- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
ANR members are invited to participate in the California Specialty Crops Council's 2018 educational tour of specialty crop production and pest management in California. The tour will start on Monday, Aug. 6 in Visalia and will conclude in Sacramento in late afternoon Thursday, Aug. 9.
This educational event is designed for regulators, research scientists, Cooperative Extension personnel and representatives from several state and federal agencies.
“The specialty crop tour was a great opportunity to meet and learn from growers, processors, advisors and government agents about pest management and crop production issues throughout California,” said Ria DeBiase, pest management guidelines coordinator for the UC ANR Statewide IPM Program, who took the tour in 2015.
Participants have opportunities to learn and network while visiting crop production sites in the San Joaquin Valley, Salinas Valley and Sacramento Valley including conventional and organic production practices. Attendees meet farmers, pest control advisers and research and extension personnel dealing with specialty crop production and pest management. All of the topics are addressed in terms of using reduced-risk pest management and improving the competitive posture of California agricultural products in the global marketplace.
“Talking with farmers and advisors in their fields and orchards helped me to get a better understanding of the diversity of issues they are facing every day,” Petr Kosina, UC IPM content development supervisor, who participated in 2016.
“This is a great opportunity for staff to get a closer look at many aspects associated with California agriculture,” Gary W. Van Sickle, executive director of the California Specialty Crops Council, wrote in an email to AVP Wendy Powers.
The crops expected to be seen on the 2018 tour include pears, carrots, onions, garlic, prunes (dried plums), cherries, melons and leafy greens. The tour agenda is posted at http://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/files/281540.doc.
Tour bus transportation, most meals and all tour materials are provided. Hotel costs will be approximately $350 for participants from the Sacramento area. ANR employees may use funds from their own budgets, but ANR will not provide additional funds for the event.
To attend the tour, register by completing the tour registration form at http://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/files/281538.docx and emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 1. Logistical information about the tour is at
For more information, contact Van Sickle at email@example.com.
- Author: Erin Spaniel
The UC ANR Staff Assembly Council is pleased to announce the 2017-18 Scholarship program.
The UC ANR Staff Assembly has established a scholarship program that is available to all UC ANR staff employees and county-paid employees. The scholarship provides financial assistance to UC ANR staff to pursue career interests, develop new career paths, and address knowledge or skill gaps needed to reach professional development goals.
This year's award dates are for courses taken between May 1, 2017, and April 15, 2018. Deadline for applications is close of business April 15, 2018. Late applications will not be accepted. Courses taken after April 15, 2018, will be eligible for reimbursement on the next scholarship cycle of April 16, 2018, to Nov. 30, 2018.
For complete details please go to the UC ANR Staff Assembly website: http://staffassembly.ucanr.edu/News.
Last year's scholarship recipients were Jerry Harris, office manager for UCCE San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, and Ria Debiase, pest management guidelines coordinator for the UC IPM Program in Davis. Here's what they have to say about their experience:
1. Tell us about yourself – Where do you work, what do you do, are you a county-paid or UC-paid employee?
Ria Debiase: I work for UC IPM in the ANR building on Second Street. I am the pest management guidelines coordinator.
2. How did you hear about the UC ANR Staff Assembly scholarship program?
Jerry Harris: One of the members of the Staff Assembly informed me of the program.
Ria Debiase: During an ANR Staff Meeting where Matt Baur presented.
3. What class did you take and how does it relate to your professional development goals?
Jerry Harris: I am taking several classes as I work towards earning my bachelor's degree in business with an emphasis on accounting. I earned my associates degree in accounting back in 2012. The junior level classes that I have completed for this scholarship have been: public administration, team building and intro to organization behavior, which I passed with two Bs and one A. All three of those classes were taken at National University. These classes helped me in my progress in earning my degree and are all with the intent to work towards achieving advancement in my career.
4. Was it difficult to apply for the scholarship funds?
Jerry Harris: No, it was pretty straightforward process.
Ria Debiase: The main challenge was some glitchiness in turning in copies of my receipts through File Vault. The completed course requirement was also a challenge, in that there are some courses I would only consider if the scholarship money was approved ahead of time. Otherwise the process was fairly straightforward.
Note from Staff Assembly: For future application submissions, Staff Assembly Council now requests copies of receipts via email instead of through the file transfer process.
5. Will you apply for scholarship funds in the future?
Jerry Harris: Absolutely.
Ria Debiase: Yes, definitely.
6. Would you recommend the scholarship program to other employees?
Jerry Harris: Yes, this program really helps to offset the expensive costs of higher education.
Ria Debiase: Yes!