4-H, offered in all California counties by UC Cooperative Extension, engages youth agest5 to 19 in reaching their fullest potential. Club and after-school programs are designed to provide knowledge, expertise and skills that will help youth develop into responsible, self-directed, and productive people. 4-H encourages family involvement.
The Ventura County Star's heart-warming story traces Demisu's journey from his native Ethiopia to a ranch in rural Upper Ojai. One of 10 children, three adopted from the west African nation, Demisu has triplegia, the use of only his right arm. The rocky and uneven terrain at the family's ranch made it difficult for Demisu to get around, so he decided to raise funds for a heavy-duty wheelchair that he can operate with one hand. The cost is $6,000.
Demisu raised a 113-pound lamb, and sold it for $75 a pound to the Wood-Claeyssens Foundation. At market, sheep are typically valued at about $1 to $2 per pound, according to Sheep101.com. Bidding for Demisu's sheep went through the roof when bidders learned he would be using the money for the new, custom wheelchair.
The European grapevine moth, which was detected in Napa County in 2009 and threatened crops valued at $5.7 billion, has been eradicated from the state, reported Geoffrey Mohan in the Los Angeles Times.
The reporter gleaned information about and a photo of the moth from UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR). The article credited ANR as explaining, "The moth's several larval stages damage flowers and the fruit itself throughout the growing season."
UC ANR played a key role in the eradicating the pest from California. A team of UC ANR academics received an award this year for coordinating a program "that saved the wine and table grape industries from economic disaster caused by an invasive insect," said the ANR Report.
ANR's European Grapevine Moth Team includes:
- Walter Bentley – UC Integrated Pest Management entomologist emeritus
- Larry Bettiga, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Monterey County
- Monica Cooper, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Napa County
- Kent Daane, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley
- Rhonda Smith, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Sonoma County
- Joyce Strand, IPM academic coordinator emeritus
- Robert Van Steenwyk, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley
- Lucia Varela, UC Cooperative Extension area IPM advisor in the North Coast
- Frank Zalom, UC Cooperative Extension specialist and professor in the Department of Entomology at UC Davis
Congressman Jim Costa, who joined crews releasing 20,000 male mosquitoes in Clovis yesterday, said he's ready to return to Washington D.C. immediately if called back to vote on $1.9 billion in emergency supplemental funding to fight Zika in the United States. His district includes part of the San Joaquin Valley where Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes - insects that can spread Zika - have become established.
“San Joaquin Valley communities and researchers need Congress to pass legislation that would fund Zika response efforts and research so that they can continue educating the public and implementing new strategies, like the one we saw today, to control the Aedes aegypti mosquito which can transmit the Zika virus,” Rep. Costa said. “Education efforts and encouraging public engagement are critical components to getting Congress to act and pass a bill that would provide funding for researchers, county public health departments and mosquito abatement districts in the Valley and throughout the nation to limit and ultimately stop the transmission of the Zika virus in the United States.”
Thousands of non-biting male mosquitoes are released every Tuesday and Friday morning after arriving via FedEx from a lab in Kentucky. The males have been infected with a bacterium called Wolbachia. When mosquitoes with the bacterium mate with female who don't have it, the resulting eggs are infertile.
The pilot project, conducted by the Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District and the UC Mosquito Research Laboratory, is just one of several aimed at controlling Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that first appeared in the area three years ago. Aedes aegypti can spread several viruses that pose a serious public health risk, including yellow fever, dengue, Chikungunya, and Zika.
More research funding is needed, said Anthony Cornel, director of the UC Mosquito Research Lab and UC Davis entomologist.
“There are gaps in our knowledge concerning the biology of Aedes aegypti, mosquito, which is the major vector of multiple viruses including Zika virus,” Cornel said. “Research funding is needed to conduct field- and laboratory-based studies to learn more about the daily and local spatial movements, longevity, overwintering behavior and Zika virus vector competence of this mosquito in the San Joaquin Valley. Learning more about the biology will assist us immensely to design improved methods to control Aedes aegypti and to implement more efficient vector-based disease surveillance.”
The event was covered by
Even though there has been a deficit of fire in California forests for decades, their future is not hopeless, said UC Berkeley fire science professor and UC Agriculture and Natural Resources researcher Scott Stephens in an interview with Craig Miller on KQED Science.
"The next 25 to 30 years are paramount. If you begin to do restoration, reduce density, make forests more variable in pattern, and less fuel, when you have episodes of drought and fire, it's going to be fine. The forests have been doing this for millennia. It's going to be fine," Stephens said.
However, under current conditions, in which fires have been regularly suppressed, the situation is dire.
"The forests used to burn every 12 to 15 years, but most places haven't been touched for 50 to 100 years. Today we have areas with 300 or 400 trees per acre, where you used to have 50 to 80," he said.
Even though, Stephens said he is an optimist. "There's still opportunity today to do restoration, so that when it does get warmer and warmer, as projected, the forests will be able to deal with that, deal with insects and disease and keep themselves intact."
Sixty-eight farmers were interviewed by phone or in-person. Twenty-two percent said their wells had dried up, and 51 percent reported a decreased water flow.
“For the ones with dry wells, it could be $20,000 to $50,000 to drill a new well,” Dahlquist-Willard said. “A lot of them cannot get access to loans.”
To deal with irrigation water limitations, some farmers told interviewers they reduced acreage or changed the time of day they irrigate. Some stopped farming all together.
“One farmer told us he was irrigating his crops with his domestic well,” Dahlquist-Willard said.
The survey was conducted in conjunction with outreach efforts with Fresno Regional Workforce Investment Board and Jennifer Sowerwine, UCCE Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley. The survey was funded funded with a grant from the USDA Office of Advocacy and Outreach and with support from UC Agriculture and Natural Resources via Sowerwine.