- Author: Jeannette Warnert
California State Senator Ben Hueso honored California and Baja California 4-H with a resolution in the State Senate April 2 to recognize the cross-border team that established a 4-H Club in Mexicali, Baja Mexico, in January 2017.
The event, held in the Senate Chambers, was attended by Manuel Vallodolid Seamaduras, secretary of Agriculture Development in the State of Baja California, Mexico (Secretaría de Desarrollo Agropecuario del Estado de México - SEDAGRO); Hortencia Medellin Acosta, director of Rural Entrepreneurship, Mexicali, Baja California; Carlos Orozco Riesgo, member of the UC ANR 4-H Multicultural and Community Engagement Advisory Committee and former undersecretary of SEDAGRO; Belem Avendaño Ruiz, director of Inspection, health and safety SEDAGRO; Guillermo Gonzalez Rubio, director of the Livestock Health Department SEDAGRO; Agustin Manuel Velazquez Bustamante, legal advisor SEDAGRO; Mark Bell, vice provost of Strategic Initiatives and Statewide Programs; Shannon Horrillo, 4-H Youth Development Program director; Lupita Fabregas, 4-H Youth Development assistant director for diversity and expansion; and Claudia Diaz Carrasco, 4-H Youth Development advisor in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
Last year, UC ANR Vice President Glenda Humiston signed a memorandum of understanding with Baja California Secretary of Agriculture Development Manuel Vallodolid Seamanduras to offer UC's 4-H expertise to youth south of the border. The agreement increases the academic, scientific, technological and cultural cooperation that are part of UC President Janet Napolitano's Mexico Initiative.
Hueso's resolution attests to the value of building relationships as a means of cooperative engagement between Mexico and California on shared concerns, such as drought and global climate change. The resolution notes that the creation of a 4-H Club in Mexicali is an inspiring reminder that the need for education doesn't stop at the border.
Hueso represents the 40th District, which includes parts of San Diego County and all of Imperial County, running along the entire border between California and Mexico.
The 50th World Agricultural Expo was held Feb. 14-16, 2017, in Tulare. The three-day show was attended by 105,780 people representing 43 states and 71 countries, according to its website. UC ANR participated by hosting a newsmakers event for journalists and sponsoring four booths displaying information about the division's array of research and programs.
At the booths, 4-H members and UC ANR scientists greeted visitors and answered questions. Visitors were invited to take a picture with a UC ANR frame and post it to social media with the hashtag #UCWorldAg to be entered in a contest to win a FitBit.
On the first day of the show, reporters were invited to meet UC ANR scientists, who gave 3-minute descriptions of their research. Rose Hayden-Smith, editor of the UC Food Observer blog, was the emcee. The speakers were as follows:
- Mary Lu Arpaia, UC Cooperative Extension horticulturist, UC Riverside, based at the Kearney REC in Parlier,avocadoes
- Khaled Bali, UCCE irrigation water management specialist, based at KREC, automated irrigation systems
- Peggy Lemaux, UCCE plant genetics specialist, UC Berkeley, and Jeff Dahlberg, KREC director and UCCE specialist, plant breeding and genetics, $12.3 million study on sorghum
- Lupita Fábregas, UCCE 4-H Youth Development advisor and assistant director for diversity and expansion, outreach to Latino communities
- Maggi Kelly, UCCE specialist and director of the UC Statewide Informatics and Geographic Information Systems program, UC Berkeley, research using drones
- Doug Parker, director, UC California Institute for Water Resources, drought
- Alireza Pourreza, UCCE agricultural engineering advisor, based at KREC, early detection of huanglongbing disease in citrus
- Leslie Roche, UCCE rangeland management specialist, UC Davis, drought management on rangeland
- Samuel Sandoval Solis, UCCE specialist in water resources, UC Davis, groundwater management
UC ANR and UC Food Observer live-streamed the talks on Facebook Live and on Twitter via Periscope. UC Food Observer's Facebook video of the event has been viewed nearly 5,000 times.
On the second day of the expo, a seminar on the changing role of women in agriculture was presented by VP Glenda Humiston, CDFA secretary Karen Ross and president of American AgriWomen Doris Mold. The speakers noted that women have always been involved in agriculture, but cultural bias often left them feeling that their role was inferior to the roles of male family members. The USDA's next census of agriculture will have questions designed to count women as industry workers even if they might consider their husbands or fathers to be the primary operators of the farm.
Humiston told the audience there are many career opportunities for women in agriculture, not just on the farm. She encouraged the young women and girls in the audience to look for opportunities in allied industries. For career advancement, women can join professional organizations and serve on committees, take advantage of training programs and run for leadership positions.
The panelists suggested that women also identify mentors — both men and women — who can help steer young professional women into successful agricultural careers.
- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
Over the last 100 years, the UC ANR 4-H Youth Development Program has taught California children about food, agriculture, leadership and community service using learn-by-doing practices. To offer 4-H expertise to children south of the border, Vice President Glenda Humiston traveled to Mexicali to sign a memorandum of understanding with Baja California Secretary of Agriculture Manuel Vallodolid Seamanduras on Jan. 20.
“The need for education doesn't stop at the border,” said Lupita Fábregas, assistant director for 4-H diversity and expansion and UC Cooperative Extension 4-H advisor. “The wonderful educational opportunities available to California youth are now being offered to a group of children in Mexicali. And that program will be a model for the rest of Baja California and Mexico.”
Today, projects in new technologies – like drones and rocketry – join more traditional projects – like cooking, sewing, animal husbandry and farming – to give youths channels to explore a wide variety of options and interests.
“We are looking into expanding to community colleges and offering education for future entrepreneurs or youth interested in skilled trades,” said Humiston, who credits 4-H with enabling her to be the first in her family to attend college.
The establishment of a club like 4-H in Mexico is the fulfillment of a life's dream for Claudia Diaz Carrasco, 4-H youth development advisor in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
“I found my passion,” said the native of Mexico City. “To solve world hunger, we need to find solutions one community at a time. 4-H does that.”