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In memoriam: Wayne Jensen

Wayne Jensen
Wayne Jensen, UC ANR Cooperative Extension livestock and natural resources advisor emeritus, died July 18. He was 71.

Raised on a cattle ranch, Jensen earned his bachelor's degree in animal science from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo in 1967 and his master's degree in animal science from UC Davis in 1969. He worked on his family's beef cattle ranch in San Miguel for five years before joining UC Cooperative Extension in 1973. In addition to being an advisor, Jensen served as UCCE director in Santa Barbara County from 1991 to 1998. In 1999, he added San Luis Obispo County to his service area when Bill Weitkamp, UC Cooperative Extension livestock and natural resources advisor for San Luis Obispo County, retired.

"He began the beef carcass class at the Santa Barbara County Fair to further the education of the FFA and 4-H beef project participants. It proved to be very successful and continued many years" said Heather Jensen, his wife. "He was very involved in community service activities as Arroyo Grande Valley Kiwanis and Arroyo Grande Valley Harvest Festival, serving as president of both organizations."

In 1995 he was named the Agri-Business Person of the year for Santa Barbara County. In 2005, the Society of Range Management honored him as "Range Manager of the Year." Also in 2005, he became county director again, until he retired in 2008 after 35 years of serving UC ANR.

“I know we will all miss Wayne's good humor, friendship and steadfastness, just to name a few of his memorable great traits,” said Weitkamp, a lifelong friend of Jensen.

Jensen is survived by his wife Heather and children Erik, Jennifer and Kyle.

Read more about Jensen's life at

Posted on Wednesday, September 2, 2015 at 1:41 PM

KARE calls for proposals

The Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center (KARE) is requesting proposals for new research and demonstration projects for the period Nov. 1, 2015, through Oct. 31, 2016.

Located near Fresno in the San Joaquin Valley, KARE has 330 acres suitable for many types of tree, vine, and row crops and environmental research. There is also the opportunity for research on certified organic land at Kearney. It also has the most extensive specialized agricultural research facilities of any off campus location within UC, including modern greenhouse, post-harvest facilities, sample handling (including cold storage and drying), sensory evaluation, soil weighing lysimeters, and associated research laboratory facilities.

Substantial plantings of grapes, stone fruit, almonds, kiwi, apples and alfalfa are becoming available.

Please submit proposal forms electronically via the “Universal Review System” in the UC ANR portal by Oct. 2, 2015. Click on “Login to Universal Review System”. Under “Open Systems” select “Kearney REC CALL FOR RESEARCH PROPOSALS 2015-2016.” Fill out the “New Proposal” form, then submit it using the “Create Proposal” button at the bottom of the page. Forms are located at

If you have questions about field research management, contact Chuck Boldwyn at (559) 646-6020 or For questions about the facilities, contact Laura Van der Staay at (559) 646-6030 or

Other questions may be directed to center director Jeff Dahlberg at (559) 646-6060 or For assistance with submitting your proposal, contact Janie Duran,, (559) 646-6010.

To learn more about Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, visit

Posted on Wednesday, September 2, 2015 at 1:37 PM

UC ANR programmatic orientation to be held at KARE Oct. 27-29

Recently hired ANR academics are invited to attend a programmatic orientation on Oct. 27-29 at the Kearney Agricultural Research & Extension Center in Parlier.

ANR academics who have been hired in the past five years and did not attend the 2014 Programmatic Orientation should attend.

A draft agenda for the 2015 programmatic orientation is available at and will be updated with tour details.

Register for the ANR programmatic orientation at

For more information, contact ANR Program Support Unit Sherry Cooper at (530) 750-1256 or Saundra Wais at (530) 750-1260.

Posted on Tuesday, September 1, 2015 at 3:59 PM

Register for the UC ANR Joint Strategic Initiative Conference

Registration is now open for the 2015 UC ANR Joint Strategic Initiative Conference, which will be held Oct. 5-7 at the Sheraton Grand Hotel, 1230 J Street, in Sacramento.

UC Cooperative Extension advisors, UC Cooperative Extension specialists, Agricultural Extension Station faculty, program directors, academic coordinators and programmatic staff are encouraged to attend.

At the conference, you'll have the opportunity to

  • Meet Vice President Glenda Humiston at the Monday evening reception.
  • Participate in a discussion with UC President Janet Napolitano and Vice President Humiston at Tuesday's luncheon.
  • Learn about ANR competitive grant-funded research projects.
  • Engage in planning for the Strategic Initiatives.
  • Attend program team and workgroup meetings.
  • Take advantage of free training sessions.
  • Network at the stakeholders' reception on Tuesday evening.

The conference is being coordinated through the five UC ANR Strategic Initiatives:

  • Endemic and Invasive Pests and Diseases
  • Healthy Families and Communities
  • Sustainable Food Systems
  • Sustainable Natural Ecosystems
  • Water Quality, Quantity and Security

There's still time to submit a poster abstract for a poster session, the deadline for submit poster abstracts is Sept 9. Posters will be displayed on Monday and Tuesday nights. For details, see

For the conference rate at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel, reserve lodging by Sept. 11 by calling (800) 325-3535 or booking online at UC ANR will provide travel funding for participants who are affiliated with ANR.

For more information, contact UC ANR Program Support Unit, Sherry Cooper, (530) 750-1256, or Saundra Wais, (530) 750-1260 or

Posted on Tuesday, September 1, 2015 at 3:40 PM

Names in the news

Stephanie Larson
Larson honored with Sonoma County agriculture award

For contributions that range from working to boost agritourism in Sonoma County to training young “agropreneurs” to expand food production, Stephanie Larson will be honored for her service to Sonoma County's $3 billion agriculture industry. The Sonoma County Harvest Fair has named Larson, the director of UC Cooperative Extension in Sonoma County and UC ANR farm advisor, to receive its 2015 Friend of Sonoma County Agriculture award.

“The support that Dr. Stephanie Larson has provided for over two decades to agriculture is immense,” said Katie Fonsen Young, interim director for the Sonoma County Events Center at the fairgrounds. “She's provided valuable research to integrate dairy and livestock production with rangeland management in the county, helped local producers to improve production and marketing, and developed economic models to document the benefits of local agriculture to our region. She's also a big supporter of our Sonoma County 4-H Foundation and a promoter of the Range to Table program that provides quality meat to the Redwood Empire Food Bank, as well as tax incentives to those who donate livestock.”

Larson is the principle investigator for the USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher program, which is training “agropreneurs” to increase food production throughout a five-county region. She is working to develop an “incubator farm” that will provide opportunities for these beginners to learn their skills and increase local food access.

“Programs like this are important to combat the shrinking acreage available for growing crops and the climbing prices of farmland, particularly in Sonoma County,” says Larson.

The Sonoma County Harvest Fair will recognize Larson during a ceremony on Sept. 27 at Wells Fargo Center for the Arts. The celebration is open to the public. For more information, visit

Beth Mitcham, second from right, shown with women in Bangladesh who are using the chimney solar dryer (designed by UC Davis faculty) to preserve fruits and vegetables from their homestead gardens. Photo by Amanda Crump.
Mitcham named Outstanding International Horticulturist

Elizabeth Mitcham, a UC ANR Cooperative Extension specialist based in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, was honored by the American Society for Horticultural Sciences (ASHS) as its Outstanding International Horticulturist.

Mitcham accepted the award Aug. 4 at the ASHS annual conference in New Orleans. The award recognizes distinguished contributions to horticultural sciences for 10 years or more, with emphasis on international activities and impacts.

Mitcham directs both the Postharvest Technology Center and Horticulture Innovation Lab programs. She has helped train professionals from more than 40 countries in how best to care for fruits and vegetables after harvest, to reduce food waste and improve food quality. She has also hosted numerous foreign scientists and students in her UC Davis lab, where her research focuses on the regulation of fruit ripening, understanding calcium deficiency disorders, and maintaining fruit quality after harvest.

The Horticulture Innovation Lab, a collaborative program with funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development, targets the needs of small-scale fruit and vegetable farmers in developing countries to reduce poverty and improve food security. – Brenda Dawson

Louise Ferguson
Ferguson wins ASHS publication award

Louise Ferguson, UC ANR Cooperative Extension pomology specialist, won the American Society for Horticultural Sciences Extension Publication Award.

Transformation of an Ancient Crop: Preparing California ‘Manzanillo' Table Olives for Mechanical Harvesting,” was co-authored by Ferguson, who is based in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, and Sergio Castro Garcia of the University of Cordoba in Spain.

The article was published in the June 2014 edition of HortTechnology.

The award for the publication was presented Aug. 4 at the ASHS annual conference in New Orleans.

Posted on Monday, August 31, 2015 at 3:31 PM

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