- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
UC ANR Vice President Glenda Humiston led a delegation representing California to the annual joint meeting of the Council for Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching (CARET) and the Administrative Heads Section (AHS) of the Association of Public & Land-grant Universities in Washington, D.C., March 1-4.
While they were in Washington, CARET delegates met with CaliforniaCongress members to discuss the specific impacts of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources in their districts and the importance of strong federal funding to support the programs, including Cooperative Extension, 4-H Youth Development, nutrition education, and the research and extension centers.
“CARET delegates provided first-hand testimony of UC ANR's impact on their own lives and businesses while UC ANR academics gave a boots-on-the-ground perspective of working in and among community members to build partnerships and deliver content and programming,” said Anne Megaro, UC ANR director of government and community relations.
Collectively, the group visited 36 congressional offices, including TJ Cox, Jim Costa, Jimmy Panetta and Mike Thompson.
CARET delegates – San Diego County nurseryman Mike Mellano, Humboldt County rancher Dina Moore, and Environmental Solutions Group managing partner Jean-Mari Peltier, – explained how their businesses and industries have benefited from UC ANR research and extension. Bill Frost, former UC ANR associate vice president and UCCE advisor emeritus, also served as a CARET delegate.
UCCE advisors Jhalendra Rijal and Marcel Horowitz, UCCE specialist Dan Sanchez and CalFresh Healthy Living, UC director Kamal Khaira were the academics who described their work. Associate Vice President Wendy Powers and Kathy Eftekhari, chief of staff to the VP, also participated.
CARET delegates arrived back in California while the national response to COVID-19 was just developing. They have since reached out to the congressional delegation to share what UC ANR is doing to help communities under the changing circumstances. Specifically, UC ANR is converting educational materials into online formats so they are accessible for families and individuals sheltering in place. UC ANR is also looking to extend internet connectivity to UCCE county office parking lots in rural areas where broadband access is not available.
“All of the California congressmen and staff members were supportive of UC ANR, however given the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, funding priorities are changing rapidly,” Megaro said.
- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
VP Glenda Humiston, AVP Wendy Powers and several UC ANR representatives visited more than 30 congressional offices in March to brief lawmakers and staffers on the latest agriculture and natural resources research and outreach benefiting Californians.
On March 5-8, a UC ANR delegation attended the 36th Annual Council on Agriculture Research, Extension and Teaching (CARET) meetings in Washington D.C. CARET is part of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). With the assistance of Julia Rowe and Marjorie Duske of UC Federal Governmental Relations, they also visited congressional offices to explain the importance of science and research to California.
Keith Nathaniel, UC Cooperative Extension director for Los Angeles County; Katie Panarella, director of nutrition, family and consumer sciences program & policy; and Mark Bell, vice provost of strategic initiatives and statewide programs; joined the deans Helene Dillard, Keith Gilless, Michael Lairmore and Kathryn Uhrich for the visits.
“We had a lot of great meetings with Congressional members and their staff, discussing the need for sustained investments in ag & natural resources programs, research and innovation,” said Anne Megaro, director of government and community relations.
The group split up into teams to visit the offices of Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, Representatives John Garamendi, Jim Costa, Jeff Denham, Barbara Lee, Ami Bera, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Jimmy Panetta, Raul Ruiz and several other California representatives.
“California CARET representatives Dina Moore, Mike Mellano and Jean-Mari Peltier shared their experiences of how UC ANR research drives innovation and helps California farmers and related businesses remain competitive in the global market,” Megaro said.
“Overall, I felt that the visits were high quality,” said Powers. “I don't envy the elected officials or the staffers that see a revolving door of people through their offices at this time of year.”