- Author: Wendy Powers
4-H week ended on a high note. I received the photo, below, from Steven Worker. Notice the enrollment statistics for the program with overall growth by 141% and a 290% increase in Latino youth enrollment over the previous year! Congratulations, Sonoma County UCCE! Steven is noticeably absent from the photo; he must have been running the camera. Seeing Diego in the picture reminded me of my visit to the 4-H program in Sonoma County, where the youth were learning about the four forces of flight. It's no wonder the program is growing when you learn things like that.
I received an article last week claiming victory for Fresno County as the top ag producing county in the U.S. Congratulations, Fresno County! Kern closely followed Fresno County, then Tulare Counties, so a shout out to them as well. The article quoted the Fresno County Farm Bureau CEO as pointing out that almost all of the top 10 agricultural counties are in California. The rankings may be no surprise to us, but it is nice to know others across the country hear the news.
Last week the VP Council (Vice President's Council) met. This Council is made up of the statewide program and institute directors, business unit directors, vice provosts, and the associate vice presidents. The group meets quarterly to talk about issues of importance to the division. Last week, much of the meeting was about the results from the recent Staff Engagement Survey and moving forward to address some of the findings. The report is long, and in addition to positive outcomes, there is always room for improvement.
Kamal Khaira attended the VP Council meeting, just back from a trip to Bora Bora. I have to admit that I am a bit jealous. I lose track of time, but it's hard to believe that Kamal has been leading the UC CalFresh program for just over a year now. If you haven't had a chance to meet Kamal, take a look at the new UC Davis alumni feature and learn more about her background and what drives her. Then, be sure to find the time to connect with Kamal. Be sure to read the ‘Making A Difference' story on page 18, too. It is truly inspiring.
Later today, I head down to San Diego for the Western Region Administrative Officers Meeting. I don't usually attend this meeting. However, California is hosting the conference this year. I have a chance to welcome the group and thank them. The administrative officers and their teams provide tremendous support to the programs of UC ANR and its equivalents around the region.
It is a short week for me. I am taking Friday off as part of a long weekend to celebrate a milestone wedding anniversary. It will be far from a trip to Bora Bora but still better than the honeymoon, where we spent the night at a hotel near campus. The next morning we fed my anaerobic digesters before heading back to say farewell to out-of-town family and friends. Yep, we've come a long way.
- Author: Wendy Powers
Twice in the last week, someone has raised to me that I should be more active on social media. I have all the classic excuses: 1) no time, 2) don't want to be tied to my phone that much, 3) a Luddite-in-training (maybe a Neo-Luddist), 4) can't decide which platform, 5) can't be constrained to 60 characters, 6) nothing exciting to say, 7) don't like the idea of being followed, 8) I am better suited as a lurker. I wonder how long I can get by using those excuses. I may need to take some lessons from a few of the gurus, like Rose Hayden-Smith, Faith Kearns, and, of course, the Strategic Communications team. But, you know I don't like homework (very low on the Fun Scale).
If you are an Instagram user, be sure to follow Laura Snell and Dustin Blakey. They post incredible photos – clearly the benefit of living in some of the more remote areas of California. Dustin recently posted a fantastic night sky of Volcanic Tablelands #volcanictablelands. Rob Bennaton sent me a photo of a few of the Contra Costa 4-Hers meeting with their Board of Supervisors (thanks Rob!) in celebration of National 4-H Week. What an exciting day for the youth! The Board learned a bit about the program and the positive impacts the program has on youth, thanks to the 1-pager that Charles Go put together.
Fun Facts (compliments of Charles Go)
- 4-H youth are 3.5 times more likely to contribute to their communities
- 89% of 4-H youth indicate that they think about how their choices affect others
- 4-H youth are two times more likely to go to college
- 83% of 4-H youth are comfortable being a leader
- In Contra Costa County, 4-H youth participated in 229 projects ranging from cows to computers, public speaking, and financial management
- 262 adults serve as volunteers in Contra Costa County, and there are over 200 Junior and teen leaders
I haven't been out visiting counties lately (invitations welcome), so I appreciate the photo and facts. They are a nice departure from my odor facts.
Today was a full day meeting of Glenda, Tu, Kathy, and myself to talk about items that have been awaiting our decision as well as do some planning. You would think with all of the meetings we have, we wouldn't need an additional meeting, but opportunities are rare to focus on topics and plan or project, versus react. Everyone is swamped with meetings.
I became so engrossed in having a few hours of unscheduled time the other day that I ended up missing a meeting. I'm not sure when that popped up on my calendar, obviously sometime after I had last checked. The upside is that I did get a few things checked off my list. I'm still working on a presentation, but knowing I don't have to finish it until Sunday, I am likely to continue procrastinating.