- Author: Kathy Eftekhari
UC ANR's strategic planning team presented both the new 2020-2025 Strategic Plan and the 2020-2025 REC Strategic Framework to President Michael Drake on Feb. 2, 2021. His comments were generally very positive. A few minor edits were made to the UC ANR Plan following the meeting to further clarify the relationship between this “operational” plan and our systemwide public value statements and condition changes. The new plans will be posted to the UC ANR website later this month.
Thanks again to the ANR community for providing ideas to the ANR strategic plan during the four input sessions and via the survey. Notes on the ideas gathered will also be available on the web page where the final plans will be posted.
- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
UC President Michael Drake and UC regents were treated to virtual tours of UC ANR similar to the tour taken by legislators on Nov. 20.
On Dec. 2, UC regents Charlene Zettel, Cecilia Estolano and Richard Lieb, alumni regent Debby Stegura and Anne Shaw, secretary to the regents, took a 90-minute tour via Zoom. They were joined by members of the UC President's Advisory Commission Corinne Martinez, Connie Stewart, Paula Daniels and Stuart Van Horn.
On Dec. 8, President Drake was joined by UC regents Michael Cohen and Hadi Makarechian, student regent Jamaal Muwwakkil, alumni regent Eric Mart, regent-designate Cheryl Lott and student regent-designate Alexis Atsilvsgi Zaragoza.
In introducing the virtual tour, VP Glenda Humiston explained that UC ANR does much more than they would see that day. “This is just to pique your interest,” she said.
Before the tour, “learning boxes” containing samples of almonds, smoke-tainted wine, moringa powder, California grown coffee and many other items related to the presentations were shipped to the participants to give them a more interactive experience.
For example, while discussing the impact of wildfires, Stephanie Larson, livestock range management advisor and director of UCCE in Sonoma County, invited the participants to reach into the learning box for the two small wine samples to taste first the regular wine, then the wine made from grapes exposed to wildfire smoke to see if they could detect the smoke taint. Another popular item was the Shot Hole Borer ID kit which included a real (dead) shot hole borer in a vial with a magnifying glass and damaged wood sample.
During the presentations, tour participants were encouraged to write their questions in the Chat feature of Zoom and presenters followed up with information. They also engaged with questions and conversation at points during the tour.
The regents said they were very impressed with the work that UC ANR does. They urged UC ANR leadership to tell more people about UC ANR programs and let urban legislators know that the programs affect all 40 million Californians, not just rural communities.
At the end of the tour, Humiston said, “This is just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more research going on.” She invited them to see more of UC ANR on actual field tours when coronavirus restrictions ease.
President Drake said he liked seeing the connection between globally important issues such as wildfire, climate and carbon soil sequestration and UCANR research. “It's good to know we're actively involved. Thank you for your hard work and contributions.”
Presenters included Missy Gable, director of the UC Master Gardener Program; Jim Farrar, director of the Integrated Pest Management Program; Greg Ira, director of the California Naturalist Program; Lorene Ritchie, director of the Nutrition Policy Institute; Kamal Khaira, director of CalFresh Healthy Living, UC; Cecilia Arellano Ibarra, former CalFresh Healthy Living, UC Youth-led Participatory Action Research participant and UC Davis sophomore; Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty, director of the 4-H Youth Development Program; Alexis Peña, senior at Buhach Colony high school and past Juntos 4-H program participant; Francisco Salazar, UC Merced student and past Juntos participant; Jhalendra Rijal, area IPM advisor; Ashraf El-Kereamy, UCCE specialist and director of Lindcove Research and Extension Center; Ruth Dahlquist-Willard, small farms advisor; Mike Mellano, third-generation flower grower in San Diego County, UC President's Advisory Commission member and California representative for the Council for Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching; Betsy Karle, dairy advisor; Yana Valachovic, forestry advisor and UCCE director in Humboldt and Del Norte counties; and Larson.
Behind the scenes, many people contributed to the tour's success.
The story map framework of the virtual tour was introduced and supported by Shane Feirer and Robert Johnson of the Informatics and GIS Program, then Kathy Eftekhari, chief of staff and Anne Megaro, director of government and community relations, created the story map working with the 16 presenters to develop content. Ricardo Vela, manager of News and Information Outreach in Spanish edited most of the videos. Many people helped to assemble and ship learning box items, including 4-H members who sewed more than 40 COVID-19 masks as samples of their work in civic engagement.
A self-guided version of the virtual tour will be posted online in the new year.
- Author: Linda Forbes
UC President Michael Drake attended his first meeting with the President's Advisory Commission on Agriculture and Natural Resources (PAC) on Sept. 30. Vice President Humiston, PAC Chair Jean-Mari Peltier and PAC members welcomed the ophthalmologist and former UC Irvine chancellor Drake home to UC and shared their excitement about the future of UC under his leadership.
After a series of presentations to provide Drake with perspectives on California agricultural and environmental issues and the role of UC ANR, he graciously stayed overtime to address members' questions and comments. Participants learned more about his background and his commitment to the university's role in addressing key agricultural, environmental, health and safety, and social justice issues. From his love of farm visits to his interest in carbon sequestration, it was clear that his leadership will bring exciting things to UC ANR.
California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross gave a presentation on California agriculture and CDFA's critical and valued partnership with UC ANR.
Six PAC members shared their experiences with UC ANR engagement in issues they face in the field:
- Mike Mellano, chairman of the Board and VP of Farming, Mellano & Company, discussed his third-generation family farm's reliance on UC Cooperative Extension partnership and agricultural research.
- Ashley Boren, chief executive officer of Sustainable Conservation, shared insights about the importance of UC ANR's work in natural resource conservation.
- Rancher Dina Moore of Lone Star Ranch focused on UC ANR's vital role in working with ranchers on livestock and timber management.
- Lon Hatamiya, president and CEO of The Hatamiya Group, shared insights on UC ANR's role in agricultural technology innovation.
- Celeste Cantu, vice chair of the San Diego Water Quality Control Board, discussed the important role of UC ANR and UC Master Gardener volunteers in addressing urban issues.
- Grant Davis, general manager of the Sonoma County Water Agency, covered UC ANR's contributions to and valued partnership in water resources management.
UC Riverside Chancellor Kim Wilcox provided an overview of the UC ANR Governing Council and the division's partnerships with campuses.
Deans David Ackerly (UC Berkeley College of Natural Resources), Helene Dillard (UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences) and Michael Lairmore (UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine) shared updates on current news, issues and challenges on their campuses.
To watch the recording of the PAC meeting, visit https://youtu.be/ED5lbF61F_g.
10:10-10:30: California Agriculture and CDFA's Partnership with UC ANR – Karen Ross
10:30-11:00: UC ANR Engagement with Issues in the Field
-Farming and Ag Research – Mike Mellano
-Natural Resource Conservation – Ashley Boren
-Livestock and Timber – Dina Moore
-Innovation and Ag Tech – Lon Hatamiya
-Urban Issues and Volunteers – Celeste Cantu
-Water and Local Agencies – Grant Davis
11:00-11:05: UC ANR Governing Council and Partnering with Local Campuses – Kim Wilcox
11:45-12:00: Campus Updates from AES Deans