 40 who established themselves as community leaders.

In addition to teaching Agriculture and Animal Sciences in the classroom, Billy actively supported FFA and students outside of the classroom in co-curricular activities. He had a rich passion for inspiring the next generation of farmers, while teaching them the importance of showmanship and kindness as life skills.

During this morning's program, Chancellor of the Kern Community College District, Dr. Sonya Christian unveiled The Billy Barnes Animal Science Institute at Bakersfield College. She said, “BC's Animal Science program will forever benefit from the commitment Billy made to nurturing and growing our program into a state and national leader. With this generous gift from family and friends, Billy's legacy will remain at the forefront of our program, inspiring generations of farmers who care for others, care for animals, engage in their community through livestock shows and fairs, and most of all, lift one another through kindness and generosity.”

The proposed new Agriculture Sciences Building is planned to be located on the east side of the campus off the entrance on Mt. Vernon Ave. The three-story 48,2900 gross square foot building contains laboratories, classrooms, shop space, offices.

To learn more about BC's educational pathways, including Agriculture or to enroll in the upcoming spring semester, visit

Bakersfield College provides opportunities for students from diverse economic, cultural, and educational backgrounds to attain Associate and Baccalaureate degrees and certificates, workplace skills, and preparation for transfer. Our rigorous and supportive learning environment fosters students' abilities to think critically, communicate effectively, and demonstrate competencies and skills in order to engage productively in their communities and the world.