- Author: Deanne Meyer
It's been a very long week for anyone with friends or family in Florida, the southeastern US or west coast of Mexico. The ecosystem and human devastation from Hurricanes Ian and Orlene will be huge. It was just a few weeks ago that Hurricane Fiona struck Puerto Rico. We can all send good thoughts to those in need and contribute resources as appropriate to help with basic needs.
Last week I attended the ECOP (Extension Committee on Organization and Policy) meeting in Baltimore while Glenda was at the ESCOP (Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy). We had joint sessions and independent sessions. As a newbie, I attended meetings on Sunday afternoon as well. Monday through Wednesday afternoon were packed with informational meetings. Extension Directors and Associate Directors from throughout the US were present. There are many common themes: evidence-based education, programming in new areas, maintaining trust with stakeholders, being local conveners, managing dwindling resources, etc.
Michelle Rodgers shared information on round II opportunity with the Extension Collaborative on Immunization Teaching and Engagement (EXCITE) program. EXCITE is a joint effort between the United States Department of Agriculture and the Center for Disease Control. Extension is known as a practical, connected and trusted source. The goal in round I was to reinforce confidence in Covid 19 vaccines and Ricardo Velo spearheaded our participation with a collaboration between ANR and Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project (MICOP). Together additional resources were prepared and delivered.
Fifi the pink poodle, the beloved icon of the American Visionary Art Museum, designed by Theresa Segreti, enjoyed her first hotel stay while ECOP and ESCOP were meeting. For those attending the tri-societies meeting in November at the Inner Harbor you may want to see if Fifi is still at the Marriott.
Great shout outs! Zhen Wang of Stanislaus County was recognized by Vegetable Grower News as one of Fruit + Vegetable 40 under 40! You may have seen his work at a recent town hall meeting. Also in the news is Missy Gable for a Distinguished Early Career Award as our statewide director of our Master Gardener Program. Way to go Zhen and Missy. We're excited with you on your accomplishments. Way to go!
UC ANR is excited that Ethan Ireland has joined. Ethan is a Broadcast Communications Specialist (videographer) and hit the ground running as a videographer. In July and August we were joined by many Advisors: Clebson Goncalves, Diversified Ag Systems, Lake and Mendocino Counties; Breanna Martinico, Human Wildlife Interaction, Napa, Lake and Solano Counties; Tori Norville, Sonoma, Napa and Marin and Alison Deak, Mariposa, Madera, Fresno Counties, Fire; Sally Neas, 4-H and Youth Development, San Mateo and San Francisco; Olivia Henry, Regional Food System, Sacramento, Yolo, Solano, Placer and Nevada Counties. Jackie Atim is a Specialist in Abiotic Stress (think drought) at Kearney REC and UC Merced. Xuewen Feng is a Pesticide Safety Education Coordinator at UC ANR. Welcome to the new members of the ANR family! A huge thank you to all working in Human Resources, serving on search committees and participating in interviews. You help select our future!
- Author: Wendy Powers
I am thrilled to see the ANR portal back up and running. This signifies that we have transitioned to a new server. Thanks so much to Sree and team for their extraordinary effort this week to combat the bot attacks and get everything migrated over so that we can function again. Isn't it amazing how quickly things come to a halt when a server is down? As a society, we have certainly become dependent on virtual environments.
Glenda and I have been at a conference this week. The is the national conference for ag experiment station directors. Glenda is attending in person while I opted for the virtual route. No surprise, there have been a few technology glitches. But given the theme of the conference which focuses on transitioning to the new, post-COVID world, the glitches seem apropos. We heard from 3 university presidents about their approach to managing their institution through the pandemic. I can't say that I gained any keen insights to share, though it was evident that many campuses are back in-person to a greater extent than UC. I am a bit envious. The flip side is that we may have fewer COVID cases per capita.
What surprises me at these meetings each year are the familiar faces in new places. Several participants have moved to new locations. I suspect it is the nature of the positions, but also a good opportunity for an organization to have fresh ideas.
One of the sentiments I have heard repeatedly is the need to consider new partnerships in this post-COVID world. In particular, partnering with medical schools and health departments beyond nutrition programming has been a consistent message. In addition, the idea that we should be open to new types of partnerships with those we have known and perhaps worked with for some time. As uncomfortable as it may be at times, I feel that UC ANR is way ahead of the curve on this one. This doesn't mean that we transition away from existing partners; just be open to additional opportunities. The partnering message is particularly timely; I have a couple of meetings yet this week to talk about new partnerships.
It is time to start preparing for a couple of other conferences that will be here well before I am fully prepared. One is the national extension directors' conference. The other is a presentation I am giving in another state, for that state's annual extension conference. I am still a couple of weeks away from a final decision if that will be delivered from my garage or if I will transition back to traveling for such things.
In the meantime, I am going to enjoy the fall weather now that we have transitioned away from summer temperatures.