- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
UC ANR vice provost Mark Lagrimini visited the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, the Lindcove REC and the West Side REC in October as he continues to become familiarized with the diversity of resources in the Division.
After a morning meeting with Kearney director Jeff Dahlberg on Oct. 15, Lagrimini traveled 45 miles southeast to the Lindcove REC. At Lindcove, director Beth Grafton-Cardwell led Lagrimini on a tour of the facility's greenhouse, laboratories, office facilities, the screenhouse, conference facility and research packing line.
The next day, Lagrimini was 70 miles due west to visit the West Side REC, where director Bob Hutmacher showed him research projects at the center in pistachios, cotton and other row crops.
- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
Lori Berger has been promoted to academic coordinator for the Pests, Pesticides and IPM Project, effective Oct. 15. Berger joined ANR in 2014 as a project coordinator for the UC ANR Statewide IPM Program. In this role, she coordinated a project to identify and manage critical uses of chlorpyrifos in almonds, citrus, cotton and alfalfa. The work included analysis of research and policy gaps for IPM, crop protection chemicals and alternative technologies pending regulatory concerns and anticipated regulations. She also developed and managed a statewide outreach program for new web-based decision support tools.
Before joining UC ANR, Berger was the founding executive director of the grower-supported California Specialty Crops Council, leading technical and regulatory affairs for a diverse array of fresh and processed fruit, vegetable, berry and vine crops from 2000 to 2013. She has also worked for two Fortune 500 companies in R&D and technical services for new product and market development.
Throughout her career, Berger has worked extensively with the regulatory community in developing science-based approaches to pest management and agricultural production. She has been an appointed member on several USDA and EPA federal advisory committees, including the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC), Committee to Advise on Reassessment and Transition (CARAT), and the Farm, Ranch and Rural Communities Committee (FRRCC). In these roles, she has shared her expertise on pest management, pollinator protection, international MRLs, water quality and soil health.
Berger holds a Ph.D. in entomology from Texas A&M University, an M.S. in entomology from Oklahoma State University and a B.S. in crop science from the University of Wyoming. She also earned an MBA from the Sid Craig School of Business at California State University at Fresno. A graduate of the California Agricultural Leadership Program, Berger is a licensed pest control adviser and certified crop adviser.
Berger is based at the Kearney Agricultural Research and Education Center in Parlier and can be reached at (559) 646-6523 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
As of Jan. 12, Gabe Youtsey, chief information officer, has been appointed to serve as UC ANR's Chief Innovation Officer during 2017 to work directly with VP Glenda Humiston in support of one of the division's key objectives, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, as outlined in our strategic plan.
In accepting this assignment, Youtsey will be a key catalyst in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship initiative, working both within UC and with external industry, government and academic institutions to partner in creating ANR's innovation and entrepreneurship program.
The program is aimed at facilitating ANR impacts in agriculture and natural resources through a new statewide support system that will allow new technologies to be explored, adopted and ramped up faster. Another facet of the program is to create a pipeline of new entrepreneurs for the booming field of agricultural technology.
“New groups of people – from high school students to Silicon Valley professionals – are showing lots of interest in where their food comes from, and in solving pressing problems to preserve California for generations to come,” Youtsey said. “ANR's Innovation and Entrepreneurship program is meant to build a statewide bridge that spans industries and allows UC ‘ag tech' entrepreneurs to thrive, and brings in the new talent and energy of students and professionals in other industries.”
He will continue to participate on the Senior Leadership Team and the Vice President's Council and will continue to advise the vice president and Tu Tran, associate vice president for UC ANR Business Operations, on information technology and cyber risk issues as the Cyber Risk Executive for the division.
In this new role, Youtsey will turn responsibility for management and operations of the Information Technology unit over to Dave Krause, web and application development manager, and Tolgay Kizilelma, infrastructure and support manager. Krause and Kizilelma will report directly to Tran during this period.
After an open search, Jing Yu has been named ANR's director of Financial Services.
Yu, who has served in the interim director's role for the past year, assumes leadership of a function that has increasing strategic importance in the years ahead, at ANR and UC systemwide, with a focus on modernizing financial and business systems in addition to a focus toward balance sheet financial management to best support future capital needs and debt financing, said Jake McGuire, controller.
Yu joined ANRFinancial Services in 2013 from the UC Berkeley Controller's Office, where she started her career with UC in 2009. She is a California certified public accountant (CPA), has a master's degree in accounting and finance, and over 15 years of business, finance and accounting experience in the institutional, corporate and public accounting firm sectors.
Yu is based on the 10th floor at UC Office of the President in Oakland and can be reached at (510) 987-0059 and Jing.Yu@ucop.edu.
Robert Hutmacher, UC Cooperative Extension cotton specialist and West Side Research and Extension Center director, was named the 2017 Cotton Specialist of the Year at the Beltwide Cotton Conference in Dallas, Texas.
“Dr. Robert Hutmacher is a master of defining a grower challenge, rallying all parties to come to the table to address the challenge and then working with growers to put that science to work in their fields,” said Kenny Melton, Bayer western regional agronomic manager. “Whether the challenge is finding resistance to Fusarium wilt Race 4 or increasing water efficiency, Dr. Hutmacher rises to the challenge. It's an honor to work with him and a special joy to help bestow this award.”
The 2016 recipient, Gaylon Morgan, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service cotton specialist, presented the 2017 award to Hutmacher.
“Bob is a highly respected leader who California growers depend on to navigate the ups and downs of the cotton industry in their state,” said Morgan. “He has helped growers find the path to profitability. That kind of leadership is essential not only in California, but also nationally. He has earned this honor many times over.”
UC ANR held a seminar for credentialed journalists on the first day of the World Ag Expo in Tulare. The Feb. 9 seminar featured 11 key UC ANR academics who serve as expert sources for the news media on hot topics.
The seminar was hosted by VP Glenda Humiston. Each of the UCCE advisors and specialists delivered a three-minute synopsis of his or her research and outreach efforts in California, such as the spread of Asian citrus psyllid, adapting to climate change in agriculture, GMOs and more. Afterwards, they fielded questions from the reporters.
“The Newsmakers Seminar was well-attended and well-received by reporters so we plan on hosting a similar event at next year's World Ag Expo,” said Jeannette Warnert, senior public information representative in Strategic Communications, who spearheaded the seminar. “In the fall, we will be looking for academics who are interested in building relationships with reporters to take part in the 2017 event.”
Agricultural trade reporters filed stories on several of the subjects and exchanged business cards with the scientists for future reference. The Kaweah Commonwealth newspaper published two stories by John Elliott about the seminar: On the cutting edge of agriculture: World Ag Expo's Newsmakers Seminar reveals current research and Newsmakers' Seminar reveals current research, Part 2.
The following academics participated in the seminar:
- Beth Grafton-Cardwell, Ph.D. – UC ANR Cooperative Extension specialist in citrus entomology and director of the UC Lindcove Research and Extension Center
- Jeff Dahlberg, Ph.D. – UC ANR Cooperative Extension specialist in agronomic crops and director of the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center
- Bob Hutmacher, Ph.D. – UC ANR Cooperative Extension specialist in cotton and director of the UC West Side Research and Extension Center
- Lindsay Jordan – UC ANR Cooperative Extension viticulture advisor for Merced, Mariposa and Madera counties
- Rose Hayden-Smith, Ph.D. – UC ANR Cooperative Extension advisor, editor of the UC Food Observer blog, part of UC President Janet Napolitano's Global Food Initiative
- Themis Michailides, Ph.D. – UC ANR pathology researcher, based at Kearney Ag REC
- Jeff Mitchell, Ph.D. – UC ANR Cooperative Extension specialist in conservation agriculture, based at Kearney Ag REC
- Toby O'Geen, Ph.D. – UC ANR Cooperative Extension specialist in soil resources, based at UC Davis
- Tapan Pathak, Ph.D. – UC ANR Cooperative Extension specialist in climate change adaptation in agriculture, based at UC Merced
- Maurice Pitesky, Ph.D. – UC ANR Cooperative Extension specialist in poultry food safety, based at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine
- Alison Van Eenennaam, Ph.D. – UC ANR Cooperative Extension specialist in animal biotechnology, based at UC Davis