- Author: Julia Van Soelen Kim
50 food and agriculture leaders from Sonoma County and the North Bay gathered on June 8, 2017 in Petaluma for the North Bay Food Policy Council Convening. Participants represented the Sonoma Food System Alliance and three North Bay food policy councils. Food Policy Councils are multi-stakeholder coalitions that work on devising local level solutions to nutrition, agriculture, and food systems issues.
Participants shared highlights of their work across the region, exchanged best practices and success stories, built skills in local policy advocacy, and sparked greater regional coordination between food policy councils. The event was hosted by North Bay Food Systems Advisor, Julia Van Soelen Kim, and UC Cooperative Extension. Based on the success of the event, it will likely be offered again in spring 2018.
For more information, contact Julia Van Soelen Kim, North Bay Food Systems Advisor
Drs. Alda Pires and Maurice Pitesky, along with PhD epidemiology student Laura Patterson, from UC Davis joined with Dr. Stephanie Larson, Director of UCCE Sonoma County, to present a seminar titled “Farming 101: Diversified Crop and Livestock Farming” at the UCCE office in Santa Rosa. About 30 small-scale diversified farmers with diverse livestock (e.g., sheep, goats, poultry, pig, rabbits and cattle) and crops (e.g., vegetables, fruit trees, wine grapes) attended the event.
Dr. Pitesky provided information on pastured poultry and biosecurity practices that are important to reduce the risk of avian influenza outbreaks.
Dr. Larson discussed pastured swine practices and opportunities for NRCS funding.
Dr. Pires gave a presentation on food safety risks and animal health considerations for integrated crop-livestock and diversified farms, including information about specific food borne pathogens (e.g., Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7) and parasite management.
PhD student Laura Patterson discussed research updates about a small-scale farm study as well as
Information about upcoming UCCE Sonoma County workshops can be found on our calendar.
- Author: Cheryl Reynolds
Is your pesticide safety training in compliance with the new Worker Protection Standard?
— Sarah Risorto and Lisa Blecker, UC IPM Pesticide Safety Education Program
We are in the midst of a new and changing era of Worker Protection Standards (WPS). The U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) recently published the revised WPS, which is meant to increase protections for agricultural fieldworkers and pesticide handlers from pesticide exposure when they're working in farms, forests, nurseries and greenhouses. The changes are already affecting California agriculture!
What major regulatory changes have already gone into effect?
Several changes are required to have been in place as of January 2, 2017. These include:
- All 417,000 fieldworkers in California must attend annual pesticide safety training.
- Records of all fieldworker pesticide safety trainings must be kept on file for 2 years.
- Fields must be posted when the restricted entry interval (REI) exceeds 48 hours.
- “Application-exclusion zones” must be implemented to prevent the entry of anyone into areas up to 100 feet from pesticide application equipment.
- Instructors previously qualified via a DPR-approved Instructor Training programs (Train the Trainer) are qualified to train through 2017. If you wish to be qualified to train fieldworkers and handlers after December 31, 2017 using this qualification, you must complete an updated, DPR-approved Train the Trainer workshop.
Now is the time to make sure these changes are put in place!
What major regulatory changes are still in store for us? When will they happen?
The regulatory changes that must be in place by January 2, 2018 include:
- Who do these changes affect? Additional training topics for fieldworkers and handlers have to be added to the curriculum.
- Handlers have to suspend an application if anyone enters the application exclusion zone.
Many people who work in the California agricultural community will be impacted by the WPS revisions. These include fieldworkers, pesticide handlers, farm labor contractors, private and in-house safety trainers, growers, farm managers, licensed pesticide applicators (private and commercial), pest control advisors (PCAs), and crop consultants, to name a few.
How do I know if I am qualified to train?
If you attended one of the DPR-approved Train-the-Trainer programs you are qualified through 2017. However, if you wish to continue training after the end of the year, you must complete a DPR-approved Instructor Training Program, which includes the 2018 training topic requirements.
If you maintain certain licenses/government designations, including PAC, QAC, QAL, PCA, and certain County Biologist licenses you are qualified to train. UCCE Advisors are also qualified to train.
How can I get qualified as a trainer?
To become a trainer, take an Instructor Training program that is approved by DPR for 2018 topics. The University of California Pesticide Safety Education Program (part of the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program, UC IPM), in partnership with AgSafe, will offer multiple workshops this spring that cover the new federal requirements for fieldworker and handler training. You can reserve your spot now. At the end of the training you will be a Certified Pesticide Safety Instructor.
If I am currently qualified, how can I make sure I stay up to date on all the new requirements?
If you are currently qualified as a trainer because you maintain a California PAC, QAC, or QAL, or if you are a PCA, you can attend an Instructor Training Program this spring to learn about the new WPS requirements and additional training topics. While a certification may qualify you, an Instructor Training Program will prepare you to train! Register today!/table>
- Editor: Karen Giovannini
Press Release by Board of Supervisors of Sonoma County
At their January 24, 2017, Board meeting, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors extended agreements with the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) through December 31, 2025, continuing agricultural, environmental and community-based research and educational programming in Sonoma County.
“UCCE works with so many community partners, dedicated volunteers, and other County departments to serve the public and our youth population,” said Board of Supervisors Chair Shirlee Zane. “We are excited to continue our partnership with UCCE to support innovative programs to educate the public about the importance of our local landscapes, agriculture, and recreational opportunities.”
The UCCE's offices are local problem-solving centers. More than 400 campus-based specialists and county-based farm, home, and youth advisors work as teams to bring the University's research-based information to Californians. UCCE has been partnering with Sonoma County since 1918 and manages several local programs aimed at preserving agriculture and strengthening community development and leadership in youth and adults. A few of these program include:
- 4-H Youth Development: The Sonoma County 4-H program helps young people, ages 5-19, reach their fullest potential as competent, confident individuals who contribute to and are connected with their communities. In 4-H programs, youth serve in leadership roles where they set goals, develop plans, complete projects, and reflect on their experiences.
- Master Gardener program: 320 volunteers provide environmentally sustainable, science-based horticultural information to the community, including over 100 classes per year, at 13 farmer's markets and at various workshops throughout the year.
- General Agricultural and Natural Resources Education: Monthly educational seminars for Sonoma county farmers and ranchers address production, marketing systems, business planning and food safety issues; along with increasing local jobs for smaller-scale farmers by promoting and supporting businesses and products, through value added opportunities and streamlined permitting processes.
Stephanie Larson, UCCE County Director said, “Our partnership with Sonoma County continues to grow and strengthen, by providing essential community services such as our 4-H youth program. The 4-H program educates more than 1,000 youth and offers a broad curriculum including leadership skills, arts and crafts, and civic engagement. We appreciate the ongoing relationship and look forward to serving Sonoma County for many more years to come.”
To learn more about the UCCE, please visit UCCE Sonoma County.
- Author: Kerry Wininger
The dichotomy is real. Annually since 2006, Garbelotto's Lab has run a successful state-wide citizen science “SOD Blitz” campaign in each infested or at-risk California county; UCCE Sonoma coordinates this county's efforts. Volunteers in the community, from high schoolers to retirees, collect symptomatic leaves of the two trees most likely to spread the disease to oaks, California Bay Laurel and Tanoak, then Garbelotto's lab tests them. Results from the most recent Blitz show the largest increase in cases of Bay and Tanoak infections by Phytophthora ramorum, the causal agent of SOD, since the surveys began3.
What you can do:
The estimated true infection rate of Sonoma county trees more than doubled since just last year. A new outbreak has appeared in the coastal area of northern Sonoma County, and infections have re-emerged in areas from which the disease had previously retreated during the drought. Further afield is the most striking, and discouraging, discovery from last year's Blitz – multiple infections were detected in San Luis Obispo, more southerly than ever previously documented, paving the way to add a 16th county to those listed as infected in the state. Infection was also observed in the hot eastern vicinity of Ukiah for the first time, startling researchers who are accustomed to the pathogen's preference for moist, cool areas. Other findings include two new possible host species in the San Francisco Botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum, the first detected infections on Mt. Diablo in Contra Costa County, and an outbreak in southern coastal Mendocino County.
On the upside, substantially more trees were tested during this last blitz than in recent years, novel areas were sampled, and new participants joined the ranks of Citizen Scientists. New treatment recommendations out of the Garbelotto Lab show promise in helping individual trees more safely and effectively decrease their chances of infection if done so before exposure to the pathogen4.
Why should land owners and managers, businesses, and the public care? Sudden Oak Death poses many apparent threats as well as those that are less obvious. The dramatic loss of oaks and tanoaks impacts biodiversity, nutrient and water cycling, forest microclimate, wildlife, and erosion. There is the potential for increased fire risk and severity in areas with dead and downed trees, creating a safety hazard (Forrestel et al. 2015). Recreation in forests is altered (Kliejunas 2010). Traditional cultural practices are impacted. Even human health concerns such as transmission of Lyme Disease have the potential to increase (Swei et al. 2010). Lastly, economic consequences of SOD to land owners, municipalities, nurseries, and industry are estimated in the tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars (US GEO 2006).
Now, more than ever, it's important for scientists, educators, professionals, and the community to come together. Though the news is disheartening, and attention may be elsewhere, collectively we can help slow the spread and cope with this disease that threatens to unhinge native California ecosystems and all that they impact.
Kerry is the new Sudden Oak Death Program Coordinator for UCCE Sonoma County, “I enthusiastically follow in the footsteps of the esteemed Lisa Bell, and am already in awe of the great work the Master Gardener SOD team does. I am eager to help get the word out about this challenge and how to face it, and hope to implement new ideas related to SOD content in environmental education and trainings for tree care professionals.” Kerry has an undergraduate degree in Biology from UC Berkeley, and has worked with various environmental organizations as a researcher, educator, naturalist, and communicator while pursuing a Masters Degree on SOD and insect herbivores of bay at Sonoma State University. She has presented research at conferences, such as last summer's SOD6 Symposia in San Francisco that garnered international attention5, and the California Forest Pest Council Annual meeting that this year focused much more on drought-induced beetle attacks in the Sierras than it did on SOD6.
If you are interested in learning more or getting involved, please contact Kerry Wininger firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Drought slows spread of sudden oak death in Sonoma County, The Press Democrat, Sept 29, 2015
2. Sudden oak death in Sonoma County explodes, thanks to winter rains, The Press Democrat, Oct 18, 2016
3. Largest Sudden Oak Death Expansion in California in a Decade, CA Oak Mortality Task Force, Oct 14, 2016
4. SOD Disease Management, UC Berkeley Forest Pathology & Mycology Lab, Oct 20, 2016
5. SOD 6th Science Symposium, UCANR, June 21-23, 2016
7. SOD, UC Master Gardener Program of Sonoma County
8. TreeFAQs, UC Berkeley Forest Pathology & Mycology Lab
Forrestel, AB, Ramage, BS, Moody, T, Moritz, MA, Stephens, SL. 2015. "Disease, fuels and potential fire behavior: Impacts of Sudden Oak Death in two coastal California forest types." Forest Ecology and Management, 348: 23-30.
(GAO) US Government Accountability Office, 2006. Invasive Forest Pests: lessons learned from three recent infestations may aid in managing future efforts. Report from the United States Government Accountability Office to the Chairman, Committee on Resources, House of Representatives.
Kliejunas, JT. 2010 Sudden oak death and Phytophthora ramorum: a summary of the literature. US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: General Technical Report PSW-GTR-234.
Swei, A; Ostfeld, RS.; Lane, RS.; Briggs, CJ. Oecologia. 2011. Effects of an invasive forest pathogen on abundance of ticks and their vertebrate hosts in a California Lyme disease focus. 166(1):91-100.