Awards were given in five categories:
- Outstanding Research – Diane Barrett, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Food Science & Technology at UC Davis, whose research program benefits both the California food processing industry as well as consumers of processed fruits and vegetables.
- Outstanding Extension – Adina Merenlender, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley, who designed and developed the California Naturalist Program to bring an awareness of land use issues to Californians.
- Outstanding New Academic – Brad Hanson, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, whose research and extension program for weed management in woody perennial crops has gained recognition on state, national and international levels.
- Outstanding Team – the European Grapevine Moth Team:
o Walter Bentley – UC Integrated Pest Management entomologist emeritus
o Larry Bettiga, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Monterey County
o Monica Cooper, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Napa County
o Kent Daane, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley
o Rhonda Smith, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Sonoma County
o Joyce Strand, IPM academic coordinator emeritus
o Robert Van Steenwyk, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley
o Lucia Varela, UC Cooperative Extension area IPM advisor in the North Coast
o Frank Zalom, UC Cooperative Extension specialist and professor in the Department of Entomology at UC Davis
The team is an excellent example of UC ANR working with government and industry partners under the Endemic and Invasive Pests and Diseases Strategic Initiative.
- Outstanding Leader – Peter Goodell, UC Cooperative Extension IPM advisor, Kearney Research and Agricultural Extension Center, whose leadership throughout his 35-year career has contributed to the success of the Statewide IPM Program. He has led the IPM advisors, first as IPM advisor coordinator for 12 years, and more recently as associate director for Agricultural IPM. As interim director 2006 to 2009, Goodell provided consistency during a time of budgetary challenges and leadership vacuum, and was a leader in the Western Region IPM coordinators group, where he promoted greater state collaboration in IPM research and extension. He has been a thought leader in the application of techniques from the social sciences to the extension challenge of changing people's actions.
The DSA nominations were reviewed by the Academic Assembly Council Program Committee, which sent its recommendations to the vice president. The committee was chaired by Becky Westerdahl and included Keith Nathaniel, Susie Kocher and Jennifer Heguy.
Healthy Families and Communities Strategic Initiative Conference set for Sept. 26-29
The 2016 Healthy Families and Communities Strategic Initiative Conference will be held Sept. 26-29 in Davis. At the conference, participants will discuss how our new HFC strategic plan can guide our research and extension efforts as we continue to address pressing issues confronting youth, families and communities.
The HFC SI Conference will provide an opportunity for colleagues to learn about the projects, programs and research efforts happening throughout the Division to improve the lives of Californians throughout the HFC Strategic Initiative.
Who:ANR-affiliated academics, includingadvisors, specialists,AES faculty, program directors and academic coordinators and programmatic staff. Programmatic staff, please be sure to obtain approval from your supervisor and statewide program director.
When:Sept. 26-29, 2016
Where: UC ANR Building, 2801 Second Street, Davis, CA 95616
For more information about the conference, visit the HFC SI Conference website. Registration will open in late July or early August.
McDougald was director of the Business Operations Center at the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Parlier. Before joining UC ANR, she worked for UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine for nine years. Over the 26 years she worked for UC ANR, McDougald built a reputation for deftly navigating UC policies to help county-based UC Cooperative Extension employees get things done properly and efficiently.
“A veteran of many ANR organizational re-engineering and structural reorganizations, Cherie is my go-to person on the Administrative Review Council, working through complex business operations issues and implementing solutions,” said Tu Tran, UC ANR associate vice president for business operations.
Frost joined UC ANR in 1994 as a UC Cooperative Extension advisor in natural resources working in El Dorado, Amador and Calaveras counties, where he applied his expertise to issues relating to agriculture or natural resources in the central Sierra Nevada.
“He made major contributions in establishing Agricultural Districts in the County Land Use Plan for El Dorado County,” said Leisz, who worked with him on county issues. “That required we review all of the soils and develop criteria for suitability for commercial agriculture. We examined areas thought to be suitable and produced the guidelines for classification. Thousands of acres were identified and accepted by the County. There were challenges but the selection criteria and mapping were accepted and are in place today. Bill was a leader in that effort.”
Through his research and work with ranchers, Frost improved rangeland management and resource monitoring on the watersheds of the East Bay Municipal Utilities District lands, National Forest System lands, as well as on many private ranches.
“Bill authored a number of the agricultural elements for the General Plan, appeared before the Board of Supervisors and became a respected leader in both agriculture and natural resource elements in the General Plan,” Leisz said. “He provided guidance for the future and always acted in a professional way.”
“As associate vice president, Bill has been instrumental in transforming ANR's processes to include more stakeholder input for selecting research projects to fund and for prioritizing Cooperative Extension positions for recruitment,” said Glenda Humiston, UC vice president for agriculture and natural resources.
Frost earned his doctorate in range management from the University of Arizona and bachelor's and master's degrees in range science from UC Davis. Before joining the University of California, he was a University of Arizona Cooperative Extension agent and director in Gila County from 1991 to 1994. Prior to moving to Arizona, he worked for the California Agricultural Technology Institute at California State University, Fresno, as a postdoctoral research fellow, research associate and a rangeland resources specialist and director of the San Joaquin Experimental Range.
“It's the personal connections that are the strength of Cooperative Extension, I think, the relationships that we form over time and continue to nurture our programs,” Frost said. “I couldn't have done the things I've accomplished without the support of a lot of people.”
- Author: Jeannette Warnert
UC Cooperative Extension horticulture advisor Paul Vossen was dubbed the Godfather of California olive oil by members of the industry for his personal dedication to producing and promoting the state's olive oil as a healthful and flavorful product well worth a premium price. Vossen retires June 30 after 35 years with UC.
“California producers are now capturing the fresh fruit flavor of the olive,” Vossen said. “When I started, they were getting bad information from old-world producers. After visiting newer olive oil production regions and tasting good olive oil, I thought, ‘Oh boy, this is what we need in California.'”
Vossen launched a tasting panel and put on educational seminars. He studied and researched olive oil production, planted demonstration orchards and traveled around the world to learn from the most experienced producers and researchers.
California growers now use up-to-date farming methods, harvest mechanically or by hand to ensure fruit quality, and replaced antiquated oil extraction techniques with stainless steel decanters and centrifuges. The outcome is olive oil that tastes spicy, peppery and pungent; oil that serves more as a flavorful and valued condiment than an ordinary fat.
Vossen was immersed in extension education his whole life. His father was an extension agent in Minnesota for 40 years. His sister was an extension home economist. Though he went to the University of Minnesota with no intention to follow in their footsteps, he took a botany class and “totally fell in love with plants,” Vossen said. He earned a bachelor's degree in horticulture in 1978.
After graduation Vossen traveled to Happy Camp, near the Oregon border, to visit his brother.
“It was 70 degrees and sunny in the winter. I thought Northern California was paradise,” he said, and he decided to stay.
Vossen enrolled at UC Davis, earning a master's degree in pomology in 1981. Just a few days later he started his life's work as the pomology advisor for UC Cooperative Extension in Sonoma County. He later added responsibility for specialty crops in Marin County.
Over his career, Vossen developed and implemented a comprehensive research and extension program. He wrote hundreds of articles and made many presentations on the production and marketing of apples, Asian pears, kiwis, hazelnuts, chestnuts, berries, heirloom tomatoes and other crops.
He authored some of the first UC Agriculture and Natural Resources publications on organic production, founded the Sebastopol Apple Promotion Committee and a Sonoma County ag marketing program to promote local products, and formed the California Olive Oil Council. His olive oil sensory panel was the first to be recognized by the International Olive Oil Council in the new world.
A significant achievement of Vossen's career was establishment of a UC Master Gardener program in Sonoma County in 1982. At the time, few California counties had Master Gardener programs in place. Vossen enlisted volunteer gardening enthusiasts to be trained by UC academics in research-based gardening systems. The program has continued for 34 years, training 30 new volunteers every year. There are currently 320 active UC Master Gardeners in Sonoma County.
“We were the first to put together a board of directors and develop original programming,” Vossen said. “We made a difference in the community, reducing landfill inputs of green waste, improving water conservation and reducing pesticide use.”
In retirement, Vossen said he plans to garden, travel and enjoy good food.
“I will judge at olive oil competitions, do some private consulting and enjoy continuous summers hiking all over the northern hemisphere May to October and the southern hemisphere November to April,” Vossen said.
“Joe Grant would be an inductee to a hall of fame because he is hardworking, persistent and takes a scientific approach to his work, but it's grounded in practicality, which farmers demand,” said Barton, who grows walnuts and oil olives.
The grower credits Grant with making pheromone mating-disruption an option for codling moth control, grower acceptance of a pressure bomb for optimal irrigation timing, rootstock research and use of cover crops in walnuts.
“Joe has been important to the statewide walnut industry,” Barton said.
Because the codling moth biocontrol method reduced pesticide use, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation honored Grant and the Walnut Production Research Advisory Council Entomology Working Group with its IPM Innovator Award in 2013.
Grant is not only a trusted scientist, he's fun to work with, according to Barton, who explained that Grant puts on a gruff demeanor and grumbles, “What did you do that for?” in deadpan humor. “He rarely breaks, but sometimes you'll catch a twinkle in his eye.”
“I worked hard throughout my career to build and conduct a program that advanced knowledge, addressed the changing needs of my clientele, and provided service back to the University, ANR and the public,” said Grant, who earned master's degrees in pomology and plant protection and pest management at UC Davis.
In 1990, Grant created San Joaquin WEATHERNET, a network of automated weather stations in the principal tree and vine producing regions of San Joaquin County, and oversaw the operations.
Over the years, Grant conducted several walnut rootstock trials aimed at managing walnut blackline, Phytophthora root rot, crown rot and root lesion nematode, the principal causes of orchard decline in California orchards.
Improved rootstocks are becoming the foundation for more productive and sustainable orchards of the future, he said.
The UCCE advisor in California's leading cherry-producing county, he also studied rootstocks to plant in cherry orchards affected by Phytophthora and cherry stem pitting. Grant helped develop techniques for managing cherry buckskin disease, which once threatened the northern San Joaquin Valley's cherry industry. He also collaborated with researchers in other states to evaluate cherry rootstocks for shorter trees and tree-training systems for intensive “pedestrian” orchards, which workers on the ground can prune and harvest, and mechanically harvestable orchards.
To synchronize bloom, advance fruit maturity and harvest date, the UCCE advisor collaborated on development of treatments for cherries that are used in nearly all southern San Joaquin Valley cherry orchards and half of northern San Joaquin Valley orchards.
Grant also identified Gala apple strains adapted to warm San Joaquin Valley growing conditions. These have become the strains of choice for Gala apple growers.
In 2005, Grant was appointed to the California Walnut Board Production Research Advisory Council, charged with setting long-term plans for the walnut board's $1.6 million walnut research program. He served as chair of the select group of researchers, advisors and walnut industry representatives from 2008 to 2016. He was also UC's research liaison to the cherry industry from 2004 to 2016 and to the California Apple Commission from 2008 to 2012.
Other organizations and projects Grant has participated in include the Mid-Valley Apple Association, California Cherry Growers and Industries Foundation and the California Alliance with Family Farmers.
Grant has shared his expertise in tree crops as an invited speaker at conferences in Uzbekistan, China, Iraq, Chile, Australia and the Republic of Moldova.
In retirement, he will remain active in agriculture. UC Agriculture and Natural Resources has given Grant emeritus status and he has accepted a half-time position as research director for the California Walnut Board. For pleasure, he says, “I plan otherwise to spend more time getting to know my six grandchildren, doing a little hiking and biking, and learning to play a banjo that has been stored under the bed for the past 10 years or so.”