Thomas T. Yamashita, Ph.D.
The history of SunBurst Agri Biotech Solutions LLC starts with the story of its founder, Dr. Thomas T. Yamashita who shared a passion for helping family farmers solve their agronomic problems in a timely and cost-effective manner. He made personal visit to farmers filed and offering solutions for their problems.
Over a period of time, is dedicated services established a farmers customer base that helped sunburst to grow and form another company named Fusion 360 which sold products to improve crop health and solve the issues of pathogens and pests.
Having created Fusion 360 from the fruits of research conducted at Sunburst, Sunburst still continues to provide its support to Fusion 360 through an ongoing contract with Fusion 360
Dr. Thomas T. Yamashita, affectionately known as “Doc Tom,” has always had a passion for farming and agriculture. By the age of four, Tom was helping out on his family’s strawberry farm in Campbell, CA.
When he was twelve years old, his family moved to Livingston to take up peach farming.
While in high school, Tom took over the operation of the family peach farm. In 1963, this resulted in the highest peach production yields seen in the state that year. Tom continued to run farm operations until 1973. In 1975, his parents sold the peach farm and retired to Turlock, CA, allowing him to pursue higher education.
Tom went to CSU Fresno, where he obtained his Bachelor’s and Master’s in Agricultural Plant Science. While working on a research project for the USDA Insect Research Laboratory, he met Kathleen, a student from the CSU Fresno Bachelor of Science in Integrated Pest Management Program.
He then transferred to UC Davis, where he earned his Ph.D. in Plant Pathology and Nematology in 1984.
From 1989 to 1991, Doc Tom worked for Cargill, Inc. In 1991, Doc Tom moved to Pocatello, Idaho, where as a researcher and consultant he helped potato, onion and blueberry growers in the surrounding areas.
Doc Tom then returned to CSU Fresno, where he was a lecturer and research scientist from 1993 to 1994, and a professor and research scientist from 1994 to 1995 in the Plant Pathology and Nematology Department.