- Author: Linda Forbes
The University of California system's first-ever institute for organic research and education will be established in UC ANR with a $500,000 endowment gift from Clif Bar & Company and $500,000 in matching funds from UC President Janet Napolitano.
The California Organic Institute will accelerate the development and adoption of effective tools and practices for organic farmers and those transitioning to organic by building on the capabilities of UC ANR's Cooperative Extension and Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program. Although organic is the fastest growing sector of the food economy, funding for research has lagged far behind support for conventional agriculture. Farmers interested in transitioning to organic or improving performance of their organic systems often lack the guidance they need to succeed.
“California's organic farmers already benefit from UC ANR's pest management, irrigation and crop production research, and this partnership with Clif Bar will give UC more capacity to focus on challenges specific to organic farming,” said Glenda Humiston, UC vice president of agriculture and natural resources. “UC Cooperative Extension advisors work directly with farmers throughout the state so new organic farming techniques can be applied quickly.”
The California Organic Institute is Clif Bar's third organic research endowment and the first in its home state of California, where the company sources several key organic ingredients. Clif Bar is not alone in sourcing from the state, which has the most organic farms in the U.S.: California's nearly 3,000 certified organic farms grow crops on land that represents 21% of all U.S. certified organic land.
“The California Organic Institute will serve many of the organic producers we depend on for ingredients like almonds and figs, as well as farmers outside our supply chain,” said Lynn Ineson, vice president of Sustainable Sourcing for Clif Bar. “We recognize that the future of our food company depends on the ecological and economic success of organic and transitioning farmers.”
Recruitment for an institute director will begin in early 2020, with a search committee including industry representatives and partners. The director will work with a permanent advisory committee, Clif Bar, and UC ANR to launch the institute and recruit additional like-minded partners to support its long-term success.
Ultimately, with the support of UC ANR and a constellation of partners, the California Organic Institute will be in a strong position to increase the performance of organic farming for improved stewardship of natural resources, the economic well-being of rural communities, and greater stability for the next generation of California farmers.
Anita Martinez has joined UCCE as a new 4-H program representative overseeing the 4-H Youth Development Program in Imperial County.
She started her role on Jan 2, 2020, focusing on outreach to underserved populations in Imperial County and on working with the business community for partnership opportunities.
Before joining UCCE, Martinez was employed as the chief executive officer at the Holtville Chamber of Commerce, where she successfully redesigned and organized the 2018 and 2019 Carrot Festival.
During her career, she has served in various roles, such as marketing supervisor for a casino, marketing director for an agriculture company and off-road race team, and marketing director for two major credit unions.
Martinez is a life-long Imperial Valley resident with roots in Heber, where she attended grade school before graduating from Southwest High School in El Centro. As a former 4-H member, she remained a strong advocate of the 4-H Youth Development Program and was a project volunteer until she decided to start a new club in her hometown of Heber. Dogwood 4-H Club, named after the road that links most major Imperial Valley cities, was proudly founded in 2013 with only 12 members. Since then, it has grown to over 18 families, serving as many as 34 members.
As the new 4-H representative, Martinez is excited to share her knowledge and help expand the program to new families and members who can enjoy the benefits of the program. She is looking forward to helping 4-H leaders expand on youth/adult partnerships and opportunities and to attract new adult leadership to the program.
She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in business management with an emphasis in marketing at University of Phoenix.
Martinez is based in Holtville and can be reached at (442) 265-7711 and email@example.com.
David Ritz joined UC ANR in November 2019 as the disability management services coordinator. This new position in ANR's Human Resources is funded by UC Office of the President. An experienced, certified rehabilitation counselor, Ritz served in a similar role on the UC Davis campus since 2007. As disability management services coordinator, he provides technical consultation, counseling and training to managers, supervisors, academics and staff on the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, California Labor Code, Americans with Disability Act, UC Policy and Collective Bargaining Agreements related to the interactive process, reasonable accommodation and medical separations.
He will also assist in developing and expanding wellness programs and activities for UC ANR employees, and increasing accessibility for the disabled at UC ANR events and programs. Prior to joining UC Davis, he spent 27 years in private practice as a vocational rehabilitation counselor, creating rehabilitation and career development plans, providing early intervention counseling for Department of Corrections employees, and developing reasonable accommodations and job modifications for disabled workers.
Ritz has a Master of Arts in education and is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counseling.
Ritz is based at the ANR building in Davis and can be reached at (530) 750-1317 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Urrea joins Human Resources
Angela Urrea joined UC ANR in January 2020 as a Human Resource generalist. In this role, she will provide assistance with staff employment efforts, including classification, compensation and recruitment.
Urrea is an experienced HR professional with a background in recruitment, leaves of absence, workers compensation, disability, payroll and safety. Her most recent role was with UC Davis where she provided human resources assistance and support to our fellow university faculty members.
She is based in the ANR building in Davis and can be reached at email@example.com.
Reiter wins award for best Twitter feed
Maggie Reiter, UC Cooperative Extension turfgrass and weeds advisor for Fresno County, won a 2020 Super Social Media Award for “Best Twitter Feed” from Golf Course Industry magazine. Winners for each category were chosen from industry people on social media nominated by Golf Course Industry readers, followers and listeners.
Follow @maggie_reiter on Twitter to see photos and descriptions of her research.
Super Social Media Award winners will be honored during #GCITweetUp20 inOrlando on Jan. 29.
Expanding ANR's academic footprint, leveraging citizen science and applying research to policy were on the agenda for the UC President's Advisory Commission on Agriculture and Natural Resources when they met Dec. 18 in Oakland at UC Office of the President. The commissioners also discussed how to ensure the long-term success of UC ANR and the role of the PAC in helping to sustain UC's Agriculture and Natural Resources research and Extension mission.
Jean-Mari Peltier, who succeeded Don Bransford as chair, welcomed new commissioners: Celeste Cantu, vice chair of the San Diego Water Quality Control Board; Lucas Frerichs, associate director of state policy for The Nature Conservancy; Corinne Martinez, partner in the Martinez Family Limited Partnership and Berryessa Gap Vineyards; and Cher Watte, executive director of the California Asparagus Commission. Mike Mellano, CEO of Farming for Mellano & Company, also began serving as vice chair.
UC President Janet Napolitano was unexpectedly summoned to meet with Governor Gavin Newsom in Sacramento, so she met with the group later in the day.
Vice President Glenda Humiston gave the commissioners an update on UC ANR activities and plans to expand the academic footprint. Although a flat budget has constrained hiring, ANR partnered to fund nine academics, which will provide salary savings of $700,000 over 5 years. With $1.6 million from the California Department of Food and Agriculture, UC ANR hired 14 community educators for 3 years. The UC Presidential Matches leveraged six donors to provide $6 million for UC ANR endowed positions.
She showed a series of maps, explaining how UC ANR is trying to fill positions by discipline and location in the state.
Humiston lamented that most UCCE advisors serve more than one county. “Multicounty assignments are not ideal,” she said. “This is a big state -- 30 of our counties are bigger than other U.S. states. We've got to get more people out in the field.”
To meet the evolving needs of California, the division will seek to hire academics to address farm mechanization, pest management for organic agriculture, fire science,agritourism and community and economic development, in addition to current positions.
To give the PAC members a broader perspective of the ways UC ANR connects with the public beyond UC Cooperative Extension advisor and community educator interactions with clientele, Humiston invited speakers from within and outside of UC ANR.
Heidi Ballard and Ryan Meyer of the UC Davis Center for Community and Citizen Science and Mark Bell, UC ANR Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives and Statewide Programs, discussed opportunities for expanding citizen science with UC ANR.
Yana Valachovic, UC Cooperative Extension director and forest advisor for Humboldt and Del Norte counties, described how she engages stakeholders and policymakers in her region. She is an active member of the California Fire Science Consortium to educate the public – including regulatory agencies, the insurance industry and community planners -- about fire. Because of her expertise, legislators have asked Valachovic for advice in crafting policy for forest management and wildfire.
“All of our academics have expertise,” Humiston said, “but not everyone is comfortable talking to legislators.”
Anne Megaro, government and community relations director; Lorna Krkich, executive director of development services; Linda Forbes, director of strategic communications; and Jim Downing, director of publishing, described the functions of their units.
Krkich reported an 8% increase in donations and a 79.4% growth in Giving Tuesday donations over the past two years.
The participants, seated at tables of four to six people, discussed the following questions:
1. What are your recommendations on actions needed to ensure the long-term success/sustainability of UC ANR? (including communications, programming, expanding reach, government relations, fund development, etc.)
2. What should the role of the PAC be in helping to sustain UC ANR?
3. What will make your membership/participation on this Commission personally meaningful?
Some of the recommendations for ensuring long-term success included training academics to be spokespeople, taking funders on tours to see firsthand the benefits resulting from UC ANR research and extension, and educating the new UC president about UC ANR. The commissioners also suggested crafting messages about UC ANR that are easy for the public to understand.
PAC members offered to introduce UC Cooperative Extension directors to other influencers and to tell people about the value of UC ANR. They asked to receive information about UC ANR activities more often than the biannual meetings and Connected newsletters, including calls for specific actions that PAC members could take to help.
Deans Helene Dillard, David Ackerly, Kathryn Uhrich and Michael Lairmore gave campus updates, then the commissioners met with President Napolitano at her residence.
Several people asked Napolitano about the search for her successor. She explained the presidential search process and encouraged the PAC members to participate in the town halls and to submit their suggestions for criteria for candidates to UCPresidentSearch@ucop.edu.
The PAC will meet next in the spring.
- Author: Emily Delk, Director of Annual Giving and Donor Stewardship
But it doesn't have to! UC ANR's Development Services team is here to partner with you. Whether you have a project that needs funding, need advice on a donor, or want to participate in a giving day campaign, our team is here to share best practices, provide tools and work with you to be successful.
The Development Services team wants to recognize the success of several recent partnerships — programs and individuals who see the potential impact of donor dollars in supporting UC ANR's important work.
Danielle Lee at Nutrition Policy Institute deserves a shout out for her new Research to Action newsletter format. It hits many of the highpoints that we look for because it makes supporters feel really good about the work NPI is doing, and it has a clear call to action, providing readers the opportunity to donate. It is not a solicitation, but it makes it easy for someone to take that step if they choose.
Giving Tuesday All Stars
The 2019 Giving Tuesday campaign was another opportunity to “lean in” to fundraising; we'd like to recognize just a few of the #GT All Stars:
Best 1st Time Performer: Sustainable Ag Research & Education Program
Best Use of Personal Network: Ricky Satomi, Forest Ed. & Outreach
Best Use of Campaign Materials: UC Master Gardeners of Los Angeles
Get On Board Award: Master Food Preservers, San Bernardino
Insomniac Award (most gifts after midnight): 4-H, Glenn County
Outstanding Photo: 4-H, Sacramento County
Team Spirit Award (matched her staff giving): Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty
In addition to these All Stars, we want to thank the Statewide UC Master Gardeners and 4-H teams for being “Perfect Partners” in working to promote Giving Tuesday across the state. And we recognize the President's Advisory Commission, senior leadership and the 4-H Foundation Board for being “Match Makers” and giving $40,000 in incentive funds to motivate and double donor dollars.
Yes, fundraising takes effort. But know we are here to help. We're grateful for your partnership, but the ultimate reward comes when we engage donors to support the work we do to improve the lives of all Californians.
"We welcome an increase of $3.6 million annually for UC ANR," said Vice President Glenda Humiston.
She noted that more people are recognizing and giving credit to the research, public service and outreach UC ANR does to help Californians improve their lives and businesses.
The trade publication Growing Produce reported that Nick Davis, southern valley vineyard manager of The Wine Group, the second-largest U.S. wine company, said, “We don't really have an R&D arm, so we really rely on George [Zhuang] and Cooperative Extension to provide viticultural knowledge and methods to help us achieve our production goals.”
"I am grateful for Governor Newsom's support for UC in his initial proposed budget," Humiston said. "You all do fantastic work and I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish in the year ahead."
UC Board of Regents Chair John A. Pérez and UC President Napolitano issued a statement on governor's budget plan for UC as a whole, acknowledging that 'the governor's spending plan is an important step toward covering the funds necessary to meet UC's tripartite mission of delivering world-class education, conducting cutting-edge research and providing public service that benefits California and beyond.”