I'd like to take a moment to acknowledge the wave of emotions we are all feeling. Our nation has been shaken by the tragic death of yet another unarmed Black man, George Floyd. This brutal event, followed by protests by those who are grieving, has now led to a level of violence that has been shocking to all of us. A great many of us are experiencing pain, fear, anger and hopelessness. Let me assure you, that the leaders of UC ANR, including myself, stand firmly by our values of diversity and inclusivity and denounce all forms of bigotry. To those within our community who have suffered from such bigotry, we stand with you and with everyone who stands against racism, racial profiling, police brutality and injustice.
I strongly support the statement released by President Napolitano and Regents' Chair John Perez on behalf on the UC system. Among other points, it recognizes that silence is complicity: “No matter how difficult, we must individually and collectively reflect on the lives lost unnecessarily, and address head on the systemic problems and challenges we all face as a society.” President Napolitano further stated that one of UC's bedrock principles is “…that all people are equal and deserve to be treated fairly and respectfully. We all deserve to live, work and go about our lives without fear."
Although we may feel hopeless and despair, we can be part of the solution. As stated in our UC ANR Principles of Community: “Members of the far-reaching UC ANR community have the right to work in an environment that promotes fairness, trust, respect, and physical and emotional safety and security.” Such principles are not just for the workplace, they need to extend to all interactions we have with others. Let's continue to take action and confront bigotry while striving to create the open and equitable society that we are all entitled to.
California's strength is its diversity; our UC ANR mission has always been to serve all segments of the state's population. I ask that everyone think proactively about how we can help our communities move forward. Whether you are helping small farmers reach new markets, preparing our youth to participate in civic engagement, helping limited-resource families access resources, or working on any of our many other wide-ranging programs, you truly make a difference in the lives of all Californians. You, the multi-talented ANR staff and academics, are responsible for that, and I deeply thank you for your work and dedication.
There is much work yet to do. The UC ANR Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Alliance is building institutional support for all UC ANR personnel to learn and contribute to these efforts. I hope you will join as well.
We care about every one of you. Please stay safe and be sure to care for yourself and your loved ones in this difficult time.
Best wishes and warmest regards,
Greetings! I'm reaching out to you in preparation for our UC ANR divisionwide, online fundraising event: Big Dig Day on June 5.
In times of crisis, and beyond, it's important to share that the work of UC ANR is critical; Big Dig Day is an opportunity to highlight our work and seek philanthropic support from the community. If you need examples of the impact ANR has, see the recently completed 2019 Annual Report, Working for the Benefit of All Californians, produced by Program Planning and Evaluation.
I'm asking you to join me and do three things to help support this unique campaign:
- Save-the-Date: June 5—follow UC ANR on social media channels for updates and share what makes you proud to be part of the UC ANR team.
- Consider making a personal gift on June 5 to your favorite statewide program, county or REC at ucanr.edu/bigdig
- Invite your friends, family and network to join in supporting you and the work of UC ANR by making a gift. Donations of any size will have an immediate impact.
I've been so encouraged by the can-do spirit of our colleagues and volunteers in the face of adversity and uncertain times. The worst of circumstances often brings out the best in people. I know Big Dig Day will be another example of how together we can rise to the challenge.
P.S. – Download and print “Flat Happy McGivins,” our Big Dig Day mascot! Take Flat Happy with you to your garden, workspace, virtual club meetings, etc. and snap aselfie! Then post it on social media with a message that says, "I dig (INSERT PROGRAM NAME) because...(FILL IN THE BLANK!") #BigDigDay #DigDeep —and earn the chance to win a $50 gift card in a raffle.
I am sorry to share with you the sad news that Travis Bean passed away a few days ago. Travis joined UC ANR and the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences at UC Riverside as a UC Cooperative Extension weed science specialist on Sept. 1, 2014.
Patricia Springer, UC Riverside professor and chair of the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, learned from Travis' father about his passing. Unfortunately we don't have details such as the cause of his death or a memorial service. We will share additional information when it becomes available.
Travis was a respected scientist and a valued colleague who will be missed.
- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
The event will be on Zoom. To join online, click https://ucanr.zoom.us/s/95278617548.
By telephone: US +1 669-900-6833 or +1 253-215-8782 or +1 346-248-7799 or +1 301-715-8592 or +1 312-626-6799 or +1 646-558-8656. International numbers available: https://ucanr.zoom.us/u/aep8C9Dy84. Webinar ID: 952 7861 7548.
For more information about the event, visit https://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/All_Hands.
- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
Marino named UCCE orchard specialist
Giulia Marino joined UC ANR as a UCCE orchard systems specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis on Jan. 22, 2020.
Her research investigates tree physiology and its application to enhance productivity, sustainability and competitiveness of fruit orchard production systems in a changing global scenario.
Prior to joining UC ANR, Marino was a researcher in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources at UC Davis, where she studied pistachio water use and tree performance under saline-sodic conditions. Some of her current research projects investigate the physiology of pistachio nut growth and shell split as a function of crop load and temperature, the impact of boron, salinity and hypoxia on pistachio vegetative growth and the effect of dormancy breaking agents on carbohydrates dynamics in cherry.
She earned a Ph.D. in fruit and forestry tree systems and M.Sc. and B.S. in agricultural science, all from the University of Palermo in Italy.
Marino is based at the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Parlier and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wilson named presidential director for Organic Agriculture Institute
Houston Wilson has been named the Presidential Director for the University of California's Organic Agriculture Institute, which was established in January 2020 with a $500,000 endowment by Clif Bar and a matching $500,000 endowment from UC President Janet Napolitano.
Wilson, a UC Riverside agricultural entomologist based at the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, joined UC ANR as assistant Cooperative Extension specialist in 2017. He will launch the institute and chart a path for future growth while also focusing on immediate priorities such as a survey of organic production in California, multiple outreach and training opportunities for growers, publication of organic production guidelines, and developing research programs. Wilson's long-term goal is to continue to grow the endowment and position the organization to successfully support the state's growing organic farming economy.
“Organic growers in California face an array of interconnected agronomic, economic and regulatory challenges,” said Wilson. “Tackling these issues simultaneously requires a multidisciplinary approach to develop solutions that work in all scales of production. The economic opportunities are there, and we want to help position California growers to reap these benefits, and in doing so increase the supply of affordable organic food for consumers.”
See the full story at https://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=42592.
Feenstra named SAREP director
Gail Feenstra has been appointed director of the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SAREP), effective July 1, 2020. Feenstra, who joined SAREP in 1989 and worked as the food systems coordinator, has been serving as acting director since October 2019, when Tom Tomich went on sabbatical.
Vice President Glenda Humiston announced her appointment as part of the move to bring SAREP back to ANR's direct oversight effective July 1, 2020.
“I am excited to be part of a stellar SAREP team working more closely with UC ANR colleagues and community partners on strengthening resiliency of regional food systems and supporting economic and social justice for all people – from farmers and farmworkers to food system workers to consumers,” Feenstra said.
Over the last 30 years, Feenstra has contributed to SAREP's definition of a sustainable food and agricultural system. She designed criteria for and funded community-based food systems statewide as part of SAREP's competitive grants program. Collaborating with ANR colleagues and others nationwide, she has worked to create an understanding of what sustainable, regional food systems are and how they function for communities.
She helped initiate ANR's work in farm-to-school research and extension and her SAREP team was among the first to evaluate farm-to-school procurement data rigorously. From projects that focus on small and mid-scale farms to food hubs, food systems assessments and food policy councils, Feenstra is interested in uncovering the economic development potential of coordinated supply chain stakeholders and opportunities for building relationships between farmers, consumers and communities.
Feenstra earned an Ed.D. in nutrition education from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City, and a B.S. in dietetics and nutrition from UC Davis.
Feenstra and the SAREP staff plan to relocate from the UC Davis campus to the ANR building in Davis. The SAREP members include Sonja Brodt, academic coordinator for agriculture, resources and the environment; Penny Leff, statewide agritourism coordinator; Kathleen Patrocinio, business manager; Shosha Capps, community food systems analyst; Gwenael Engelskirchen, sustainable supply chain analyst; and Laura Crothers, grants manager/ outreach coordinator.