UC ANR Day at the Capitol was held on March 26, 2019, to update California legislators and legislative staff on UC ANR's research and outreach projects. Vice President Glenda Humiston and a UC ANR delegation discussed a wide variety of topics during the legislative visits, including wildfire and forest health, water quality, youth development, nutrition and climate adaptation.
Every year, representatives from each UC campus gather in Sacramento for UC Day at the Capitol to educate lawmakers about the importance of research and higher education and their contributions to California's economy and progress. Although UC ANR participates in the annual Ag Day at the Capitol, this was the first UC ANR Day at the Capitol.
ANR's Global Food Initiative fellow Maci Mueller set up appointments with the policymakers and coordinated the UC ANR delegation to explain the value of investment in UC ANR research and outreach.
The UC ANR delegation consisted of two teams led by Humiston and Wendy Powers, associate vice president. The teams included Faith Kearns, California Institute for Water Resources academic coordinator; Ruth Dahlquist-Willard, UC Cooperative Extension small farms advisor for Fresno and Tulare counties; Tracy Schohr, UC Cooperative Extension livestock and natural resource advisor for Plumas, Sierra and Butte counties; Alena Pacheco, 4-H community education specialist in Fresno County; Bailey Butler, Oroville 4-H member; and El Dorado County 4-H Ambassadors Emily Ferrell, Josie Rothman and Isabella Veffredo, who were accompanied by El Dorado County 4-H program representatives Vera Bullard and Denise Veffredo.
“As a team, we were able to connect with every member or staffer that we met,” Powers wrote in her ANR Adventures blog. “Sometimes it was around the 4-H program, and what the program has done for our impressive team members, sometimes it was around fire or water, and other staffers or members were particularly interested in moringa. Either way, the goal was to make a connection so that each visit left an impression.”
“UC ANR Day was a terrific opportunity for 4-H members to practice their communication skills and get involved in advocacy at the state level,” Mueller said.
Oroville 4-H member Bailey described for legislators and their staff how she worked from Nov. 8 when the Camp Fire broke out until after Christmas with UC Cooperative Extension advisor Tracy Schohr and UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine staff to care for 1,200 evacuated livestock and to train others to assist. Emily, a 4-H Ambassador in El Dorado County, said her 4-H experience with STEM activities and leadership training helped her get into the university of her choice – UC Santa Barbara.
Greeted warmly by each office, the teams shared examples of work being done by UC ANR in their districts, offered them assistance and thanked the legislators for their support. They left a copy of the UC ANR Snapshot, UC ANR map and overview, a 4-H fact sheet and UC at a Glance.
Legislators praised the 4-H members and UC ANR staff for the work they do for Californians.
“I look forward to making UC ANR Day at the Capitol an annual event,” Humiston said. “Telling people about the value of ANR's work is not only part of our mission, it is essential in educating others about all that we accomplish with the resources we have.”
A fact sheet showing the effects of shrinking public investment in the University of California and agricultural research can be downloaded at https://ucanr.edu/sites/Professional_Development/files/302896.pdf.
Ashraf El-Kereamy was appointed UC Cooperative Extension citrus horticultural specialist in the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences at UC Riverside on Feb. 1, 2019.
He had been working as a UCCE area viticulture advisor serving Kern, Tulare and Kings counties since 2014.
Prior to joining UCCE, El-Kereamy worked as a post-doc research associate at University of Guelph, studying plant drought and heat stress tolerance in plants from 2013 to 2014, and studying the genotypes variation in nitrogen use efficiency and plant heat stress tolerance from 2008 to 2012. From 2012 to 2013, he was assistant/associate professor in the Department of Horticulture, Ain Shams University, Egypt, where he taught undergraduate and postgraduate courses for horticultural science and served as the principal investigator for a U.S.-Egypt joint collaborative research project between University of Wyoming and Ain Shams University on improving grapevine tolerance to drought and heat stress. As a post-doctoral scientist at the University of Guelph, Vineland, El-Kereamy studied the pathogenesis-related proteins during plum fruit ripening. As a University of Manitoba post-doc, he studied the physiological role of abscisic acid in plants.
He earned his Ph.D. in agriculture with an emphasis in grape physiology and molecular biology from INP-ENSAT, Toulouse University, Toulouse, France, and a M.Sc. in pomology and B.Sc. in horticulture, both from Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.
El-Kereamy is based at Lindcove Research and Extension Center in Exeter, and can be reached at (559) 592-2408, Cell: (661) 703-4678 and email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ashrafelkereamy.
Giuliano C. Galdi joined UCCE on Jan. 2, 2019, as a UC Cooperative Extension agronomy advisor in Siskiyou County.
Prior to joining UCCE, Galdi was a junior specialist at UC Davis (May 2017 – December 2018), where he worked on a variety of field trials, mainly alfalfa and forage crops, with the objective to improve sustainability of water use and hay quality. Tasks included irrigation scheduling, planting/harvesting trials, and data handling and analysis. As a master's student and student research assistant at Fresno State (2014-2017), Galdi evaluated salinity tolerance in different alfalfa varieties, attended conferences, and presented research in the form of posters and talks. He speaks Portuguese fluently.
Galdi completed a M.S. in plant sciences from Fresno State and a B.S. in agronomy engineering from University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Galdi is based in Yreka and can be reached at (530) 842-2711 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow him on Instagram and Twitter at @uccesiskiyou.
Ian Grettenberger joined UCCE on Jan. 2, 2019, as a field and vegetable crops assistant specialist in the Department of Entomology and Nematology at UC Davis. Grettenberger is interested in advancing integrated pest management in field and vegetable crops, plant-insect interactions, and applied insect ecology.
Grettenberger earned a Ph.D. in entomology from Penn State University and a BS in biology from Western Washington University.
Prior to joining UCCE, Grettenberger was a postdoctoral research scholar at UC Davis, working first with Larry Godfrey and then with Frank Zalom.
Yu Meng joined UCCE on Jan. 2, 2019, as the youth, families and communities advisor serving Imperial County, UC Desert Research and Extension Center and communities near the U.S.-Mexico border. Her responsibilities will focus on providing community development programs in the area of youth, families, and communities, with major outreach to the Latino youth and families.
Prior to joining UCCE, Meng worked for a USDA-funded project known as "the WAVE~Ripples for change" in collaboration with Oregon State University professionals, extension, community partners, high school soccer coaches, and school districts, and other dedicated volunteers. The program was designed to prevent unhealthy weight gain among 15- to 19-year-old soccer players. Most of the youth she worked with were Latinos and from low-income families. During this time, Meng helped develop and test the first sports nutrition, physical activity, family and consumer sciences curriculum for active youth. Her work resulted in positive developments in youth, reducing added sugar intake, maintaining fruit and vegetable intake over time, and improving the awareness of sports nutrition. Participating youth also applied additional skills they learned from gardening and cooking workshops at their homes and shared the lessons and practical applications with their respective families.
Meng is fluent in Chinese and originally from China, where she worked for food industries and started to notice the nutrition issues with processed foods and their effects on children's health. With that in mind, she came to the U.S. and earned a master's degree and Ph.D.
She completed a Ph.D. in nutrition science from Oregon State University, a M.S. in food science and nutrition from Utah State University, and a B.S. in Food Science and Engineering from Southern China University of Technology, China.
Meng is based in Holtville and can be reached at (442) 265-7700 and email@example.com.
Robert York joined UC ANR on Jan. 2, 2019, as a UC Cooperative Extension silviculture and applied forest ecology assistant specialist and adjunct associate professor of forestry in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley. He directs research and management activity on the Berkeley Forests, a network of five research forests covering the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mixed conifer forest from Shasta to Tulare counties.
York is a Registered Professional Forester in California. He earned a Ph.D. in forest ecology and silviculture, a M.S. in forest community ecology and a B.S. in forest management, all from UC Berkeley.
Prior to joining UCCE, York has been the research station manager at Blodgett Forest Research Station with UC Berkeley.
York is based in Georgetown and can be reached at (530) 333-4475 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Linda Forbes joined UC ANR as Strategic Communications director on Feb. 19.
Forbes brings over 15 years of communications experience as a marketing and branding leader in the private sector and most recently at UC Davis. Since 2012, she served as associate director of marketing at UC Davis, leading initiatives such as the award-winning monthly Aggie Tip Sheet and major advertising campaigns, as well as collaborating with campus colleagues to promote the impact and value of UC Davis on a variety of digital platforms. Travelers who fly out of the Sacramento airport may have seen ads from the last campaign she led, which included the “You sip, we solve” ad showcasing UC Davis advances in protecting the water supply.
Before coming to UC, Forbes led marketing for a statewide accounting firm and managed an automotive aftermarket brand. But Forbes, whose father was a USDA veterinarian, had a desire to contribute her skills to an organization that solves agricultural and environmental issues.
“We look forward to having Linda lead our efforts to transform ANR from the university's ‘best kept secret' to a well-known, valued service,” said Wendy Powers, associate vice president
Forbes is located in room 175 in the ANR building in Davis. She can be reached at (530) 750-1204 and email@example.com.
Anne Marie Scott joined ANR's Business Operations Center as ANR payroll manager on Feb. 7, 2019.
Scott brings strong payroll management and UCPath expertise with 19 years of UC experience in payroll, employment tax and accounts payable management. Most recently, she served as the payroll manager for the UC Office of the President working in the new UCPath system for the past year and a half. Prior to UCOP, she worked for UC Davis for 17 years as a payroll accountant, accounts payable division manager and also as the payroll manager for one of UCD's new shared service centers. She is also a Certified Payroll Professional.
Her experience working in the UCPath system at UCOP will uniquely enhance ANR's transition of payroll services to the new UCPath system. Scott will lead the ANR BOC payroll team providing time reporting and payroll services to all ANR units statewide. She will also work closely with the ANR Human Resources team to ensure efficient coordination between HR actions and payroll services.
Scott is based at the ANR Building in Davis and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and (530) 750-1273.
Zilberman awarded Wolf Prize
David Zilberman, a UC Cooperative Extension specialist and professor of agricultural and resources economics at UC Berkeley, has been awarded the 2019 Wolf Prize in Agriculture in recognition of his work developing economic models for fundamental problems in agriculture, economics and policy.
The Wolf Prize is an international award granted by the Wolf Foundation in six categories: agriculture, chemistry, mathematics, medicine, physics and the arts. The prize in the agriculture category is often referred to as the equivalent of a Nobel Prize in agriculture.
The award citation names Zilberman as “a leading protagonist in debates over water policy, environmental and resource policy in agriculture and the bioeconomy,” and highlights his career as “a unique mixture of theoretical work, applied research and extension.”
"I am deeply honored to have been selected,” said Zilberman, who holds the Robinson Chair in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. “This prize is a recognition of my entire community: my family, my collaborators, my teachers in Israel and Berkeley, the College of Natural Resources, and the uniquely supportive and inspiring Berkeley campus."
Read more about Zilberman's career achievements at https://nature.berkeley.edu/news/2019/01/david-zilberman-awarded-wolf-prize-agriculture.
Davy, Mashiri, James and Kyser win award for weed paper
The Weed Science Society of America honored four ANR members with its Outstanding Paper Award, Invasive Plant Science and Management.
Their co-authors were Matthew J. Rinella, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service; Susan E. Bellows, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, and Vanelle F. Peterson, Dow AgroSciences.
The award was presented Feb. 11 during the organization's annual meeting in New Orleans.
Humiston honored by California Legislature
The California Legislature recognized Vice President Glenda Humiston and Paul Granillo, president of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership, as recipients of the California Economic Summit's 2018 Steward Leader Awards on Feb. 4.
Humiston received the California Steward Leader Award, which recognizes statewide contributions, and Granillo received the Regional Steward Leader Award, which recognizes regional contributions. The awards were presented at last year's California Economic Summit.
Senator Anna Caballero and Assemblymember Jose Medina issued joint resolutions to Humiston and Granillo commending their exemplary records of civic leadership, both have served on the California Economic Summit Steering Committee since its inception in 2011.
Caballero read a resolution recognizing VP Glenda Humiston as recipient of the 2018 California Steward Leader Award.
Read more about Humiston's award at https://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=28665.
- Author: Jeannette Warnert
- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
People from across California and around the world got to taste new crops, see research demonstrations and learn about several UC ANR activities at the World Ag Expo Feb. 12-14. Despite the cold rainy weather, the world's largest agricultural exposition attracted 102,878 people representing 48 states, the District of Columbia and 65 countries to Tulare.
At an outdoor tent, Beth Grafton-Cardwell, UC Cooperative Extension specialist, Greg Douhan, UCCE citrus advisor, and other researchers, handed visitors fresh Tango citrus grown at the Lindcove Research and Extension Center and told them about their citrus variety research.
Ruth Dahlquist-Willard, UCCE small farms advisor, and Michael Yang, small farms and specialty crops agricultural assistant, encouraged visitors to taste moringa tea. Surendra Dara, UCCE entomology and biologicals advisor, described how Bagrada bugs and other pests under the microscopes can be controlled by microbes. Roger Baldwin, UCCE wildlife specialist, and Niamh Quinn, UCCE urban wildlife conflict advisor, took turns showing taxidermy vertebrate pests and describing their management research.
Jeff Mitchell, UCCE specialist, and Jeff Dahlberg, Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center director, gave demonstrations to show the superior health of soils managed with conservation techniques.
Demonstrating the use of high-tech in agriculture, Sean Hogan, Informatics and Geographic Information System academic coordinator, Andy Lyons, IGIS program coordinator, and Jacob Flanagan, IGIS programmer, showed how they use drones and cameras in agricultural research.
Inside Pavilion A, Teresa Rios-Spicer, UCCE nutrition program manager, andYeseniaMedrano, UCCE community education specialist, both from Tulare County, challenged visitors to test their nutrition knowledge by playing Jeopardy! Visitors could spin the UC Master Gardeners prize wheel to answer gardening questions and win seeds. 4-H members invited youth to peer into virtual reality goggles to give them an idea about the fun activities that can be part of joining 4-H.
Frank Mitloehner, UC Cooperative Extension specialist, gave a seminar explaining confusion in the media about the amount of greenhouse gas livestock emit in California and globally. He reviewed the innovations in livestock production that are leading the way to a "greener future" for California and U.S. agriculture.
Beth Grafton-Cardwell, UC Cooperative Extension citrus entomology specialist, and Victoria Hornbaker of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, gave an update on regulatory protocols relating to Asian citrus psyllid and HLB quarantines and the proper transportation of bulk citrus to prevent the spread of the pest and disease.
The California and Dutch AgFoodTech innovation partners reunited in Tulare for a networking luncheon to share their action plan with invited guests and scope the projects.
The UC ANR Advisory Committee, appointed by President Janet Napolitano to consider options for UC ANR's structure, governance and funding, submitted its recommendations to her, Don Bransford told the UC President's Advisory Commission on Agriculture and Natural Resources (PAC), which met Dec. 18 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Berkeley.
PAC Chair Bransford, who also served on the UC ANR Advisory Committee, said the committee saw opportunities to strengthen governance, increase budgetary transparency, provide more stable and predictable funding models and enhance collaborations between UC ANR and UC's broader academic and research enterprise.
The committee, which included deans Kathryn Uhrich of the UCR College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences and Michael Lairmore of the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis, consulted internal and external stakeholders, then conducted its own analyses in consultation with UC ANR leaders.
The committee made four key recommendations:
- Maintain UC ANR's status as a systemwide program within UCOP, reporting to the president.
- Create a UC ANR governing council for oversight and to promote greater understanding of UC ANR across the university.
- Create a funding model using a combination of the “set-aside” and “corridor” models.
- Retain campus oversight of and reporting responsibility for state Agricultural Experiment Station funds.
Napolitano told the PAC she would be moving forward on the recommendations because she thinks they will ensure ANR greater budget stability, a broader understanding of ANR across the UC system and create more opportunities for collaboration between ANR and campus academics. She issued a statement Dec. 19 on her decisions for UC ANR.
Uhrich said she sees the governing council as an “opportunity to educate, integrate and be inclusive” to have people from across the UC system and outside of UC participating.
In other discussions, Napolitano commended ANR employees for their responses to the Camp Fire and Woolsey Fire, noting that employees and volunteers lost homes in the devastating wildfires.
At a recent meeting with some legislators to discuss automation and the future of work, wildfire, health issues and homelessness, Napolitano said the policymakers told her they want to hear more from UC experts to help them think through policy challenges.
One commissioner commented, “We're going to have more fires, more foodborne illness outbreaks. Let's have our folks out there to talk to media and have them wearing a UC shirt.”
Napolitano replied, “I like the idea of folks wearing UC garb when they're on TV.”
Humiston and Tu Tran, associate vice president for business operations, briefed the PAC on ANR's budget. Administrative costs are up this fiscal year to invest $4 million to join UCPath, the new systemwide payroll and personnel system. UC ANR has begun the transition and will go live in March-April. “Ultimately UCPath will save us money, but it's costing us now,” Humiston said.
Due to budget constraints, Humiston explained that UC ANR isn't offering competitive grants nor announcing UCCE positions to be filled in 2018-19. Recruitment for previously approved positions is ongoing and new hiring will begin as resources become available to make the long-term commitment to support positions.
In her budget PowerPoint presentation for the PAC, Humiston listed actions ANR has taken in the past to compensate for budget cuts and steps that will be taken in FY 2018-19.
Tran explained that UC ANR relies on six sources of funds – state, federal, county, extramural, endowments and income from gifts, patents, investments and program fees. State funds, which constitute the largest portion of the division's funding, pay for employee salaries and benefits. He noted government funding is highly volatile so “we are trying to raise money in other ways.”
California Agricultural Resources Archive
UC Merced's librarian HaiPeng Li, project archivist Lisa Valens and project director Emily Lin gave a presentation on the California Agricultural Resources Archive or CARA. The UC Cooperative Extension archive project, which was launched after UC Cooperative Extension's centennial in 2014, started with UCCE in Merced, Humboldt and Ventura counties. The team has been digitizing annual reports and historical photos to make them accessible to the public and researchers.
“The data isn't just history,” Humiston asserted. “There are notes on research that may hold the key to something like huanglongbing.”
Mining the data, advanced analysis and linking to other information might open new avenues of research, she said.
UC ANR is seeking partners and trying to raise funds for the archive project. Jim Downing, publications director, will assume leadership of the project to succeed Jan Corlett, chief of staff to the vice president, who plans to retire in July.
To help students with career planning, Helene Dillard, dean of the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, said she seeks UCCE advisors to show students the research and outreach being done in the counties and planning a course on Cooperative Extension to introduce students to career options. She is in talks to partner with UC Davis medical center on health research such as the connection between diet and disease.
David Ackerly, dean of the UC Berkeley College of Natural Resources, announced the recent hiring of new Cooperative Extension specialists Ellen Bruno for policy analysis and Rob York for fire and policy, and that he is striving to create new faculty positions that will not depend on state money. He also announced that UC Cooperative Extension specialist Adina Merenlender received a $5 million gift to train California climate stewards through a program similar to California Naturalist. Ackerly also noted that Giannini Hall is closing temporarily for seismic upgrades so faculty and staff are packing to move out during construction.
Katherine Uhrich, dean of the UC Riverside College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, announced CNAS has hired 24 faculty this year including two Nobel laureates – Richard Shrock and Barry Barish. She also announced that Givaudan, a Swiss company that creates fragrances and flavors, is donating funds to cover UCR's citrus variety collection, to protect the trees from pests and diseases.
Michael Lairmore, dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis, announced that his veterinary team worked tirelessly treating animals injured during the Camp Fire, taking in 70 animals, most of which have returned to their families. About $2 million has been donated to offset the costs of treating the animals. Veterinarian Jamie Peyton covered burns on cats and dogs with tilapia skin to help with healing and has a provisional patent for the fish skin treatment. Lairmore also announced the school is planning to build a Livestock and Field Service Center. “We are in need of donations and there are naming opportunities for interested individuals or companies,” Lairmore told PAC members. He also announced the hiring of Emmanuel Okello, the new UCCE specialist in antimicrobial stewardship.
The PAC, which meets twice a year, will meet next in the spring.
Annemiek Schilder joined ANR on Aug. 1, 2018, as director of UCCE Ventura County and Hansen Agricultural Research and Extension Center. She hails from the Netherlands, where she grew up in an extended family of dairy and field crop farmers. Her grandfather, who farmed well into his 90s, inspired her to follow a career in agriculture.
Schilder studies small fruit pathology, mycology, applied virology, plant disease diagnostics, integrated pest management and organic and sustainable disease management.
She joins UC ANR from Michigan State University, where she was associate professor from 2006 to 2018 and an assistant professor from 1998 to 2005 in the Department of Plant Pathology and Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences. At MSU, Schilder was responsible for research, extension and teaching of sustainable disease management in small fruit crops, such as grapes, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and cranberries. She studied the diagnosis, epidemiology and integrated control methods for major fungal and viral diseases of these crops, and worked closely with entomologists, horticulturists, plant breeders, agricultural economists, extension educators, and growers to develop a holistic approach to plant health. Schilder also holds an adjunct faculty appointment in the Department of Plant, Food and Environmental Sciences at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada.
From 1994 to 1997, Schilder was a postdoctoral fellow at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Ibadan, Nigeria, researching legume and cassava diseases, seed health, and plant quarantine issues, and gaining an appreciation for the challenges faced by African farmers.
Schilder earned a Ph.D. and M.S. in plant pathology (cereal diseases) from Cornell University and a B.S. in agronomy from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She also studied plant sciences for a year at Wageningen Agricultural University in The Netherlands.
Schilder is based in Ventura and can be reached at (805) 662-6943 and email@example.com.
Humiston named 2018 California Steward Leader
“I was really involved in the 1990s in trying to figure out how agriculture and environmental interests find common ground, as well as building bridges between rural and urban sectors," Humiston said. "In the 2000s, I started focusing on economic development and sustainability. In my current job, I'm bringing all of those together around the reality that sustainability truly has to be a triple bottom line. We've got to develop ways for people, the planet and prosperity to all thrive and enhance the synergies between them."
In nominating Humiston for the award, Sonoma County Supervisor James Gore wrote, “Glenda is a powerful and relentless advocate for triple bottom line prosperity. She has championed and delivered in every position I have seen her in. As one of the co-chairs/Steering Committee for the Economic Summit, she has ensured that working landscapes remains a driver for rural prosperity.”
“Glenda embodies what CA Forward and the California Stewardship Network are all about: empowering regional hubs to own their own future,” added Gore, who served with Humiston at the U.S. Department of Agriculture as presidential appointees under President Obama.
As co-chair of Elevate Rural California, Humiston is working on three main areas: biomass, rural broadband and water infrastructure. “We identified those issues at last year's summit and worked this year to identify where the opportunities were as well as options to pursue,” she said. “We're bringing that information to the summit this year to get people to really rally around those three issues and move forward working on implementation.”
Steve Koike, emeritus UCCE advisor in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties and current lab director of TriCal Diagnostics, has been awarded the 2018 Outstanding Contribution to Agriculture Award from the California Association of Pest Control Advisers (CAPCA).
CAPCA gives the prestigious award to people who have made a meaningful difference in support of California agriculture.
“This honor recognizes the plant pathology research and problem-solving expertise that Steve provides to growers, PCAs and others in the agricultural industry,” said Mike Stanghellini, TriCal research director. “Steve's priorities, previously with UC Cooperative Extension and now with TriCal Diagnostics, are to be scientifically and technically correct in the lab as well as practical and useful in the field. He is pleased to continue to provide diagnostic services to the agricultural industry in California and other states, and he remains engaged in plant pathology research and investigations.”