Congratulations to our ANREP winners! A group of CE Specialists, CE Advisors were recognized with a Bronze Award for their “Ranch Water Quality Planning Instructor's Guide and Lesson Plan”. Take a look at the list of recipients: Anthony O'Geen, Bill Birmingham, Brooke Latack, D.J. Eastburn, Dan Macon, David Lewis, David Lile, Devii Rao, Fadzayi Mashiri, Jeffery Stackhouse, Jim Downing, Josh Davy, Julie Finzel, Kenneth Tate, Laura Snell, Leslie Roche, Lucien Crowder, Matthew Shapero, Michael Lennox, Morgan Doran, Randy Dahlgren, Rebecca Ozeran, Robert Atwill, Sandra Osterman, Stephanie Larson, Theresa Becchetti, and Tracy Schohr.
The other winner at ANREP was Lenya Quinn-Davidson! Lenya received the Early Career Award. We couldn't agree more with the selection committee! Be sure to take a look at the write up (page 27). Thanks so much to Yana and Susie for the nomination of their colleague.
Take a look at a recent Morning Ag Clips article that featured some of Dorina, Anne, Marcel, Katherine, and Kendra's work! I am anxious to see impact statements as this important work progresses! I took a getaway near Cambria last weekend for my own mindfulness exercise.
Thanks to the research reviewers who mined through the Project Board data to identify stories for the federal research report. I will share more stories in the future, or be sure to take a look for yourself.
Youth & Community Develoment: Martin Smith
Nutrition: Karina Rios Diaz
Livestock/Rangeland: David Lile
Forestry/Fire: Yana Valachovic
Water: Doug Parker
SFS: Neil McRoberts and Deanne Meyer
EIPD: Jim Farrar and Georgios Vidalakis
In addition to 11 annual evaluation conversations this week and ‘first Friday' meetings with REC and County Directors, I have spent the week at a virtual conference of Western Extension and Experiment Station Directors. In addition to the business meetings and Center updates, we heard from a University of New Mexico FRTEP Advisor who shared with us the challenges for the Navajo reservation residents during the pandemic lockdown with few grocery stores and a need to continue ag production in order to feed residents. The death rates and COVID incidence numbers shared are alarming and sad. The Advisor talked about increased youth participation in Master Gardener program and other virtual programs since the pandemic began in addition to increased collaboration and partnering with other institutions. Vaccine education is a critical ongoing effort to provide this and other COVID relief services. The program seeks opportunity to develop a partnership for pre-college programs and a sheep herd health program.
Twice this week I heard a reference to baseball. Someone referred to Babe Ruth as the ‘home run king' while also holding the ‘strikeout king' title. I heard a similar statement in reference to Reggie Jackson. I'm not sure which one of them is/was the true ‘king'. Clearly, some are ready for baseball. I suspect Bill Frost is one of them.
Congratulations to Dan Putnam! Dan is the 2021 recipient of the James H. Meyer Distinguished Achievement Award, awarded by the UC Davis Academic Federation. A number of his colleagues from UC Davis and UC ANR were responsible for the nomination. We are all pleased to see Dan receive this important recognition!
Highlights of recent activity with the 4-H Military Partnerships Program were shared with NIFA. My favorite part of the report was a quote from one of the many youth participants, "I always thought I was a leader but now I know how to be a better leader." Congratulations to the team across the state for their successes in this program. It has been difficult during the pandemic, but the successes are mounting nonetheless.
I hear there was something of a mass gathering of UC ANR personnel at a vaccination clinic in Woodland this week. That leaves some taking a bit of a sigh of relief with one dose down and one to go. The new CDC guidelines suggesting that those vaccinated can cautiously resume some activities is welcomed news! I know we all look forward to resuming our networking time and in-person activities. Let's keep getting those vaccination appointments scheduled!
The Dean's Council met this morning. I believe the Deans enjoyed the virtual Hill visits this year and had nice things to say about the ANR team that participated, under Anne's leadership. In a side chat with Bill Frost last week, he lamented over missing the social time together in DC and shared how impressed he was with those he worked with to make office visits. Thanks to Missy, Ryan, Karmjot, and all who made time for the meetings. Tiring, I am sure, but much easier than the days of running between the Cannon and Rayburn buildings.
I have some reading to do later this week and through the weekend. I hope the rain keeps up throughout so that I don't feel guilty for not doing any yardwork. I spoke with a colleague in Kentucky earlier today and he mentioned talk of isolated wildfires in Kentucky. While technically possible, it feels far too early in the year for talk about that.
It is shaping up to be a long, short week. I know we are all anxious to see how the week unfolds. So far, so good.
The combination of prolonged COVID and national unrest is getting to all of us, inspiring retirements and departures in unexpected places. I am hoping to get a Vice Provost recruitment underway soon, backfilling Mark Lagrimini's position. In addition, I am serving on a search committee for a new Executive Director to the Western Extension Directors Association. The pool of applicants is strong with some surprising submissions. It leaves me optimistic that we will have a strong pool to fill the gap in UC ANR.
If the pressures of earth get to be too much, perhaps Mars offers a solution in the near future. We need to check in with students in Calaveras County who each had a chance to build a Mars rover, donated by the 4-H STEM program. Nice work, JoLynn!
Given the lack of rain so far, the timing couldn't be better for completing the UCANR Disaster Guide. The Guide contains great examples of how UC ANR has responded to fires and COVID-19. Thanks to Susie, Faith, and team for putting this together! I have no doubt that many will download the document!
Congratulations to Monica Cooper for the quote of the week, “This is consistent with our UCCE mission to ensure the continued economic prosperity and ecological sustainability of agricultural operations in California in partnership with industry and government agencies.” Read what Brad and John had to say as well.
Be sure to tune in for the Town Hall on Thursday from 2 to 3 pm. We will build on this week's Martin Luther King holiday by learning more about planned ANR events for upcoming Black History Month.
The UC Economic Impact Report is out; don't skip over page 64! If you aren't up to reading all 123 pages, take a look at the factsheet, the last paragraph in particular. Congratulations on a strong contribution to a strong UC!
If you are considering a hike this weekend, check in with Mark Bell for some ideas. He has been out in East Bay and to the Golden Gate area recently, taking extra care to send me photos of his adventures. During his most recent outing, Mark had the good fortune of coming across evidence of UC ANR's impact. Literally, our impact is everywhere!
Someday I will leave my garage. Until then, it seems the end of the month is already near; time to prepare for the meetings regularly scheduled for the first week of the month. This month we have an additional meeting with President Drake. I look forward to that meeting, but I have some prep work to do beforehand.
The San Joaquin Valley sits below 6 percent ICU capacity. As a resident of the Valley with my mother in my household, this is worrisome. I have cancelled all of my travel plans for the winter break. I found it much more difficult to cancel my December plans than it was to cancel my plans back in the summer. I am tired of staying home and not getting the break from caregiving that I count on twice a year. I started to plan a pity party, then recognized how easy I have it. Imagine how our healthcare workers are feeling after all these months. I understand the temptation to take a risk, even with precautions in place, or even just continue as I have for the past six months. However, now is not the time to let upon safety measures or let down our guard. As difficult as it may be, we need to be even more careful for the next month or so. I so appreciate Linda and her team putting together a motivational reminder that we all need to stay the course. It does help knowing that we are all in this together.
I have turned my frustration into something productive, aiming to help others even if only in a small way. Thanks to a partnership between 4-H and UC Medical Center, Julie, a former 4-Her who is now a healthcare worker at the UC Davis Medical Center, provided me with all the Steri-Wrap I need to make that difference. Initially, I learned of this face covering material from a sibling, then found information about it from the University of Florida. Other institutions, including UC Irvine, have investigated use of the material for face coverings as well. I am a huge fan of the recycling aspect of this endeavor, not to mention the protective efficiency.
I have exchanged commute time for sewing time these past few months. Thanks to Kathryn sharing a new design with me, my throughput has increased dramatically. If you weren't aware, not only is Kathryn exceptional at her job, but she is incredibly talented and creative! To date, I have serged over 800 face masks in an effort to protect people during this current pandemic surge. And, because of the extensive supply of Steri-Wrap provided by Julie, I expanded beyond face coverings to send a special ‘thank you' items to Julie and her colleagues. I hope these health care heroes make good use of the items.
Perhaps a few special face masks will bring a smile to some who are struggling to remain vigilant and stay the course over these next weeks.
There's another new face around UCCE San Diego! Gerardo Spinelli started Monday, October 12th as the Production Horticulture Advisor, based in San Diego, with programmatic responsibilities in San Diego County. Please welcome Jerry (back) to UC ANR.
A PBS star is born! Mark shared with me a YouTube video featuring our very own Yana, talking about home hardiness in Paradise. Susie and others have similar programs. This video brings us one step closer to Linda's vision of ‘owning YouTube' in certain sectors of content. Congratulations Yana!
In a time when there's hate and violence everywhere we turn, there's good all around us, too. Thanks to Dixieland 4-H in Madera County for making someone's wish come true!
This week is World Food Prize week. While the event is virtual, the activities remain on Central Time. That has made for very early morning meetings most days this week, particularly what are traditionally breakfast meetings. Thursday, in particular, is busy with a 5 am start time to join a World Food Prize event, routine COVID meetings at 7:30 am and 10 am, the World Food Prize Laureate presentation at 11 am, followed by the WebANR, and ANR Town Hall, and then a couple more meetings to round out the day. Hopefully, my internet connection is better than it was this morning.
I mentioned back in a June post that this year's World Food Prize winner is Dr. Rattan Lal from The Ohio State University. His research laid the ground work for regenerative agriculture through cultivation of healthy soils. During a conversation late yesterday afternoon the question was raised about how the World Food Prize has changed his life. Dr. Lal joked that a grandchild asked him if it was like winning the Heisman Trophy. He responded that it was an award 52 years in the making – the length of his career. Despite the time it took for this global recognition, Dr. Lal's work has caught on. During a teleconference last week with the Governor's office regarding the recent Executive Order that has a stated goal of placing government protections on 30-percent of the land and coastal water in California by the year 2030, Secretary Ross spoke about the importance of healthy soils and, specifically, the work of UC Cooperative Extension and UC ANR in working with farmers to implement healthy soil practices that promote climate smart agriculture.
Friday is a short day for me this week. We are spending the weekend trimming our 42 Queen Palm trees. My job is to protect the irrigation risers from damage due to falling tree parts. I suppose that is somewhat better than hanging out in a basket using the chain saw. Nonetheless, it is not what I envision for vacation. But then again, 2020 is not a typical year.