- Editor: Tammy Majcherek
- Author: Sheila Peterson
- Contributor: Norma Yarbrough
UC Cooperative Extension Celebrates 100 Years
Submitted by Sheila Peterson
The University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources celebrated 100 years of its cooperative extension programs at the UCCE South Coast Research and Extension Center in Irvine on Saturday evening, September 27, 2014. Over 300 guests enjoyed “An Elegant Evening on the Farm, Local Roots, Global Reach” including a farm fresh strolling dinner, custom UC brewed beers, dragon fruit ice cream made especially for the event, fine California wines and live music. Honorary chairs of the event included Barbara Allen-Diaz, Vice President, UC ANR, A.G. Kawamura, Former Secretary, CDFA, Ed McFadden, Representative, California Avocado Commission, Kirti Mutatkar, CEO, UnitedAG, Tom Nassif, CEO and President, Western Growers, Sheila and Jim Peterson, Local Community Leaders, and Paul Wenger, President, California Farm Bureau Federation.
Locally the UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Program provides a wide array or services and programs to Orange County residents including; The Water Quality program, the Master Gardener Program, Environmental Horticulture Program, 4-H Youth Development Program and Expanded Food and Nutrition Education program. For more information on UCCE or any of these programs go to http://ucanr.edu/.
The site of the event, the South Coast Research and Extension Center (SCREC), is a 200-acre regional field laboratory for UC scientists to conduct agricultural and natural resource management research focused on fruits and vegetables including avocados, citrus, stone fruits, strawberries, cherimoyas, persimmons, carrots, celery, sugar beets, and tomatoes. Additional work focuses on invasive pests, turf grass and landscape shrub and tree management, and ornamental plant nursery production in the greenhouse and in the field.
The future holds exciting plans for the Orange County UCCE! Plans are already underway to build a new 2,400 square foot office and program facility at the SCREC site. Due to the fundraising efforts of the 100th anniversary event, we have the funds to begin breaking ground on this worthwhile project. With its completion expected in early 2015 the additional facility expansion will support the commitment to community outreach and the dissemination of the research and education programs that make the UC Cooperative Extension such a vital force in Orange County. More information regarding the expansion plans can be found at: http://screc.ucanr.edu/files/197987.pdf.
Fundraising efforts will continue to support this facility, a tremendous asset to our community. If you wish to donate, please click on the ‘Make a Gift' button the home page of the UC ANR South Coast REC website.