- Author: Alison L Kent
The past two months have been spent traveling around the state visiting all the Research and Extension Centers with the exception of Hansen, which I hope to visit soon. I’d like to thank all the Directors, Superintendents and other staff who have made time in their busy schedules to tell me about what goes on in their little corner of California. I have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of the people I’ve met and their passion for improving our food and stewarding our natural resources.
From desert uniform cropping and the sudan grass-for-elephant story to onions and peppermint on the Oregon border, to rangeland management in the Sierra Foothills, the staggering number of projects and crop research in the southern San Joaquin Valley, oak regeneration at Hopland and strawberries and avocados in the southland: It’s a lot to digest and synthesize, but there are lots of stories here, and I hope to tell them all.
One of the biggest stories? Water. It's an issue at all of the RECs: water's scarcity, rising salinity, pollutants in runoff and all the ecosystems dependent on water. Many of the research projects at the Centers are focusing on how to address the problems of water availability for agriculture and natural resources exacerbated by urban demand, drought and increasing salinity.
The RECs are an amazing resource for California.