Pledging to work together to solve water scarcity issues, Israel's Agricultural Research Organization signed a memorandum of understanding with the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources and UC Davis on July 16. The signing ceremony kicked off the 2018 Future of Water for Irrigation in California and Israel Workshop at the UC ANR building in Davis.
“Israel and California agriculture face similar challenges, including drought and climate change,” said Doug Parker, director of UC ANR's California Institute for Water Resources. “In the memorandum of understanding, Israel's Agricultural Research Organization, UC Davis and UC ANRpledge to work together more on research involving water, irrigation, technology and related topics that are important to both water-deficit countries.”
The agreement will enhance collaboration on research and extension for natural resources management in agriculture, with an emphasis on soil, irrigation and water resources, horticulture, food security and food safety.
“It's a huge pleasure for us to sign an MOU with the world leaders in agricultural research like UC Davis and UC ANR,” said Eli Feinerman, director of Agricultural Research Organization of Israel. “When good people, smart people collaborate the sky is the limit.”
Feinerman, Mark Bell, UC ANR vice provost, and Ermias Kebreab, UC Davis professor and associate vice provost of academic programs and global affairs, represented their respective institutions for the signing. Karen Ross, California Department of Food and Agriculture secretary, and Shlomi Kofman, Israel's consul general to the Pacific Northwest, joined in celebrating the partnership.
“The important thing is to keep working together and develop additional frameworks that can bring the people of California and Israel together as researchers,” Kofman said. “But also to work together to make the world a better place.”
Ross said, “It's so important for us to find ways and create forums to work together because water is the issue in this century and will continue to be.”
She noted that earlier this year the World Bank and United Nations reported that 40 percent of the world population is living with water scarcity. “Over 700,000 people are at risk of relocation due to water scarcity,” Ross said. “We're already seeing the refugee issues that are starting to happen because of drought, food insecurity and the lack of water.”
Ross touted the progress stemming from CDFA's Healthy Soils Program to promote healthy soils on California's farmlands and ranchlands and SWEEP, the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program, which has provided California farmers $62.7 million in grants for irrigation systems that reduce greenhouse gases and save water on agricultural operations.
“We need the answers of best practices that come from academia, through demonstration projects so that our farmers know what will really work,” Ross said.
As Parker opened the water workshop, sponsored by the U.S./Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development (BARD) Program, Israel Agricultural Research Organization and UC ANR, he told the scientists, “The goal of this workshop is really to be creating new partnerships, meeting new people, networking and finding ways to work together in California with Israel, in Israel, with other parts of the world as well.”
Drawing on current events, Bell told the attendees, “If you look at the World Cup, it's about effort, it's about teamwork, it's about diversity of skills, and I think that's what this event does. It brings together those things.”
Mark Lubell, professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at UC Davis, will host a web chat to discuss social network analysis from 10 a.m. to noon on Sept. 12. Please register for “Extension 3.0: Agricultural Outreach & Education in the Age of Connectivity” at http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=11163.
Lubell will cover
- 21st century agricultural knowledge networks
- Social relationships—participation, belief change, and practice
- Accelerating knowledge networks with information technology and social media
- Illustrating importance of boundary-spanning social networks in sustainable viticulture
- Cooperative Extension—Leveraging knowledge networks for sustainable food systems
The webinar will be on AdobeConnect and a ReadyTalk line will be set up for audio. Links will be emailed to registrants. On Twitter, follow #SustAgUC.
The sustainability webinar series is sponsored by the UC ANR Sustainable Food Systems Initiative, UC ANR Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Program and Agricultural Sustainability Institute at UC Davis.
Tom Tomich, professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at UC Davis, W.K. Kellogg Endowed Chair in Sustainable Food Systems and director ASI and SAREP, kicked off the series with sustainability science. Neil McRoberts, assistant professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at UC Davis, discussed “Sustainability: Linking Theory to Practice.” Ermias Kebreab, professor in the Department of Animal Science at UC Davis and Sesnon Endowed Chair in Sustainable Agriculture, discussed "Environmental Sustainability of Animal Agriculture."
If you missed any of these webinars, recordings can be viewed at http://ucanr.edu/sites/StrategicInitiatives/Sustainable_Food_Systems/Outreach_814.
Neil McRoberts, assistant professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at UC Davis, will present the webinar “Sustainability: Linking Theory to Practice” from 10 a.m. to noon on May 31.
McRoberts will discuss
- Using formal models for strategic planning of extension and outreach efforts
- Cross-linking of interdisciplinary scientists
- Sustainability theory Web resources
Online registration for the free webinar is required at http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=10668.
On June 13, Ermias Kebreab, professor in the Department of Animal Science at UC Davis and Sesnon Endowed Chair in Sustainable Agriculture, will discuss "Environmental Sustainability of Animal Agriculture." The Kebreab webinar will also run from 10 a.m. to noon.
Kebreab will discuss
- Sustainability as a “wicked problem”
- Water quality and livestock production
- Mitigation of air emissions from livestock operation
Register for Kebreab’s free webinar at http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=10669.
The webinar series is sponsored by the UC ANR Sustainable Food Systems Initiative, UC ANR Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Program, and Agricultural Sustainability Institute at UC Davis.
Tom Tomich, professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at UC Davis, W.K. Kellogg Endowed Chair in Sustainable Food Systems and director ASI and SAREP, kicked off the series with sustainability science. If you missed Tomich’s webinar, a recording can be viewed at http://asi.ucdavis.edu/newsroom/blog/preview-video-for-the-upcoming-webinar-is-there-a-sustainability-science.