UC ANR Day at the Capitol was held on March 26, 2019, to update California legislators and legislative staff on UC ANR's research and outreach projects. Vice President Glenda Humiston and a UC ANR delegation discussed a wide variety of topics during the legislative visits, including wildfire and forest health, water quality, youth development, nutrition and climate adaptation.
Every year, representatives from each UC campus gather in Sacramento for UC Day at the Capitol to educate lawmakers about the importance of research and higher education and their contributions to California's economy and progress. Although UC ANR participates in the annual Ag Day at the Capitol, this was the first UC ANR Day at the Capitol.
ANR's Global Food Initiative fellow Maci Mueller set up appointments with the policymakers and coordinated the UC ANR delegation to explain the value of investment in UC ANR research and outreach.
The UC ANR delegation consisted of two teams led by Humiston and Wendy Powers, associate vice president. The teams included Faith Kearns, California Institute for Water Resources academic coordinator; Ruth Dahlquist-Willard, UC Cooperative Extension small farms advisor for Fresno and Tulare counties; Tracy Schohr, UC Cooperative Extension livestock and natural resource advisor for Plumas, Sierra and Butte counties; Alena Pacheco, 4-H community education specialist in Fresno County; Bailey Butler, Oroville 4-H member; and El Dorado County 4-H Ambassadors Emily Ferrell, Josie Rothman and Isabella Veffredo, who were accompanied by El Dorado County 4-H program representatives Vera Bullard and Denise Veffredo.
“As a team, we were able to connect with every member or staffer that we met,” Powers wrote in her ANR Adventures blog. “Sometimes it was around the 4-H program, and what the program has done for our impressive team members, sometimes it was around fire or water, and other staffers or members were particularly interested in moringa. Either way, the goal was to make a connection so that each visit left an impression.”
“UC ANR Day was a terrific opportunity for 4-H members to practice their communication skills and get involved in advocacy at the state level,” Mueller said.
Oroville 4-H member Bailey described for legislators and their staff how she worked from Nov. 8 when the Camp Fire broke out until after Christmas with UC Cooperative Extension advisor Tracy Schohr and UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine staff to care for 1,200 evacuated livestock and to train others to assist. Emily, a 4-H Ambassador in El Dorado County, said her 4-H experience with STEM activities and leadership training helped her get into the university of her choice – UC Santa Barbara.
Greeted warmly by each office, the teams shared examples of work being done by UC ANR in their districts, offered them assistance and thanked the legislators for their support. They left a copy of the UC ANR Snapshot, UC ANR map and overview, a 4-H fact sheet and UC at a Glance.
Legislators praised the 4-H members and UC ANR staff for the work they do for Californians.
“I look forward to making UC ANR Day at the Capitol an annual event,” Humiston said. “Telling people about the value of ANR's work is not only part of our mission, it is essential in educating others about all that we accomplish with the resources we have.”
A fact sheet showing the effects of shrinking public investment in the University of California and agricultural research can be downloaded at https://ucanr.edu/sites/Professional_Development/files/302896.pdf.
Between the Camp Fire in Butte County and the Woolsey Fire in Southern California in November, most ANR members have been affected in some way by the devastating wildfires. Several have experienced major personal losses that they are still dealing with.
While the Camp Fire was still raging on Nov. 14, Emily Symmes, director of UCCE in Butte County, wrote:
“As you can imagine, due to the destruction of nearly the entire town of Paradise and other ridge communities, all of our employees have numerous friends, family, and loved ones who have lost their homes and all of their belongings, as evacuations were so sudden and urgent that most left with only what they could grab in minutes. As such, all have been affected to varying degrees. We have two direct staff members, Alexandra Falk (nutrition education specialist) and John Klepps (Honey Bee Tech Transfer Team) who lived in Paradise. Both have received confirmation that their homes were among those destroyed. They and their families and pets are now safe and have found temporary housing. Many in our extended network of 4-H and Master Gardener program participants and volunteers resided in Paradise have also been heavily impacted, losing everything.”
Among the Master Gardener volunteers in Paradise who lost their houses is Bob DiPietro and his wife, parents of Damon DiPetro of ANR's IT team. Damon's sister and her family also lost their house.
Colleagues have asked how to help.
Emergency resources for UC employees
In response to queries, the Staff Assembly has posted information on their website about the impact of the Camp Fire on our ANR employees and their families at http://staffassembly.ucanr.edu/Resources_/Emergency_Resources_/. Earlier in the year, they posted similar information for those impacted by the Mendocino fires and have committed to maintain Emergency Services information on their website whenever any UC ANR employees are impacted.
Emergency support is also available to UC employees from the university's benefit plans https://ucnet.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/2018/11/emergency-support-from-ucs-benefit-plans.html.
UC ANR assists Camp Fire survivors
In the midst of their own losses, UCCE staff in Butte County and neighboring counties have been reaching out to assist community members. For example, Ryan Cleland, 4-H representative, has been working with the 4-H community since Nov. 8, the day the Camp Fire erupted, to coordinate assistance and volunteerism. He is providing vetted and frequently updated information on where evacuated and displaced people can find help and how other community members can volunteer, donate and contribute.
The UCCE nutrition education team has been assisting with meal preparation at shelters, and also with volunteering at indoor youth activities available through the shelters and the local area recreation district.
Other UCCE staff and advisors have been volunteering where needed – helping gather and deliver supplies, volunteering at human shelters and animal shelters, helping out at the numerous meal centers that have popped up.
UC Master Gardener volunteers have been reaching out to fellow Master Gardeners who have lost their homes or remain evacuated to offer housing and other support.
Tracy Schohr, UCCE livestock and natural resource advisor in Plumas and Sierra counties, has been helping care for large animals in the evacuation zone.
The forestry, fire and natural resource advisors have ongoing fire safety research and education programs, coordinating with fire safe councils, and working with other agencies to assist in recovery and become better prepared for natural disasters.
Tracy Schohr joined UCCE on Oct. 16, 2017, as an area livestock and natural resources advisor in Plumas, Sierra and Butte counties.
Prior to joining UCCE, Schohr worked for the Department of Plant Sciences, UC Davis (2012-2014), where she co-led research projects on working rangelands focused on irrigated pasture, mountain meadows, livestock predation, annual rangelands and invasive species. She is a managing partner for Schohr Ranch (rice, cattle, walnuts and wetland management) where she is engaged in all facets of the operation from livestock production, financial accounting, equipment operation, human resources and marketing. From 2015 to 2017, Schohr also worked as a farmer outreach specialist for K-COE Isom, a national agricultural accounting and consulting firm, where she was a scientific and agricultural advisor on conservation initiatives. From 2006 to 2012, Schohr was the director of rangeland conservation for the California Rangeland Conservation Coalition. From 2004 to 2006, she served as director of industry affairs for the California Cattlemen's Association.
She completed an M.S. in horticulture and agronomy (rangeland focus) from UC Davis and a B.S. in agricultural business from CSU Chico.
Based in Quincy, Schohr can be reached at (530) 283-6262, cell (916) 716-2643 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @BeefnSushi.
Mary Bonaparte-Saller joined UCCE on Oct. 9 as a 4-H youth development advisor in Orange County.
Prior to joining UCCE, Bonaparte-Saller taught third- to fifth-grade classroom and field lessons at Sierra Nevada Journeys, a science and environmental education nonprofit. From 2011 to 2016, Bonaparte-Saller was a graduate student researcher at UC Davis, where she studied the social behavior and welfare of zoo elephants and mentored and supervised undergraduate research volunteers. During this time, she also engaged in youth education and outreach activities as a volunteer for the Kids into Discovering Science (KiDS) Program at UCD, Sacramento's Powerhouse Science Center, and the Sacramento Zoo.
She earned a Ph.D. in animal behavior at UC Davis and a B.S. biological sciences at UC Irvine.
Bonaparte-Saller is based in Irvine and can be reached at (949) 653-1814 and email@example.com.
Randi Black joined UCCE on Oct. 2 as an area dairy systems advisor in Sonoma, Marin and Mendocino counties.
Prior to joining UCCE, Black was a graduate research assistant at University of Tennessee (2013-2016) and University of Kentucky (2010-2012), leading and supervising dairy cow behavior research projects.
Born and raised in Versailles, Ky., Black ventured into agriculture working with thoroughbred race horses, but realized her passion for the dairy industry as an undergraduate.
She earned a B.S. and an M.S. in animal science at the University of Kentucky. Her thesis focused on the management of compost bedded pack barns within Kentucky dairy farms. She earned a Ph.D. in animal science from University of Tennessee. Her dissertation focused on the use of exercise during late gestation to improve postpartum health in dairy cows.
Black is based in Santa Rosa and can be reached at (707) 565-2648 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brooke Latack joined UCCE on Oct. 2 as an area desert livestock advisor in Imperial, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
Prior to joining UCCE, Latack worked in multiple positions at the Michigan State University Animal Air Quality Research Facility. As an undergraduate research assistant, professional aid, and graduate research assistant, Latack worked with beef, swine and poultry evaluating and addressing the environmental impact of management decisions in animal agriculture. Her primary research integrated systems dynamics feedback into understanding the environmental sustainability of animal protein production.
She earned a B.S. and an M.S. in animal science from Michigan State University.
Latack is based in Holtville and can be reached at (442) 265-7700 and email@example.com.
Matthew Shapero joined UC ANR as a UCCE livestock and range advisor serving Ventura and Santa Barbara counties on Sept. 5. Prior to starting as an advisor, Matthew worked for the Rangeland Planning & Policy and the Rangeland Ecology labs at UC Berkeley and worked as a graduate student researcher at Sierra Foothill Research and Extension Center. Shapero also has experience in small-scale, grass-fed meat production, working as rancher in the Sierra Nevada foothills between 2010 and 2016.
As one of ANR's Global Food Initiative fellows and Graduate Students in Extension in 2015-16, Shapero led a group of UC Berkeley graduate students in organizing seminars and workshops about careers with Cooperative Extension, including the Cooperative Extension Showcase, which brings UC Cooperative Extension advisors and specialists to the Berkeley campus to discuss their work and to network with graduate students.
He completed an M.S. in range management from UC Berkeley and a B.A. in religion and pre-med from Columbia University.
Shapero is based in Ventura and can be reached at (805) 645-1475 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keith Taylor joined UCCE as a community economic development specialist in the Department of Human Ecology at UC Davis on July 1, 2017.
Taylor earned a Ph.D. in human and community development from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, an M.S. in public sdministration from the University of Illinois, and a B.A. in political science from Eastern Illinois University.
Prior to joining UC, Taylor worked as a research associate and visiting scholar with the Ostrom Workshop at Indiana University Bloomington, where his research focused on the community economic development spillovers from renewable energy and food systems development. Taylor has worked extensively with co-operative businesses and marginalized communities to identify sustainable community economic development strategies that enhance the well-being of the local population. His forthcoming book, “Governing the Wind Energy Commons,” analyzes the community economic differentials of community and investor-owned wind energy, a culmination of three years of research in rural North Dakota and Illinois. Taylor has served in governance capacities for Common Ground Food Cooperative and as chair of the board for Indiana Cooperative Development Center, and We Own It, “the national network for cooperative members' rights, education, and organizing.” He also has experience in public policy, having worked as a legislative aide for former Congressman David Phelps.
Taylor is based at UC Davis and can be reached at email@example.com.
Scott Brayton and Kelly Scott have joined Development Services as major gifts officers, raising philanthropic support and building relationships that serve to advance ANR's programs.
Brayton has been with the UC system for 27 years primarily with UC Davis Athletics as the assistant athletics director responsible for marketing and corporate relations. Most recently he has served as a contract negotiation consultant with UC Davis accounting and financial services. In his roles, Brayton has raised over $25 million in funds for UC Davis programs, facilities and students.
A 2001 graduate of California State University, Chico, Scott has a degree in business administration, with an emphasis in marketing. He has worked in higher education at UC Davis for more than 14 years. He has held previous fundraising positions at UC Davis with the COSMOS program (California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science), the College of Engineering, and the Cal Aggie Alumni Association.
Lorrene D. Ritchie, Nutrition Policy Institute director, received the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation's 34th annual Huddleson Award for the article “School Breakfast Policy Is Associated with Dietary Intake of Fourth- and Fifth-Grade Students” published in the March 2016 issue of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (2016;116(3):449-457).
The coauthors for the article include Lauren E. Au, PhD, RD, assistant researcher; Lauren H. Goldstein, PhD, director of operations, Nutrition Policy Institute, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California; Nila J. Rosen, MPH, senior associate, Informing Change, Berkeley, CA; at the time of the study, she was a research associate, Atkins Center for Weight and Health, University of California, Berkeley; Keenan Fenton, MA, biostatistician, Seattle Genetics, Bothell, WA; at the time of the study, he was a research data analyst, Atkins Center for Weight and Health, University of California, Berkeley; and Tia Shimada, MPH, managing director nutrition policy advocate, California Food Policy Advocates, Oakland, CA.
The prestigious Huddleson Award honors a registered dietitian nutritionist who was the lead author of a peer-reviewed article that made an important contribution to the dietetics profession and that was published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics during the previous calendar year.
The award, named for Mary Pascoe Huddleson, editor of the Journal from 1927 to 1946, carries a $1,000 honorarium, and the winner is invited to attend the foundation dinner at the Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo.