- Author: Susana C. Bruzzone-Miller, RDN
We are happy to introduce two new staff members. Sergio Santiago, Agricultural Superintendent joined HAREC in July and Katelyn Beckmann, 4-H Community Education Specialist II came on board in September.
Sergio grew up in Puerto Rico. He earned degrees—BS in Horticulture and MS in Horticulture-urban forestry and environmental management from the University of Puerto Rico—Mayaguez. Professional work in his native Puerto Rico includes tropical crop culture, germplasm management, and urban forest. He also worked the field of tropical ethnobotany, medicinal plants and biofuels. He furthered his education earning a doctorate in Natural Resources and Environmental Management—water management and plant uptake physiology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He has spent the last five years working with irrigation, plant physiology and propagation, integrated pest management (IPM), ecosystem restoration and endangered species management with the University of Hawaii and the U.S. Army. Sergio says he is “excited to be a part of UCANR and HAREC team and be able to learn and contribute with Ventura County's amazing agricultural industry. Let's make it happen!”
Our new part-time 4-H Education Specialist, Kate Beckmann grew up in Ventura County was a very involved, 11 year member, of Ventura County 4-H. She attended Washington University where she earned BA degrees in Business Administration-Finance and Political Science with an emphasis in international politics. After backpacking through Europe and South East Asia, she returned to Washington and began her career for the City of Pullman. Kate happily moved back to “sunny Ventura County” and reconnected with 4-H as a volunteer. She still raises chickens and volunteers at a local sheep ranch. Kate enjoys traveling and spending time with her Australian shepherd, Abbi. Kate says she's “excited about being the new 4-H Program Rep and being a part of the UC Cooperative Extension—Ventura County”. The 4-H office moved to HAREC last year and we will enjoy having her on the farm.