- (Focus Area) Agriculture
- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
UC ANR vice provost Mark Lagrimini visited the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, the Lindcove REC and the West Side REC in October as he continues to become familiarized with the diversity of resources in the Division.
After a morning meeting with Kearney director Jeff Dahlberg on Oct. 15, Lagrimini traveled 45 miles southeast to the Lindcove REC. At Lindcove, director Beth Grafton-Cardwell led Lagrimini on a tour of the facility's greenhouse, laboratories, office facilities, the screenhouse, conference facility and research packing line.
The next day, Lagrimini was 70 miles due west to visit the West Side REC, where director Bob Hutmacher showed him research projects at the center in pistachios, cotton and other row crops.
People raising cattle, sheep, goats, poultry, swine, horses, llamas, alpacas, aquaculture species or other production-oriented animals in California who have experienced at least one wildfire on their property within the last 10 years are being asked to participate in a Fire Impact and Risk Evaluation (FIRE) survey.
“We will aim to quantify the impact of wildfires in different livestock production systems,” said Beatriz Martinez Lopez, director of the Center for Animal Disease Modeling and Surveillance in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. “The idea is also to create a risk map showing areas more likely to experience wildfires with high economic impact in California.
“This economic and risk assessment, to the best of our knowledge, has not been done and we hope to identify potential actions that ranchers can take to reduce or mitigate their losses if their property is hit by wildfire.”
Martínez López, who is also an associate professor in the Department of Medicine & Epidemiology at UC Davis, is teaming up with UC Cooperative Extension livestock and natural resources advisors and wildfire specialists around the state to conduct the study.
The research team includes
- Matthew Shapero, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Ventura County
- Rebecca Ozeran, UCCE advisor in Fresno and Madera counties
- Stephanie Larson, UCCE livestock range management advisor in Sonoma and Marin counties
- Sheila Barry, UCCE livestock and natural resourcesadvisor, in Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Francisco, Alameda and Contra Costa counties
- Josh Davy, UCCE livestock, range and natural resources advisor in Tehama, Colusa and Glenn counties
- Max Moritz, UCCE wildfire specialist, UC Santa Barbara
- Luke Macaulay, UCCE rangeland planning and policy specialist at UC Berkeley
- Lenya Quinn-Davidson, UCCE wildfire advisor in Humboldt, Siskiyou, Trinity and Mendocino
“The idea came up in a conference in San Diego, just when we had several ongoing wildfires and we were discussing how poorly are some areas prepared for this and the need for better emergency planning, coordination and response when not only people, but also large animals are involved,” Martínez López said. “We hope this study will provide the foundation to advance in this direction.”
“Right now, we have no good estimate of the real cost of wildfire to livestock producers in California,” said Rebecca Ozeran, UC Cooperative Extension livestock and natural resources advisor for Fresno and Madera counties. “Existing UCCE forage loss worksheets cannot account for the many other ways that wildfire affects livestock farms and ranches. As such, we need producers' input to help us calculate the range of immediate and long-term costs of wildfire.”
Stephanie Larson, UC Cooperative Extension livestock and range management advisor for Sonoma and Marin counties, agreed, saying, “The more producers who participate, the more accurate and useful our results will be.”
“We hope the survey results will be used by producers across the state to prepare for wildfire,” said Matthew Shapero, UC Cooperative Extension livestock and natural resources advisor for Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, “And by federal and private agencies to better allocate funds for postfire programs available to livestock producers.”
The survey is online at http://bit.ly/FIREsurvey. It takes 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the number of properties the participant has that have been affected by wildfire.
“Survey answers are completely confidential and the results will be released only as summaries in which no individual's answers can be identified,” said Martínez López. “This survey will provide critical information to create the foundation for future fire economic assessments and management decisions.”
The team would like your help in encouraging livestock producers who have experienced wildfire to participate in the FIRE survey.
- Author: Maci Mueller
Two University of California graduate students have been selected by UC Agriculture and Natural Resources as UC Global Food Initiative (GFI) fellows for 2018-19. Graduate students Melanie Colvin at UC Berkeley and Maci Mueller at UC Davis will work with ANR academics and staff to conduct and communicate about UC research for improved food security and agricultural sustainability.
Melanie Colvin, a graduate student at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, focuses on addressing nutrition-related diseases through preventative measures. As a GFI fellow, Colvin will work with Nutrition Policy Institute researchers to conduct a secondary analysis of the Healthy Communities Study, a six-year observational study that included more than 5,000 children and their families from 130 communities in the United States. The native of Chapel Hill, N.C., will analyze the relationship between household food insecurity and physical activity. Colvin plans to pursue a Ph.D. with a goal of a career in public health research.
"The GFI fellowship allows me to experience many facets of developing meaningful research questions that I will address on my own one day as a principal investigator," Colvin said.
Maci Mueller, a doctoral student in animal biology at UC Davis, is interested in a career at the interface of agricultural science and policy, particularly related to the problems that might be solved using innovative breeding tools, such as gene editing. Using a variety of communication tools, the Princeton, Neb., native will work with UC ANR's Strategic Communications team to inform the public about UC ANR's contributions to agricultural, food and nutrition research and related policies.
“I am excited to learn from UC ANR's Strategic Communications team and for the opportunity as a GFI fellow to gain hands-on agricultural research communication experience,” Mueller said.
In addition to their individual projects, the 2018-19 GFI fellows are invited to participate in systemwide activities designed to enhance their leadership skills and enrich their understanding of the food system in California.
The UC Global Food Initiative was launched by UC President Janet Napolitano in 2014 with the aim of putting UC, California and the world on a pathway to sustainability. The GFI fellows are part of a group of approximately 50 UC graduate and undergraduate students working on food-related projects at all 10 UC campuses, UC Office of the President, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and UC ANR. Each participant receives a $4,000 award to help fund student-generated research, projects or internships that support the initiative's efforts to address the issue of how to sustainably and nutritiously feed a world population expected to reach 8 billion by 2025.
Russell L. Rustici Rangeland and Cattle Research Endowment funding is available to University of California personnel to support problem-solving research that will benefit California range cattle producers. The goal of this program is to promote collaboration and strengthen the network among research faculty, Cooperative Extension specialists, county-based Cooperative Extension advisors and range cattle producers, and to ultimately provide practical answers to critical issues and challenges facing the industry.
It is anticipated that three or four research proposals will be awarded with a total annual budget typically not exceeding $60,000 per year. Matching funds from other sources that provide leverage will be favorably considered. Funding will also be available to support outreach and extending knowledge activities with budgets not to exceed $10,000 per project.
Research grants run from Jan. 1, 2019, through Dec. 31, 2020 or 2021 (not to exceed two years).
Requests for outreach/extending knowledge activities are accepted year-round (not to exceed two years).
Research priorities are refined in regular consultation with representatives from the range cattle industry. Specific issues identified in a recent review are listed below. While the overall interest in the broader existing priority areas remains, cross-cutting proposals which target the specific needs below are also encouraged.
Research priorities for 2019 call (not in order of priority):
- Improving cattle health, genetics, productivity, and quality
- Managing rangelands for multiple ecosystem services
- Enhancing the productivity and profitability of rangeland cattle operations
Research proposals are due Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018, to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit http://rangelands.ucdavis.edu/rustici/research-endowment or email email@example.com
Chuck Ingels, longtime UCCE advisor in Sacramento County, lost his battle with cancer Aug. 12.
Ingels joined ANR in 1989 as a tree and vine information analyst for the statewide Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Program in Davis. In 1996, he became a UC Cooperative Extension advisor for Sacramento County, specializing in tree crops, grapes and environmental horticulture. He actively supported the UC Master Gardeners, giving workshops on urban horticulture. He gave a workshop on espalier fruit trees as recently as May.
His research and extension focused on IPM, evaluation of sustainable products and practices, water conservation and deficit irrigation, home orchards and vineyards, sustainable landscaping, alternative turfgrass species, and tree training, pruning and grafting.
“Chuck's absence leaves an enormous void in all of us who knew and worked with him,” said Morgan Doran, UC Cooperative Extension director and livestock and natural resources advisor for the Capitol Corridor. “His kindness was without boundaries and he exuded an incredible energy for living a life close to nature, especially plants, staying fit, being near people he enjoyed, and doing what he felt was right. Chuck will be dearly missed.”
His expertise was often sought after by journalists for a wide range of topics, from when home gardeners should spray fruit trees, to brown marmorated stink bug, to sugar accumulation disorder in grapes for growers.
“Chuck was more than just a farm advisor,” said Farmer Fred, who devoted a segment of his KFBK Garden Show on Aug. 19 to remembering Ingels. “He was a scientist. He was a researcher. He was an engineer. And he was a communicator. He could take all the jargon of science and tell a farmer, tell a gardener, exactly what the problem is and how to treat it.”
Pam Bone, former UCCE farm advisor in Sacramento County who was a search committee member for the UCCE advisor position, told Farmer Fred, “Right away, Chuck stood out to me. He was dynamic, his presentation was very interesting and informative, but he was down to earth, too, and I think that was the thing that impressed me the most. I said, ‘This is a farm advisor. This is the type of person who can work with the growers.' He also had the responsibility of working with the Master Gardener Program and the landscapers and other people who work in the ornamental horticulture industry.”
Of his many publications, "The Home Orchard: Growing Your Own Fruit and Nut Trees," remains a UC best-selling book.
Ingels, who was born in 1956 and raised in Merced, earned his B.S. in fruit science at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and his M.S. in horticulture at UC Davis.
Ingels is survived by his wife, Tracy Lesperance, his son Joshua Ingels, and his siblings Carol Green, Biff Ingels, Gary Ingels and Becky Ingels.
Sympathy cards may be addressed to the UCCE office in Sacramento County at 4145 Branch Center Rd., Sacramento, CA 95827. Plans for an enduring tribute to Ingels at Fair Oaks Horticulture Center will be announced at a later date. Donations in Ingels' memory can be made to the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center through the UCCE Master Gardeners of Sacramento County website http://sacmg.ucanr.edu.
A celebration of Ingels' life will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26, at the Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church, Family Life Center/Conference Room A, 11427 Fair Oaks Blvd., next to the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center in Fair Oaks.
Ingels' obituary was published in the Sacramento Bee https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/sacbee/obituary.aspx?n=charles-ingels-chuck&pid=189967920.