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.
Thanks to everyone who participated, UC ANR's #GivingTuesday campaign was a resounding success.
“We surpassed our stretch goal of $100,000,” Emily Delk, director of Annual Giving and Donor Stewardship, announced jubilantly before 5 p.m. on Giving Tuesday, as she rang a bell and the Development Services team and other ANR staff members cheered.
As of 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 27, #GivingTuesday 2018 donors had contributed $121,000 to UC ANR, including approximately $81,000 for the California 4-H Youth Development Program.
“Our team is still tallying numbers,” Delk said, “However, we are confident to report that we raised over $121,000 for the UC ANR network. This is a phenomenal response of generosity from 342 donors.”
With generous contributions from the President's Advisory Commission, staff and donors, the first $10,000 of donations to UC ANR were doubled. The 4-H Foundation had $25,000 in matching funds.
“A huge congratulations is in order for the Development Services team, all of the Statewide Program Leaders, county directors, the many, many donors and everyone else involved in making the day a success!” wrote Wendy Powers, associate vice president, in her ANR Adventures blog.
In addition to raising money, the #GivingTuesday social media campaign helps raise the visibility of ANR programs and awareness that programs such as the 4-H Youth Development Program are part of the University of California.
“Giving days are driven by social media and the rise of crowd funding is a powerful way to invite new donors to support our work,” Delk said.
The UC Master Gardener Program team made a video of the “unselfies” posted on social media by their supporters: https://youtu.be/PI-rKJikTD0.
Via video, VP Glenda Humiston thanked donors for supporting UC ANR: https://youtu.be/x3Z1LFhx5pc
The staff engagement in the campaign was bigger and better than ever before thanks in part to fun incentives. As a token of appreciation, members of Development Services delivered balloons to donors in the ANR building in Davis.
As an added incentive, UC IPM Director Jim Farrar committed to eating a pest if at least 20 people made a donation of $10 or more to UC IPM. On Wednesday, Nov. 28, all UC IPM donors were invited to participate in the special pest-eating event in the UC ANR building, where Farrar talked about and consumed corn smut, a roasted grasshopper and a live meal worm.
“Giving Tuesday gives us an opportunity to talk about our research and outreach to enhance food systems and create thriving communities, as well as all the other positive things everyone in ANR is doing to make life better for Californians,” Humiston said.
- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
Vice President Glenda Humiston hosted 50 high-level representatives from 24 countries as part of the Tenth Americas Competitiveness Exchange (ACE 10) on Innovation and Entrepreneurship tour of Northern California Oct. 21-27.
Over the course of a week, ACE 10 participants visited innovation clusters in San Francisco, Salinas, Santa Cruz, Monterey, Fresno, Davis and Sacramento.
UC Cooperative Extension advisors David Haviland and Jhalendra Rijal and Sebastian Silva of ag tech company Semios talked to the international delegates about almond research and how UCCE works with growers and companies.
Later, an entrepreneur told AVP Wendy Powers that he was beginning to think about how to develop a university-based Extension system in Grenada, how to convince his government to redirect funds from federal agencies to the university.
Tour co-sponsor Valley Vision's Tammy Cronin described activities during the ACE 10 visit to Sacramento in a blog post.
The ACE program is coordinated by the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration and Economic Development Administration in coordination with the U.S. Department of State and the Organization of American States. It brings together decision-makers from around the world to explore global and regional partnerships, and economic development opportunities to establish new global commercial relationships.
“ACE has been instrumental in showcasing the incredible innovation capacity of U.S. regions and has proven critical in establishing global commercial relationships that can support U.S. business objectives,” said Dennis Alvord, EDA deputy assistant secretary for regional affairs. “Northern California is a world-renowned center of innovation and entrepreneurship activity and we look forward to showcasing the incredible work that the Department of Commerce and regional leaders are doing to advance the innovation economy.”
EDA and OAS posted daily updates about the tour on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag
To get acquainted with the people at each ANR location, Mark Lagrimini, vice provost of research and extension, has been visiting research and extension centers and UCCE county offices and touring the facilities.
“I'm impressed with how passionate and dedicated you are to helping people,” said Lagrimini to UCCE Contra Costa staff after listening to their project updates. He has been impressed with the work he has seen at all of his ANR visits.
On Sept. 6, Lagrimini visited Hopland Research and Extension Center, three weeks after the River Fire consumed about two-thirds of its property.
“While the River Fire damaged parts of the center, none of the main buildings, residences, livestock nor staff were hurt by the fire,” said John Bailey, Hopland REC interim director.
Scientists are invited to a site tour on Oct. 19 to learn more about research opportunities at Hopland REC.
“With Hopland REC's extensive pre-fire historical data, plus immediate post-fire, pre-rain observations that we are collecting, we have the foundation to support relevant and timely research on the effects of fire and mechanisms of recovery,” Bailey said.
AVP Wendy Powers and Mark Bell, vice provost of Strategic Initiatives and Statewide Programs, are joining Lagrimini for many of the visits to learn the latest about UCCE research and outreach and to answer questions from staff.
On Sept. 11, Rob Bennaton, UCCE director in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, introduced Powers, Lagrimini and Bell to UCCE staff in their Hayward offices, then took them to West Oakland to tour City Slicker Farms. UCCE Master Gardeners and 4-H members partner with City Slicker Farms, teaching people how to grow food at the site.
“Success to us is putting food where people need it and giving them the skills to grow food,” said Rodney Spencer, executive director of City Slicker Farms.
In Concord, Marisa Neelon, UCCE nutrition, family and consumer sciences advisor in Contra Costa County, gave Powers, Lagrimini and Bell a tour of the new office space, which includes space for Master Garden volunteers, a kitchen for nutrition educators to prepare food and a lab for farm and IPM advisors to store and analyze samples.
Staff from each unit delivered a presentation about their current projects for the ANR leaders, who were joined by Humberto Izquierdo, agricultural commissioner for Contra Costa County and Matthew Slattengren, assistant agricultural commissioner.
Charles Go, 4-H youth advisor, and Adan Osoria, EFNEP community nutrition educator, described how 4-H and EFNEP teamed up for 4-H2O, an after school project aimed at reducing consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and increasing water consumption to improve community health and wellness. They launched 4-H2O at John Swett High School in Crockett. At the request of 4-H members, the local school board approved hydration stations and instructed the schools to provide water at meal times, Go said.
Andrew Sutherland, Bay Area urban IPM advisor, described his research on baiting for cockroaches, subterranean termites and yellowjackets and outreach to educate pest control professionals to practice IPM in schools and multi-unit housing.
“I appreciate the work Andrew does,” said Izquierdo, noting that there is a need for pest management education, especially among the county's urban and immigrant populations.
After seeing all of the presentations, Bell said, “The enthusiasm you bring to your job is inspiring.”
After the visit, Powers wrote in her ANR Adventures blog on Sept. 14: “The programs we've seen in Contra Costa and Alameda Counties this week as well as Santa Clara County a couple weeks back are good reminders of the benefits to all of UC ANR when we have strong, relevant programs in urban areas. These programs not only help the clientele, directly, but help increase the visibility of UC ANR and all of its programs across both urban and ag areas.”
On Sept. 26, Powers, Lagrimini and Bell visited UCCE Riverside, then UCCE San Bernardino the following day.
“We spent yesterday in Riverside meeting with the teams from both UCCE Riverside and UCCE San Bernardino,” Powers wrote in ANR Adventures on Sept. 27. “It was very informative, particularly seeing the fresh ideas that are coming from some of the new staff. We were able to hear about the tremendous success that both counties are having truly working as a team across program areas and layering their efforts for increased program success and support.”
The 2018 UC Cooperative Extension call for positions process has entered phase 2. The UCCE county directors and REC directors have submitted 20 CE advisor position proposals and the executive associate deans, working with campus departments, have submitted 20 CE specialist position proposals. Both groups engaged program teams, statewide programs/institutes, and external stakeholders in the development of these proposals. All 40 phase 1 proposals are posted on the 2018 Call for Position web page: http://ucanr.edu/2018callforpositions.
Phase 2 is underway:
- Program teams are reviewing the 40 phase 1 proposals to determine if there are any positions they feel are of higher priority.
- If so, each program team can propose one additional CE advisor position and one additional CE specialist position by August 1-- remembering that the more proposals there are at the end, the lower the probability of being approved for recruitment.
- The proposals that didn't make the phase 1 final 40 can be picked up by Program Teams. Proposed positions available for pick up can be found on the proposal ideas web page.
“We thank the ANR network for actively engaging in this participatory process to strengthen and rebuild CE positions statewide,” said Wendy Powers, associate vice president.