A wave of retirements among the ranks of UC Cooperative Extension advisors and specialists in recent years and in the near future is carrying away decades of institutional and technical knowledge, reported Tim Hearden in Capital Press.
"Obviously we are losing a huge amount of knowledge and experience in a very short time," Barbara Allen-Diaz, the UC's vice president for agriculture and natural resources, told the Capital Press in an email. "We are trying as rapidly as possible to ensure continuity of programs and capacity to respond to existing, new and emerging needs in the state."
The article opened with comments from UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor William Krueger, who is planning to retire in June after serving Glenn County growers for 32 years. The looming absence of such long-time advisors concerns Rich Mathews, who grows olives for oil in Oroville, Calif.
"I think there's a vast resource of experience and expertise that is really going to be sorely missed," Mathews said. "Just to bring someone new in, you don't have the history of discussions with growers and you don't have the knowledge base."
Mathews also expressed concern about the consolidation of UCCE positions. The article noted that, of the seven advisor and specialist positions listed on the UC ANR jobs website, five will serve multiple counties.