University of California President Janet Napolitano today (August 14) sent the following letter to the UC community in response to the violence in Charlottesville:
To the University of California Community:
Over the weekend, our country experienced violent and tragic events on the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia. As the leader of the University of California, an institution dedicated to the vibrant and respectful exchange of ideas, I write to you today to condemn these hateful actions by white supremacists and to reaffirm UC's values of diversity and inclusion.
As I stated over the weekend, UC abhors the violence and hate displayed in Charlottesville that perverted Americans' right to speak freely. We stand in solidarity with our colleagues at the University of Virginia in denouncing this shameful display and with the UVA students who bravely stood up to a crowd bent on violence. We offer our profound condolences to the family and friends of Heather Heyer, to all the individuals injured in the course of peaceful counterprotests, and to the Virginia state troopers who lost their lives.
The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution grants us all freedom of expression. University campuses in particular are meant to foster an exchange of ideas, and to teach students how to respectfully approach viewpoints different from their own — even when those viewpoints are offensive and hurtful. But the acts of domestic terrorism we saw in Charlottesville represented an assault on our cherished values of diversity, inclusiveness and tolerance. We must continue to speak and act against the shameful behavior we witnessed over the weekend and ensure that our colleges and universities, and our nation as a whole, remain safe and civil for all.
Diversity is a defining feature of the University of California and we embrace it as a necessary and valued part of our campus communities. I believe, as I know you do, that our differences — in race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, socioeconomic status, abilities, experience and more — make us stronger.
UC remains committed to providing a safe, supportive, responsive and equitable environment for every member of the university community. We reject all forms of discrimination, commit to fostering an atmosphere of respect and inclusion, and pledge to defend the right to free speech.
This summer and fall, as UC students, faculty and staff return to their campuses, I ask that we all recommit to these enduring values of diversity, equity and inclusion, and work to live up to these ideals in all that we do.
Yours very truly,
Bring your lunch and join Glenda Humiston, vice president of Agriculture and Natural Resources, for the next talk in the Women We Admire speaker series at UC Office of the President.
Date: Wednesday, Aug. 16
Time: 12 noon to 1 p.m.
Location: Franklin Lobby 1
Remote access: Via Zoom: https://UCOP.zoom.us/j/6987568179. By phone: (408) 638-0968 (toll charges apply),*4 (from a UCOP office phone), Meeting ID: 698-756-8179
She was born in California and raised on a cattle ranch in Colorado, where she was a member of 4-H. She came to UC ANR with more than 25 years of experience working on public policy development and program implementation supporting sustainability.
Humiston has served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tunisia, as executive director of a nonprofit organization advocating farmland preservation and value-added agriculture development, and worked for several years as a consultant on environmental and agricultural issues throughout the West.
She served President Clinton as Deputy Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment at U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from 1998 to 2001. She managed the Sustainable Development Institute at the 2002 World Summit for Sustainable Development in South Africa and the 2006 World Water Forum in Mexico City. In 2009, Humiston was appointed by President Obama to serve at the USDA as the California State Director, Rural Development.
She has produced a widely acclaimed guidebook “Access to Capital” and led efforts to bring rural issues to the forefront of the state's Economic Summit and policymakers throughout California.
Humiston earned her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in Environmental Science, Policy and Management in 2009 with research focused on U.S. Farm Bill policy. She has a master's degree in international agricultural development from UC Davis and a bachelor's degree in animal science from Colorado State University.
Humiston's talk is part of the Women We Admire series, initiated by the President's Advisory Committee on the Status of Women (PACSW) in 2009. PACSW brings women to UCOP from around the system to share insights about their careers, workplace challenges and work-life balance. All members of the UCOP community are invited to learn how to make the most of working at UC.
Find upcoming speakers in the series and archived audio of past talks on the Women We Admire website.
Gibbs named major gifts director
Gregory Gibbs joined Development Services as director of major gifts on July 1. In this role, Gibbs heads the Major Gifts fundraising team on behalf of UCANR.
Gibbs joined the UC system in 2006 as development director for the UC Davis College of Engineering. He later assumed additional responsibility as senior director of Corporate Relations in the Engineering Dean's office. During his tenure at the UC Davis College of Engineering, Gibbs's team was responsible for raising over $90 million in donor funds for students, faculty, infrastructure and academic programs.
After graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy, Gibbs began his career in 1985 as an officer in the U.S. Air Force, designing and analyzing satellite and missile systems to ensure national security. In 1992, he transitioned to the private sector and progressed through a series of technical sales and sales management positions of increasing responsibility at Ceridian Employer Services and Ascolta, a Cisco-certified Learning Solutions Partner focused on IT education. He subsequently relocated from Colorado to California to join the UC team.
His husband, Emilio Bejel, is a UC Davis distinguished professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.
Gibbs is based in the ANR building at 2801 Second St. in Davis, and can be reached at (530) 750-1371, cell (530) 848-7860 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Larry Bettiga, UC Cooperative Extension viticulture farm advisor, received the American Society for Enology and Viticulture's Extension Distinction Award at ASEV's 68th National Conference in Bellevue, Wash., on June 28. This honor recognizes a current extension educator for outstanding contribution to an extension program or the advanced translation of novel research findings into commercially applicable tools for enologists or viticulturists.
Bettiga's research focuses on the influences of cultural practices, rootstock and clonal selection, and canopy management on grapevine growth and productivity, and the use of integrated approaches to solve pest management problems in coastal winegrape production systems. Bettiga has been a UCCE viticulture farm advisor for the past 32 years and currently conducts applied research and extension education programs for winegrape growers in Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties.
While stationed at the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Parlier, he evaluated cultural practices for table, wine and raisin grapes to improve yield and quality for grape production in the southern San Joaquin Valley. He also worked on pest management projects for grapes and tree nuts while based at the UC Cooperative Extension office in Tulare County.
Bettiga has authored and co-authored more than 400 technical articles, newsletters, research reports and abstracts. He has been an active member of ASEV since 1984, serving on the board of directors for five years, and was board president from 1999 to 2000.
For 48 hours, innovators and entrepreneurs at the Apps for Ag Hackathon labored over laptops at The Urban Hive in Sacramento before pitching their ideas to judges at the California State Fair. More than 40 people, some from as far as New York and Texas, competed for a $10,000 grand prize and assistance from UC Agriculture and Natural Resources to turn their ideas into commercial enterprises.
Ultimately Dr. Green, a mobile app to diagnose plant problems, took the top prize on Sunday (July 30). The second-place Greener app also helps people diagnose and treat plant diseases. Farm Table, an app that promotes agritourism, came in third place.
One goal of the hackathon was to produce solutions for military veterans who are becoming farmers. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs was a major sponsor of the event and leaders from Washington D.C. were on site all weekend participating.
“There was an amazing range of applications this year,” said Gabriel Youtsey, chief innovation officer.
“There was an application to take a picture of a plant and it'll identify the plant disease – which can help anyone from backyard gardeners to professional growers – all the way to an application for community-supported fisheries, which helps fishermen better scale their businesses and allows for customers to get the freshest fish,” Youtsey said.
There was an app to match unemployed veterans with farm jobs, an online resource for bees, an app to simplify shipping logistics, an app for detecting mold on produce and many more solutions for food-related problems.
1st Place: Dr. Green
Figuring out why a plant is ailing can be time-consuming for a new farmer or backyard gardener. The plant doctor is always in with Dr. Green. The app created by Sreejumon Kundilepurayil and Vidya Kannoly of Pleasanton will help people identify crop diseases quickly through artificial intelligence and machine learning. The app can incorporate data from sensors monitoring temperature, light and soil moisture to alert growers to problems. Using a smart phone, backyard gardeners and growers can take a photo of plant symptoms and get a diagnosis or use the messaging feature to ask a question about symptoms and receive advice immediately.
Kundilepurayil and Kannoly won $10,000 and tickets to the UC Davis Food and Ag Entrepreneurship Academy, $3,000 worth of Google Cloud Platform credits, plus other resources to help the team start their venture.
2nd Place: Greener
Using a smart phone, home gardeners can take a photo of plant symptoms and quickly get a diagnosis and recommended integrated pest management treatment from the Greener app, created by Scott Kirkland, John Knoll and Shiang-Wan Chin of Davis and Calvin Doval of Oakland. They won $5,000 and $1,000 worth of Google Cloud Platform credits and other resources to help start their venture.
3rd Place: The Farm Table
The Farm Table app aims to make farms more economically sustainable and educate the public about food through agritourism. Heather Lee of San Francisco teamed up with Will Mitchell of Sacramento and Zhenting Zhou of New York City to create the agritourism app.
“We are making agritourism accessible to farmers by building a platform that's connecting visitors with farms,” said Lee. “This is going to help educate our communities on where their food comes from and create an additional revenue source for farmers.”
They won $2,500 and $1,000 worth of Google Cloud Platform credits and other resources to help start their venture.
Growing the pipeline of young innovators
Judges included Joshua Tuscher of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; Robert Trice, investor and founder of The Mixing Bowl Hub; Jenna Rodriguez, product manager at Ceres Imaging; Ann Dunkin, chief information officer for the County of Santa Clara; and Jessica Smith, vice president of Strategic Partnerships at AngelHack.
Apps for Ag is a food and agriculture innovation event series hosted by UC ANR and sponsored by IO Labs, The Urban Hive, California Community Colleges and the California State Fair.
“We're growing the pipeline of young innovators, getting entrepreneurs and technologists interested in applying technology to solving problems in the food system,” said Youtsey, who led organization of the hackathon.
“UC ANR is the original innovation engine in food, agriculture and natural resources in California and has been so for over 100 years. This is just taking another spin at tackling innovation in food and agriculture through an innovative competition style format with technology,” he said.
Additional support for the hackathon was provided by Valley Vision, The Mixing Bowl, Farmer Veteran Coalition, AngelHack, Nutiva, Google Cloud Platform, Royse Law Firm, Hot Italian, GTS Kombucha, Startup Sac, AgStart, StartupGrind Sacramento, Future Food, Internet Society San Francisco Bay Chapter, Sacramento Food Co-op, Balsamiq and YouNoodle.
“As we confront the problems in California today, we must ask ourselves, how will ag and tech solve these problems together? How can Salinas Valley and Silicon Valley work more harmoniously and how will the University of California's quest for new knowledge play a role?” said UC President Janet Napolitano to farmers, engineers, entrepreneurs and others attending the Third Annual Forbes AgTech Summit.
Silicon Valley, the birth place of high tech, converged with Salinas Valley, “the nation's salad bowl,” on June 28 and 29 in Salinas to explore opportunities to apply technology to agriculture's challenges. About 700 people participated in the invitation-only event, which was co-sponsored by the University of California and UC ANR.
“The Forbes AgTech Summit brings together individuals and institutions from two integral parts of California's economic engine — agriculture and technology,” Napolitano said. ”The two have historically remained on parallel paths, each fueling the state's growth, but rarely converging. Yet, this is a unique moment here in California, and we have a unique opportunity in this nexus of agricultural bounty and technological innovation.”
Steve Forbes, chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media, told Farm to Table Talk podcast, “Knowledge comes from experimentation, constant discovery, which agriculture has been doing for well over 1,000 years. That pace in agriculture is increasing today. There's no reason why, if we don't do silly things, the world, even though population will grow by 2 billion in the next three decades, the world won't have sufficient food, more abundant and healthier food than we can even imagine today. Human ingenuity will do it.”
VP Glenda Humiston joined Sallie Calhoun, owner and manager of Paicines Ranch, and Trent McKnight, rancher and founder of Agricorps, to discuss challenges and opportunities to grow entrepreneurs in agriculture with moderator Rob Trice, co-founder and partner of The Mixing Bowl. McKnight said there is technology gap between rural and urban America. Humiston noted that poor access to high-speed broadband in rural regions could slow their adoption of technology.
In a four-minute video produced by Forbes, Humiston discusses challenges and opportunities for agriculture. She describes how The VINE, or The Verde Innovation Network for Entrepreneurship, is being launched by UCANR and led by Gabriel Youtsey, chief innovation officer, to cultivate regional innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems in rural communities.
Between the rising cost of minimum wage, an aging working population and immigration crackdowns, farming is facing a worker shortage. Brian Antle of Tanimura & Antle, Dan Steere, co-founder and CEO of Abundant Robotics, and Javier Zamora, owner of JSM Organics, discussed with moderator David Mancera of Kitchen Table Advisors, how technology could perform work that people don't want to do. Antle pointed out that while machines can plant and cut, they cannot replace the judgment of skilled workers.
In her address, Napolitano explained UC's interest in agricultural technology.
“We started the UC Global Food Initiative three years ago to find scalable solutions to sustainably and nutritiously feed a growing world population — one that's expected to reach 8 billion people by 2025,” Napolitano said. “At the same time, for more than a hundred years, people at UC Agriculture and Natural Resources have equipped farmers across the state with the latest scientific and technological advances in agriculture.
“They connect cutting-edge innovation with the state's farmers, who produce half of the nation's fruit and vegetables and export food to countries around the world. And they are constantly generating and testing new ideas.”
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