As announced in the May 2017 ANR Report, the UC Learning Center website (http://lms.ucdavis.edu) will be down in July for an upgrade. However, the dates have changed. The system will be unavailable for any activity beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday, July 28, 2017, for up to five business days. Please plan to do your compliance training and other training with that schedule in mind.
UC Cooperative Extension livestock and natural resources advisor Roger Ingram will retire June 30 after 31 years of efforts to sustain the ranchers and rangelands of Nevada and Placer counties.
Ingram joined Nevada County UCCE in 1986 after serving for three years as an extension agent with Texas A&M University, his alma mater. During his first seven years in Nevada County, Ingram also had a role with the 4-H Youth Development program, which he gave up in 1993 when he began working with Placer County ranchers. In 2007 Ingram also accepted the role of UCCE county director in Placer and Nevada counties.
Ingram had a long career with UCCE, but the focus was constantly evolving to meet the changing needs of the community.
“My position has involved a lot of different jobs,” Ingram said. “That's the strength of UC Cooperative Extension. When new issues emerge, you can shift the program.”
Early on, Ingram devoted his attention to grazing management. When research began to show the benefits of low-stress livestock handling, Ingram brought in experts from around the country to provide hands-on demonstrations. Local ranchers learned that low-stress techniques were easier and safer for handlers and reduced livestock injuries, which helped the bottom line.
Since maintaining profitability was a key to keeping land and ranchers in the agriculture business, Ingram worked actively on numerous programs to boost revenues. One such effort was producing niche products, like grass-fed beef, which offered the potential for higher economic return to the ranch. In time, Ingram and a consortium of growers Ingram brought together helped form High Sierra Beef to market area ranchers' high-quality specialty meat to local restaurants, stores and families. In time, one of the board members bought the company and still operates it today.
Ingram worked with community leaders to launch PlacerGrown, a branding effort to add value to local products. Later a similar program, Nevada County Grown, was established for Nevada County.
Beginning farmers and ranchers, and a new generation land holders were a priority for Ingram's educational program. In 1992, he and fellow livestock advisor Dave Pratt created the California Grazing Academy – an intensive three-day training program that has continued to provide innovative grazing information to farmers, ranchers and land management professionals for 25 years. To date, more than 665 individuals have attended and now manage over a million acres of rangeland.
“At the Grazing Academy, our emphasis was on experiential learning,” Ingram said. “We spend 50 or 60 percent of the time in the field, working with cattle, designing fences, drought planning and studying ecology.”
When the similar need among goat producers became apparent, Ingram launched the California Browsing Academy in 2003. This later became the California Multi-Species Academy as interest in sheep production grew in the foothills. Modeled on the grazing academy, the multi-species academy also had an emphasis on experiential learning to reinforce classroom instruction.
Ingram's contributions to supporting small-scale ranchers was recognized when he was presented with the Pedro Ilic Award for Outstanding Educator in 2013. The award is named for a Fresno County small farm advisor whose untimely death in 1994 prompted the small farm program to annually honor those who carry out his legacy of personal commitment to small-scale and family farming. In 2014, Ingram received the William Nickerl Award for Conservation Leadership from the Bear Yuba Land Trust.
Dan Macon, a Placer County sheep producer who most recently served as an assistant rangeland specialist at UC Davis, will succeed Ingram as livestock and natural resources advisor in Placer and Nevada counties beginning July 1. Cindy Fake, the UCCE horticulture and small farms advisor in Placer and Nevada counties, will take on Ingram's county director duties.
The University of California has conferred on Ingram the honor of emeritus status. For the time being, he plans to stay in Placer County and will help with beginning farmer and small business planning programs.
In retirement, Ingram will work with his own sheep and Border Collie sheep dogs. He will also be training to walk all or part of the 500-mile-long Camino de Santiago (The Way of St. James) in Spain in 2018 or 2019. He said he will take time to travel and looks forward to watching lots of major league baseball games.
After making significant and varied contributions to Humboldt and Del Norte counties during her 33-year career as a UC Cooperative Extension farm and community relations advisor, Deborah Giraud retires June 30.
Born and raised in Rhode Island, Giraud came west to attend Pomona College in Claremont, Calif.
“I wanted to escape New England and the winter weather,” Giraud said. “I wanted to come to California and be involved in farming.”
She never looked back. Giraud earned a bachelor's degree in botany, and was studying horticulture at California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, when she was selected for an internship that would shape her career.
The program, established as a memorial for UC Cooperative Extension advisor Norman Ross, offered promising agriculture students the opportunity to spend alternate weeks during the summer with farm advisors and industry leaders throughout California.
“I traveled up and down the state. I made lifelong friends with farm advisors and I learned that to work in Cooperative Extension, UC Davis was the place to be,” Giraud said.
In 1983, she completed a master's degree in pomology at UC Davis; in 1984 she started her career in UC Cooperative Extension in Humboldt County.
Giraud managed a broad plant science program, participating in research and outreach to vegetable, fruit and ornamental crop farmers. A major focus of Giraud's research program was to support the Easter lily industry in Humboldt and Del Norte counties, where farmers produce bulbs that are shipped to greenhouses across the country to force the traditional white flowers each year in time for Easter. Working with UC Cooperative Extension specialist Becky Westerdahl, Giraud's projects focused on research to help growers manage the complex fungal and nematode pest pressures.
Giraud brought many new educational and research programs to the northwest corner of the state, including cottage food businesses, agritourism and farm-to-school programs. She was one of the first UCCE advisors in the state to work with farmers and ranchers on succession issues, teaching the subject at state and national conferences
Giraud also worked closely with Hmong community gardeners when the Southeast Asian refugees settled in Northern California.
“We had a community garden that I helped manage. I met a many families and helped get the kids involved in 4-H. Their many needs spurred my interest in community development,” Giraud said.
In 2011, Giraud was awarded a grant from the USDA Federally Recognized Tribes Extension Program to serve four tribes – Karuk, Hoopa, Wiyot and Yurok – with agriculture projects, community gardens, 4-H programs and food preservation. She helped the Hoopa Tribe receive a grant from the Humboldt Area Foundation to help fund the Rodeo Grounds Improvement Project. She has won several awards for her programs with underserved clientele.
“Deborah has made many outstanding contributions to both Humboldt and Del Norte counties and has had a lasting impact,” said Yana Valachovic, director of UCCE in Humboldt and Del Norte. “Deborah is a true community steward and I appreciate how much she has always been available to work on an issue or solve any problem.”
In retirement, Giraud plans to stay in Humboldt County and do a lot more camping and hiking around the U.S. Another goal is finding an opportunity to be an elementary school teacher's assistant.
“I miss being around little kids,” she said.
Nunez' first mentor was a professor at California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo. The teacher made space for Nunez in his laboratory and introduced the biology student to plant pathology and pest management. Upon graduation, Nunez was qualified for a nine-month position at the USDA agricultural research station in Shafter. With funding from CDFA, Nunez conducted research on guayule, a desert shrub that is a potential source of rubber. The U.S. Defense Department became interested in the rubber tree substitute during the 1970s oil embargo.
When the project ended, Nunez said another key mentor – USDA plant pathology scientist Dick Garber – offered him a job working in cotton research at Shafter.
After Garber retired, Nunez began work with UC Davis plant pathologist Mike Davis on a two-year project investigating cavity spot of carrots. Coordinating with Davis, Nunez ran trials on the carrot disease at the Shafter Research Station.
“Mike was probably the greatest mentor I had,” Nunez said. “He allowed me to work full time, and in the evenings, I would drive to Fresno State to get my masters' degree. That two-year position turned out to be eight years.”
In 1996, Nunez was named a UC Cooperative Extension vegetable crops farm advisor.
“My program focused a lot on carrots,” Nunez said. “I continued to work with Mike on cavity spot on carrots. And after all these years, it's still a problem.”
Cavity spot is caused by two different fungi. Nunez, Davis and other California researchers were able to confirm chemical and cultural solutions, but continuing research is critical to maintaining Kern County's $300 million carrot industry. Over the 30 years that Nunez and Davis collaborated on cavity spot, a single fungicide was found to control cavity spot.
“We knew we would have resistance issues,” Nunez said. “Sure enough, that's what we're seeing now.”
Nunez authored and co-authored dozens of research articles on carrot and potato diseases. He organized and hosted three international carrot conferences and became known and respected by the carrot industry worldwide. He is seeking emeritus status and plans to continue his carrot and potato research programs.
“Carrots and potatoes are too important to Kern County for me to stop,” Nunez said. “I have a lot of multi-state and multi-agency research projects under way. They need to keep going.”
Nunez also looks forward to having more time to spend at his Mammoth Mountain cabin, where he and his wife enjoy an array of summer activities, including hiking, mountain biking, fishing and kayaking. They also will spend more time with their five grandchildren.
Winners of the 2016-17 ANR Staff Appreciation and Recognition (STAR) program were announced June 14.
The outstanding contributions of UC ANR people were recognized and celebrated at an event held at the UC ANR building in Davis. The honored staff members received plaques and cash awards to reward their exceptional performance, creativity, organizational abilities, work success and teamwork.
The STAR winners are named below, followed by a quote from their nomination letter.
“Shanna moved our local 4-H program into a force to be reckoned with in the local community and on the state and national stages. She challenges and mentors youth to be their personal best, is well-respected by leaders, volunteers and staff, and has increased membership significantly. Her leadership and innovation has transformed 4-H programming in Imperial County.”
“Maria requested a higher level of responsibility about one year ago and since then she has been performing the duties of a community education specialist. In addition, Ms. Alfaro fills in for her director as a full-fledged trainer, leads coordination of the annual shelf home-use pesticide surveys and triages most of our customer support requests.”
“Laurie met the challenges of workload and unique issues this past year. She performed the work of two office support staff with a positive, friendly can-do attitude while learning new tasks with incredible proficiency. Ms. Askew demonstrated excellent customer service, good humor, and a high level of productivity. Because of her abilities, the IREC team thrived through challenging circumstances.”
“Stephanie's work transformed our 4-H enrollment and our connection with club leaders and volunteers. She demonstrated extraordinary leadership in developing online platforms and marketing tools and in instructing our team in their use. We have seen a 50 percent increase in attendance for Presentation Day, received great feedback from volunteers, and now work at a greater level of effectiveness.”
“Consuelo demonstrated extraordinary work in accomplishing program goals. She possesses a reputation of teamwork, excellence and professionalism and is sought by her colleagues for input on projects, nutrition lessons and provides training at staff meetings on teaching strategies and internal databases. Because of Ms. Cid's creativity, professionalism, team-work and efforts, UC CalFresh the Fresno-Madera MCP will continue to thrive for many years to come.”
“Darrin managed 30 demanding research projects, 47 individual field trials working, and last-minute research requests working long hours in inclement weather. His performance is a primary reason IREC successfully completed the largest project load per FTE of any of the RECs. His success brought many compliments to the Center and a high level of satisfaction from both researchers and clientele.”
“Steve's work is always exceptional. This year, he received two awards from the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture and Natural Resources – a gold for a story about safflower in California IPM and cropping systems and a bronze award for a photo essay on New Mexico integrated pest management. Mr. Elliot's work has culminated in a renewed communications strategy for the Center and transformed the way we talk about IPM and the Center.”
“Chris volunteered to help the REC system navigate a substantial series of unanticipated service and administrative gaps that required extraordinary leadership, problem solving, extensive additional time, and creating and leading new teams. She sustained this increased workload with exceptional service, grace, kindness, care and respect for her colleagues and made difficult transitions possible which led to a stronger and closer team.”
“Maria joined our team just over one year ago during an enormous reorganization. From the start, she embraced opportunities to build our unit's capacity and streamline processes by taking on tasks outside of her job scope. Her work helped us navigate this huge task with determination, creativity, and the impressive diplomatic skills necessary to ensure success in implementing our new structure and expanded operation.”
“Susan has significantly increased the Master Gardener profile in our local community through her excellent coordination of the Garden Sense program. She is a well-respected resource and requested lecturer on the topic of water conservation. Her efforts have helped to enhance the recognition of our Master Gardener Program as a sought after sustainable home gardening resource.”
“Cynthia worked closely with an external partner to produce an exceptionally high-quality video ‘We Are UC ANR,' which tells a compelling story of ANR while providing key information about the division and the value it offers Californians. Her teamwork, creativity, branding, storytelling and can-do spirit resulted in a product that Strategic Communications will use to execute a broader public awareness campaign.”
“Petr's excellent communication, creativity, high standards of mutual respect, and professionalism has resulted in quality deliverables, and better communication with our advisors and staff. Petr's expertise in online learning has pushed forward our efforts to generate recovery funds. He has created a culture supportive of his staff by providing them with the skills and tools they need to be successful.”
“Kendra engages clientele in a positive manner, effectively assisting, offering guidance, and resolving stressful issues. Her insights, expertise, subject matter knowledge, and outstanding skills allow her to tackle the most difficult and complex projects with ease and proficiency. She constantly improves her skill set in research administration, and actively promotes best practices with clients and sponsors.”
“When not spearheading the move of an entire CE office, Kathleen assisted with numerous programs and projects including general office support, the Master Gardener program and Elkus Ranch administrative tasks. Thus spanning three separate CE programs, Ms. Stewart's incredible organizational skills allowed her to stay on top of everything, as she seamlessly traverses three separate buildings with different staff at Elkus Ranch while remaining available to all UCCE team members as well as visitors.”
“Chanelle made an outstanding impact on our communities, accomplishing two significant NFCS/UC CalFresh program goals–promoting a healthy lifestyle through direct and indirect education and implementing a Policy, Systems, and Environmental change. The UC CalFresh Shasta, Trinity, and Tehama Nutrition Education Program is fundamentally better because of Ms. Vincelli's leadership and work this year.”
“Mary's work ethic, team player, organizational, and leadership skills have consistently contributed to the growth of our CalFresh program in terms of staffing, recognition, and influence across three counties. In the absence of an advisor, she went beyond her expected workload to maintain and build county partnerships. Ms. Vollinger's work has contributed to more efficient use of program resources and improved staff productivity.”
Strategic Planning Team:
Katherine Webb-Martinez, Sherry Cooper, Kit Alviz, Saundra Wais, Lauren McNees, Vanessa Murua and Jennifer Caron-Sale
“The Strategic Planning Team contributed significantly to UC ANR by coordinating strategic planning for all nine RECs. The team developed a unique, customer-tailored process to meet UC ANR needs. The process strengthened and expanded important relationships and subsequently leadership commissioned the team to continue this work for the 10 Statewide Programs and Institutes.”
UC Youth Families and Communities Team, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties:
“Relying on creativity, organizational abilities, team building, and individual responsibility, our team brought together programs that were previously supervised separately.
UC CalFresh Healthy Living Ambassadors Team, San Mateo and San Francisco counties:
Mary Carp, May Woo, Elaine Sliver, Marisela Magana Chavez and Melissa Morris
“We are fortunate to have such a talented Healthy Living Ambassadors team committed to each other, their community, and the success of UCCE programming. The teams worked with a high level of cooperation, creativity, and organization through a severe staffing shortage throughout the fall, winter and spring not only to ensure program success, but improved our program against the odds.”