- Author: Rose Hayden-Smith
Maybe you have ideas, but aren't sure about the best way to share your story. Penning a blog post for the ANR website? Adapting a blog post for your LinkedIn page? Creating a storymap to illustrate a point? Using social media? Maybe you're already using social media, but want to do more: refine your approach, add a new platform, reach new audiences, etc. Maybe you're affiliated with a program or county office that wants to develop a communications strategy to emphasize your value to stakeholders.
ANR is developing an “educational pipeline” for academics to share timely information for the public via the ANR website and social media. You can submit a story via this online form https://ucanr.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=25898, then Strategic Communications will take it from there to distribute.
I can help! I can help you brainstorm ideas about stories, and make suggestions about how to write and target those stories for maximum effectiveness. Are you looking for practical assistance with writing and editing? I'm happy to help you with that, too. Are you considering beginning to use digital platforms (including writing for one of the ANR blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.), but are unsure if you should, how you'd go about it, or when to use those communications tools? Call me! I can also help you use the content you create efficiently and effectively across a range of social platforms.
I'll be co-hosting a webinar on blogging on Dec. 6. The webinar is the first in a series of learning opportunities. If you have an interest in exploring any of these topics now, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or text/call me at (805) 794-1665.
I'm happy to help.
Advisor, Digital Communications in Food Systems and Extension Education
Editor, UC Food Observer
A mural depicting a UC Cooperative Extension advisor talking with a farmer beside a crop field and stream, surrounded by cattle, potatoes and a 4-H member showing a prize-winning sheep, against the backdrop of the Siskiyou Mountains was dedicated Oct. 13, 2018, to Siskiyou County agriculture and the memory of Steve Orloff.
Orloff's Family, friends, clientele and colleagues gathered to remember and honor Orloff, who passed away Oct. 3, 2017, after serving 33 years as a UCCE advisor, the last 25 years of his career in Siskiyou County.
“It is a testament to the power of Steve's work and ANR impact in local communities,” said Glenn Nader, emeritus livestock and natural resources advisor. Local farmers and ranchers funded the Steve Orloff mural, which is painted on the south wall facing the parking area of the UC Cooperative Extension office in Yreka, making it visible to I-5 travelers.
“Many members of the community and Steve's family were on hand to celebrate the efforts of the community to create a tribute to the work done by Steve Orloff,” said Jacki Zediker, 4-H community education specialist and coordinator in Siskiyou County.
“Sari and Steve began discussing the mural idea about a year or more before his passing, based on Sari noticing our exterior walls were very bland and could use some sprucing up,” said Carissa Koopmann Rivers, director of UC Cooperative Extension in Siskiyou County.
At the time, Orloff told Sommarstrom, “I can envision artwork with large cows and ranching depicted on one side transitioning to agricultural fields and mountains on the other side. It would be a great tribute to ag in the county.”
Following Orloff's passing, Sommarstrom followed up on the mural design, fundraising and execution. She partnered with the local Farm Bureau to assist with the financial backing of the project. The Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors approved the mural in April 2018, with the county contributing the first $2,000, kicking off the fundraising campaign and allowing the painting to begin in September.
“The mural would not have come to fruition without efforts from within the entire community, and the enthusiasm of artist Kim Solga,” said Rivers. “It is important to recognize one particular person, Jacki Zediker, who was at the forefront of the project ensuring the mural exemplified the Siskiyou County agriculture and the vision that Steve had. Jacki not only worked diligently behind the scenes to cross t's and dot i's, she was also physically responsible for all the wall prep work and finishing coat on the wall, as well as organizing the official revealing unveiling of the mural on October 13, 2018.”
The mural is located at 1655 South Main St. in Yreka.
Over the course of the past 11 months, UC ANR has undertaken a position call process to identify the priority UCCE advisor and UCCE specialist position needs to support the work of the division. After a great deal of work, 46 positions were identified by the UC ANR Program Council and divided into three categories (highest, high, and can wait). Although we will utilize this categorization to the degree possible, the reality is that we need each and every one of those positions to serve our mission – all 46 positions are high priority to me. Furthermore, there are additional positions needed that were not on the list of 46 positions but are important gaps that have arisen over the course of the year. This includes three CE advisor positions vacated within two years of hire and not re-opened for recruitment.
Despite that, and unlike past years, we will not be releasing a list of approved positions at this time. The current budget situation leaves us unable to recruit immediately for positions reviewed during the 2018 process. All positions will remain under consideration based on funding availability, including the opportunity to find funding partners to share position costs.
This difficult decision is part of a larger effort to manage a challenging financial situation that also includes reductions to statewide programs and less subsidy for research at our RECs. UC ANR has managed the past several years of budget cuts and unfunded obligations through judicious use of our reserves, increases to program fees, fundraising and excellent work by our academics to increase the capture of competitive grants. While those options allow us to maintain a strong program and continue to deliver our research and extension mission, sound fiscal management does not allow us to expand academic positions in the immediate future.
2019 recruitment depends on budget and partners
Having said that, it is my sincere intent to recruit for a small number of these 2018 positions during the 2019 calendar year. As the FY19/20 budget unfolds, we will closely watch retirement announcements, the impact of those retirements on critical gaps in service, and any other items that might affect the budget available for recruiting. In addition, we will actively seek opportunities to partner with various entities to jointly fund positions as a key strategy to maintain or, preferably, increase our academic numbers. As a result, the order of recruitments may vary from the categorized list provided to me and we may also need to re-evaluate whether priorities have changed along the way.
More 2016 positions to be filled
Our academic numbers remain steady, not growing at a rate we wish to see, but steady nonetheless. This is in large part because academic HR, search committees, vice provosts, and campus departments have worked very hard over the last two years to recruit talent and fill positions identified during the 2014 and 2016 position call processes. All of the positions approved during the 2014 call have been filled; you might recall that at the time that the 2016 positions were approved, 25 of the positions approved in 2014 were still vacant. All but three of the 26 positions approved in the 2016 position call process are filled or under recruitment. The remaining positions (two CE advisor and one CE specialist positions) will be released for recruitment very soon. Additionally, the three FTE that were reserved for partnership opportunities have resulted in six new academics: three CE advisor positions filled, one CE advisor position under recruitment, and two CE specialist positions under recruitment. This valuable tool allows us to jointly fund positions with external partners as well as other parts of the UC system; we will be exploring how best to expand and leverage this moving forward.
Recruitment and retention of top talent a priority
Recruitment and retention of top talent is a crucial strategic objective. Toward that end, I recently announced approval of year two of a four-year salary equity plan for CE advisors that will bring their salaries into market norms. Offering competitive salaries to our academics and staff is of highest priority to me and the entire UC ANR leadership. Despite our budget challenges, we are pleased to be able to continue with this extremely important plan to improve academic salaries that had failed to keep pace with increased cost of living and academic norms for many years.
While the current budget situation for UC ANR is reminiscent of similar scenarios in the past, it is a strong wake-up call on the need to find new ways to fund our mission. State and federal support for the land grant mission has decreased or, at best, remained flat for the past few decades. UC ANR, the national Cooperative Extension system, the Agriculture Experiment Station system, and public research institutions in general, are at a crossroads – we must develop better ways to fund our mission, deliver our programs and leverage partnerships. This will include deployment of different business models. UC ANR is actively doing just that, while adapting to change along the way. I am confident that by remaining mission-focused we will grow stronger, more impactful, and more relevant to California and beyond.
To answer questions about the positions process, VP Humiston held a town hall on Nov. 29. A recording of the 30-minute town hall is at http://bit.ly/2BGvO73.
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing farmers, natural resource managers and communities in California.
On Jan. 23-24, the Climate Change Program Team will hold the Integrating Climate Change in California Cooperative Extension Programs Workshop at UC Merced.
“It's open to all ANR academics and program staff who are interested in the topic,” said Ted Grantham, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at UC Berkeley.
“This meeting will bring together ANR academics and programmatic staff to strengthen interdisciplinary collaborations and enhance the capacity of UC Cooperative Extension to advance climate-change mitigation and adaptation efforts in California,” he said.
The day-and-a-half-long workshop will include updates on the latest science on climate impacts and sessions that focus on disaster preparedness and response, climate science communication, and climate-smart agriculture. The workshop will also include interactive dialog to identify priorities for enhancing the visibility, relevance and impact of ANR's climate-change research and extension programs.
In breakout sessions, participants will discuss wildfire hazard mitigation, environmental education and citizen science, building climate resilience with tribes and vulnerable communities, environmental horticulture and more.
To register and view the draft agenda, visit https://ucanr.edu/sites/CalClimateChange/2019_Workshop.
Apply to the 3rd Annual UC Entrepreneur Pitch Competition and win a chance to pitch in front of more than 700 venture capitalists at the Global Corporate Venturing and Innovation Summit and $15,000 in prize money.
The event is a systemwide effort to connect veteran and new UC entrepreneurs with coaching, resources and exposure to a network of investors to advance and scale their startups.
The university's Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship is inviting startups with at least one UC student, staff, academic or alumnus founder to pitch their projects to investors and strategic partners by submitting a pitch video and an associated pitch deck to the competition website. Video submissions will be featured on the university's entrepreneur website, showcasing the impressive entrepreneurial activity and rich innovative spirit of the UC community.
There are two tracks in the competition: an early-stage track for startups in funding round pre-Series A, and a later-stage track for startups in Series A and beyond. A panel of distinguished corporate mentors will review and select a dozen finalists: six startups in the early-stage track and six startups in the later-stage track.
All finalists will receive individualized coaching from their mentors before their final presentations at the 4th Annual Global Corporate Venturing & Innovation Summit in Monterey on Jan. 30-31, 2019.
Finalists will then pitch their startups to more than 700 business leaders and venture capitalists. The winner in each of the two categories will take home a $15,000 prize for his or her company.
If you are interested in competing, submit your materials to the competition website by 11:59 p.m. PST, on Dec. 12, 2018. The 12 finalists will be announced in early January.
UC generates an average of five inventions per day and holds more patents than any other university in the country. In 2013, President Napolitano launched the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative to leverage the scale and diversity of the UC system to build an even more vibrant entrepreneurial culture.
Learn more at https://entrepreneurs.universityofcalifornia.edu.