- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
These are the types of UC ANR outcomes summarized in the recently completed, 16-page 2019 Annual Report, Working for the Benefit of All Californians, produced by UC ANR's office of Program Planning and Evaluation.
“As we pulled this together, we realized that UC ANR research and extension branch out widely, reaching much further than is obvious on the surface,” said PPE director Katherine Webb-Martinez. “If you eat food grown in California, enjoy the outdoors, care about the state's less fortunate residents and find hope in the future of our state under the leadership of today's youth, UC ANR enhances your life.”
The new publication provides 60 examples of the hundreds of research and extension projects conducted in 2019 by UC Cooperative Extension advisors and specialists, and researchers who are part of the campus-based Agricultural Experiment Station.
Among the stories in the annual report is the work of UCCE nutrition, family and consumer sciences advisor Mary Blackburn to teach Alameda County senior citizens how to make simple, healthy meals on a budget. Her classes resulted in 92% improvement in understanding food advertisements.
In Santa Clara County, UCCE 4-H advisor Fe Moncloa provided training for teenaged teachers and afterschool staff in delivering computer science programs to young children. All of the 52 teens reported increased teaching confidence and most of the 35 staff members increased their understanding of the material.
UCCE specialist Dan Putnam and UC Agricultural Experiment Station researcher Charles Brummer at UC Davis tested alfalfa and forage grasses from around the world to select species and varieties farmers can use now and in the future, when climate change will likely require them to produce crops under warmer, drier conditions.
With only 75 native giant sequoia groves still gracing the Sierra Nevada, UCCE specialist Rob York developed a management plan to protect a grove owned by the Save the Redwoods League from high-severity fire in the future.
While there are many additional research and extension achievements recounted in the annual report, the work is not done.
“Despite such success stories, problems remain and the issues grow more complicated,” said UC ANR vice president Glenda Humiston. “The future will hold situations we have never seen before.”
PPE invites UC ANR staff and academics to share the PDF version of the annual report widely to clientele, contacts, political leaders and other stakeholders. A limited number of printed copies are available. Email email@example.com to request paper copies.
- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
Of the hundreds of ways UC ANR impacts California lives and livelihoods, 40 are highlighted in the new publication, Working for the Benefit of All Californians: 2018 UC ANR Annual Report. A limited number of printed copies are available. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request paper copies.
UC ANR has identified public value statements that reflect the breadth of its efforts. Academics and staff are working to promote economic prosperity, safeguard sufficient safe and healthy food for all, protect the state's natural resources, promote healthy people and communities, develop a qualified workforce, build climate change resilience in communities and ecosystems, and develop an inclusive and equitable society. These values touch every person in the state.
During the period covered in the new report, robust research and education programs supported agricultural communities. For example, UC ANR scientists improved the ability to predict beet curly top virus, avoiding losses approaching $100 million in processing tomatoes. A workshop offered by UC ANR educators on low-stress livestock handling convinced all the participants to incorporate the practices on their ranches. Online and in-person workshops provided to urban farmers resulted in new food safety plans for nearly all of the growers involved.
Families, farmers and natural resource managers are facing the prospect of climate change and looking for ways to continue prospering under uncertain conditions. Increasingly ferocious wildfires are causing serious losses to ranchers. UC ANR provided information on management practices to safeguard resources, prevent soil erosion and estimate the cost of forage losses so ranch owners can prepare loss claims. UC ANR has been instrumental in development of a website, Cal-Adapt.org, a clearing house to collect and disseminate climate change data.
Families and youth are a focus of UC ANR nutrition research, nutrition education and programs such as 4-H and CalFresh Healthy Living, UC. One UC ANR researcher collaborated with the Karuk, Yurok and Klamath tribes to identify culturally sound solutions to reduce food insecurity. In two Northern California counties, students were introduced by UC ANR educators to 36 local produce items. Their selection, consumption and interest in the produce served at lunchtime increased. UC ANR piloted a program that gets Latinx youth outside for environmental education.
Making food safer, enriching children's lives, extending reliable nutrition education and improving the productivity on California farms and ranches add up to significant value to the recipients of the services and to all Californians by making the state a better place to live and work.