- Author: Wendy Powers
What does one serve at a skeleton picnic? Perhaps ghoul guts, severed fingers, and a taco cheese skull. I took a couple of hours off today to get ready for the potluck at the Davis building tomorrow. I am prepared for the event unless I trip in the driveway while trying to balance a skull.
Offices that have been without power are starting to reopen. Hopefully, we see rain soon. In the meantime, I was pleased to hear the national news acknowledge that grazing goats were, in part, responsible for saving the Reagan library from fire. Maybe others will take note that this is only one of the benefits (ecosystem services) provided through livestock grazing.
Yesterday, this current Western Extension Leadership Development program cohort met with a few of the Extension Directors/Associate Directors from around the West. Several of the Directors talked about the importance of partnerships and the need to expand partnering efforts, including seeking new or non-traditional partners. I was surprised to learn the Colorado State now has a CE Specialist position that is co-funded with the wine industry. Now what surprised me wasn't the idea of co-funded positions. After all, this isn't new to California and even more common in other states. What surprised me was that Colorado has a wine industry of a size that would consider such a partnership. It is not hard at all to learn something new every day.
My trip to Riverside resulted in a few productive meetings. Now I am home for just over a week. The first Friday of the month is already here, so the standing CD and REC Director meetings will cover half the day. Both look to be full agendas.
On the good news front, I learned today that the Climate Smart CES team has funding for the next two years – thanks to Doug, Betsy, Dan, and especially the group of community educators who have over-delivered this year! And, we are just about ready to get started recruiting for two community educators as part of a similar effort to address produce food safety. Erin has done a fantastic job moving that along, working with Ruth, Aparna, Margaret, Ramiro, and Jose.
Now, if we can only get word that the Kincaid Fire is under control and everyone in Sonoma County is back in their homes, the weekend will be off to a great start.
- Author: Wendy Powers
One of the best things about getting out of the office is putting faces with names. Take last week, for example, when I met Claudia Diaz Carrasco in person. Previously we had only communicated via email. And for the same reason you wouldn't want to use email as a means of communication for difficult conversations, email provided little insight into how enthusiastic and passionate Claudia is about the work she does. After meeting with the Riverside office I can see that enthusiasm permeates throughout the group. Based on the program overview that Rosa Olaiz, Janet Hartin, and Chutima Ganthavorn gave it is clear the group works together well. The result is a strong, integrated program in partnership with the Community Settlement Association (CSA) that brings together the efforts of Master Gardener volunteers with nutrition education and youth development. With Claudia and Emma Sandoval as our guides, Chris Greer and I toured the CSA community garden that includes adult and youth plots. Then Yolva Gil invited us in to visit with UC ANR's first bilingual 4-H group that was meeting after school. I have to admit that I don't know the 4-H pledge in English, much less Spanish and English as this group does! But what really impressed me about this group of future leaders was what they shared with Chris and I about what the program had done for them. The kids were so articulate and forward-thinking! One participant, probably 8 or 9 years of age, greeted us at the door with a handshake and an introduction, and then later told us he planned to be a paleontologist. And he wasn't even the group's president! I'm pretty sure that at that age I had no idea what paleontology was and likely couldn't pronounce the word. This group will be going places and it will be interesting to see where they are in 10 years.
Speaking of difficult conversations, Jan Corlett and Linda Manton are teaching Crucial Conversations later this week. A good friend and colleague, Deanne Meyer (UCD Specialist, couldn't say enough good things about her experience when she took the training so I have enrolled in the April training down in Irvine. If any of you taking it this week learn any tips I should know in advance, please send them along. I had really hoped to get to the homework reading well in advance of the class but homework has never really been my thing. Deanne's probably much better about homework than I am so it's no surprise she was just accepted into LEAD21. It's a competitive program but she's always been a strong leader – way to go Deanne! And congratulations to Tapan Pathak and Karina Diaz Rios, who are participating in the Western Extension Leadership Development (WELD) program this year. If you have someone in mind you would like to nominate for next year's WELD class, please let me know as it's never too early to assemble a list of names. It seems everyone in UC ANR is a leader in some form or another so we are really fortunate to have leadership development opportunities available to us whether it is a year-long program or a 2-day training.