2013 ANR Statewide Conference Held in Ontario, California
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Ontario Airport
222 North Vineyard Avenue, Ontario, California
Global Food Systems Forum
Tuesday, April 9
I want to thank everyone who worked so tirelessly to pull the Global Food System Forum and our statewide conference together. And I especially want to thank those of you who attended, in person and virtually, and added your voices to so many conversations.
I hope you all enjoyed yourselves, made some new contacts, put some faces to familiar names, renewed networks and found challenging ideas to take home with you.
We chose some of the world’s most confounding and contentious issues to focus on – from climate change to global hunger to water use.
We heard a diversity of viewpoints, all of them expressed with insight, passion and mutual respect. We’ve shaken up old ideas and hopefully forged some pathways to new ones. We can’t be afraid to hold these kinds of conversations, listen carefully to diverse points of view, and then forge strategies to move forward with what we do best – apply the strength of research and education programs to help eliminate hunger, ensure accessible, affordable, safe and nutritious food, and ensure the conservation of our natural resources.
The conversations we started at this conference won’t end here. It is clear to many people, both new friends and established, proven partners, that we have critical contributions to make and a global role to play through the work of UC ANR.
We also talked candidly and constructively about how Cooperative Extension and all of the UC ANR community fit together. I heard many speak of a powerful network of people with knowledge and tools committed to
- science-based information
- research and education
- local issues and solutions
- local communities
- global reach
Since our last UC ANR all-staff conference in 2009, many new academics and staff have joined the UC ANR community and we continue to recruit diverse, outstanding people for priority positions. These folks are the future of the Division and UC. I am excited by that future and by those who will join us to explore, create, discover, share, collaborate and work to ensure a California and a world that thrives.