Susan Kellogg-Bell is this year’s recipient of the Jim Hicks Agricultural Achievement Award. She will be honored at the 5th Annual Farm to Table Spring Harvest Dinner on April 27, which brings together students and culinary experts around the community to honor student success.

The award was established in 2015 in honor of Jim Hicks, who has been a strong supporter of agriculture and agricultural education. 

“His passion is to support agricultural education from the young age on,” said Lisa Kessler, interim dean of the Huntley College of Agriculture. “He is very supportive of this college.”

As the great-great granddaughter to Will Keith Kellogg, Kellogg-Bell and her family have stayed close to Cal Poly Pomona and Kellogg’s famed Arabian horses.

Susan Kellogg-Bell, great-great granddaughter to W.K Kellogg, chatting
with guests at last year’s Farm to Table Spring Harvest Dinner. (Courtesy of Melissa Watkins)

After graduating with a sociology degree from UCLA in the early ‘80s, she kicked off her career at Macy’s West in numerous positions, such as being a buyer for the company.

Being closely connected to the department of agriculture, Kellogg-Bell said she is happy to have both of her passions falling under one department, in which she gets to work so closely. 

Interim Dean Kessler said she was honored to present Kellogg-Bell the award, as she has shown such strong connections to multiple areas of the Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture. 

Kellogg-Bell is also a new member of the recent Cal Poly Pomona Philanthropic Foundation, which will begin its activities in July. 

This foundation is set to bring people together to highlight student success.

Her past in fashion at a leadership position in Liz Claiborne Inc. and as the CEO for Elie Tahari have helped enrich her professional life.

Now retired, Kellogg-Bell serves on the advisory board for Cal Poly Pomona’s Department of Apparel Merchandising & Management. 

Even though she also serves on the sociology department board at UCLA, she said her passion for CPP is different.

Before being part of the board at CPP, she began by lecturing and mentoring students.

“The more I got involved, the more I wanted to get involved,” Kellogg-Bell said. 

With CPP having a higher percentage of first-generation college graduates, Kellogg-Bell said she finds it rewarding to help students that may not have many at-home resources. 

Speaking on her other passion, which is horses, she said she feels confident with President Soraya Coley’s commitment to the horse center and the financial support that it receives. 

She said the award has made her feel like her life is coming full circle, considering her family’s agricultural past and her dedication to helping students, as well as her ties to horses and fashion.

“It’s like all of my worlds converging into one,” Kellogg-Bell said.

The event is nearly sold out but tickets are available at http://give.cpp.edu/spring-harvest and begin at $125.

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