- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
I am pleased to share some exciting news. The California Rice Research Board has agreed to fund a UC Cooperative Extension specialist position for six years.
This is a pioneering step in a new direction for funding public research. This innovative partnership between the agricultural community and UC Agriculture and Natural Resources recognizes the immediate importance of rice research and the need for this new funding model. I want to thank the California Rice Research Board for being the first.
The $800 million rice industry makes California the nation’s second largest rice producer. UC conducts research on weed control, pest management and variety testing for rice crops to keep California growers competitive in the world marketplace.
As many of you know, the rice specialist was identified as a priority position in our position planning process, and the Rice Research Board has taken a bold step to enable us to launch this position sooner rather than later. This generous gift by the Rice Research Board will enable us to begin recruitment immediately and the six-year commitment gives the position stability. After six years, ANR will assume financial responsibility for the position.
The board will donate $212,000 each of the next six years for a total of $1.272 million to support a UC Cooperative Extension specialist to conduct rice-related research. The Rice Research Board is funded by grower assessments that are based on the amount of rice each grower produces. This specialist position, which will be based in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, will help ANR fulfill its mission as well as serve the rice industry’s needs.
Dana Dickey, executive director of the California Rice Research Board, said, “The Rice Research Board recognized the value of having a rice specialist serving the industry. This service includes acting as a bridge for the efforts of the rice ‘team’ at UC Davis and ANR, performing research on issues vital to the industry, being a resource for linking new research directions with researchers, and overseeing the variety trials for the industry. The Rice Research Board chose this avenue to ensure the position will continue without interruption and be filled in coordination with the retirement of the present specialist.”
Hiring outstanding academics to do research and deliver new knowledge is critical to the sustainability of farmers and to the future of California. This new funding model will enable us to act now to work on needed research and deliver science-based solutions.
If you know stakeholders who would like to discuss potential partnership opportunities to fund academic positions, ask them to contact Cindy Barber at Cynthia.Barber@ucop.edu or (510) 987-9139.
This announcement is also posted and archived on the ANR Update pages.