A new series about how UCCE Sonoma continues our work for the community.
Tell us about how shelter in place has effected your work:
My ability to do one-on-one technical assistance has been compromised; however, with the use of Zoom conferencing, I have been able to engage with some dairy producers to continue grant writing support. This can be limiting due to poor internet connectivity in rural areas and a steep learning curve, but many dairymen are willing to learn and adapt during these unfamiliar times.
How is shelter in place affecting ag operations that you work with?
They are currently operating as business as usual. Many are worried about their workers getting food and necessary supplies during this crisis and actually stocked up on extra food to be able to feed their whole dairy crew if it's needed. It's nice to see everyone looking out for one another. They're also a bit worried what will happen if someone does get sick and how that will impact their operation. I have not yet heard of this occurring yet, thankfully.
Shoutout to all our farmers and ranchers who don't just produce food in crisis but all year round! They take no days off, even during worldwide pandemics, because what they do is the most important job.
We also have dairymen who have farmstead operations. Luckily, our farmer's markets will remain open; however, it is expected that attendance will be lower. As with many farm to table operations, there will likely be a drop in sales. Some have started taking orders for curbside pickup or delivery or sharing cool recipes to make at home with their tasty cheeses. If you're not already following our fantastic farmstead cheese operations on social media, I encourage you to do so and support them! Also, see link below for more food resources.
Find Local Products: check out Sonoma County Farm Trails
Dairy markets were rising and this crisis has caused some negative impacts. We need to make sure we put milk and cheese in the cart when we make our essentials supply run! I am looking to arrange more Zoom meetings to continue my technical assistance where I can. We were also able to get an extension in application deadlines for California Department of Food and Agriculture dairy grants, which have been very popular for dairymen across the state.
Randi can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org/h4>/span>/h4>/h4>
- Author: Steven M. Worker
We are happy to announce a new UCCE 4-H Administrative Aide: Michelle Nozzari. Michelle has been with our office since October 2017 as a Senior Agricultureal Program Assistant.
Her responsibilities will include: 4-H enrollment (including tracking eXtension and Live Scan); storing cross-club forms; reviewing and forwarding bank statements; processing facility use agreements and parade float approvals; Reporter newsletter; social media; and website updates.
Michelle will be transitioning to this position as training allows with the coronavirus situation.
More about Michelle
As aSAPA, Michelle has worked on a variety of research and outreach projects. She provided primary support to the Viticulture, Livestock and Rangeland Management, and Dairy Science programs, assisting in field site work and data collection. Michelle has also provided administrative support by responding to public calls and question about program events. She has assisted in creating online resources related to contract grazing and dairy producer resources. . Michelle will continue to work on the website and outreach.
Prior to joining UCCE, she worked for Ag Commissioner as an Agricultural Program Assistant in the Pest Detection Program. She monitored the presence of pests including exotic fruit flies, Japanese beetle, and gypsy moth. During the 2017 fires, she escorted people into evacuation zones monitored by national guard/law enforcement so that they could perform essential agricultural operations.
- Michelle completed her senior thesis at SSU on the relationship between pacific newt species hybridization events and anthropogenic pollution.
- As part of her statistical consulting class, she performed statistical analysis and consultation work for Project Fit America, which donates physical fitness equipment and curriculum about the cardiovascular activities for youth in traditionally underserved areas.
- In high school, she interned at UCSF and worked in Cystic Fibrosis Clinic. Her project focused on studying adolescent cystic fibrosis patients transitioning to adult care.
- In middle school, she was an intern/junior reporter for local newspaper.
Over 350 people attended the Youth Agriculture and Animal Science Field Day held on February 8, 2020 at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds. The purpose was to provide agricultural education to youth (and their adult leaders, teachers, and mentors) who raise, care, breed, show, and market animals; raise, grow, or farm plants or fibers; and/or care about agriculture.
The event was co-hosted by UC Cooperative Extension and the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds and Event Center. A keynote was provided by Dr. Temple Grandin, Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University. Workshops covered a variety of topics including science of wildland fire (Hannah Bird); building and enhancing the client-veterinarian relationship (Randi Black); communicating the value of agriculture and animal science at public exhibitions (Dayna Ghirardelli and Amy Houseman); embracing working landscapes: impacts of agriculture on climate change (Stephanie Larson); basic husbandry and disease prevention in backyard poultry (Maurice Pitesky); enhancing awareness of agricultural career opportunities (Sonoma-Marin Farm Bureau's young farmers and ranchers); There's a horse in the melon patch! The joys and pains of integrating livestock into vegetable cropping systems (Stuart Schroeder, Alda Pires, & Vince Trotter); and supporting positive animal welfare practices (Martin Smith).
Post-event evaluation results were positive!
- 96% agreed they would attend the field day again.
- 96% will recommend the field day to a friend or colleague.
- 97% agreed the field day was an effective learning experience.
- 98% agreed they improved their knowledge of an agricultural-related topic.
- 95% agreed that their educational workshop was valuable in helping them learn about agriculture.
- Author: Karen Giovannini
If you've visited our office, you may have seen our woolly mascot and teaching model - Lady Baa Baa.
She has been joined by a dairy cow who was nameless. The dairy cow is used by Randi Black, our Dairy Advisor, when she visits educational venues.
There was a naming contest held a the Youth Agriculture and Animal Science Field Day in early February. Kids submitted names and, in keeping with the farm animal theme, Randi's backyard hens picked a winner - see video!
Introducing Mackenzie the Moo Cow, name submitted by Marianna.
Video of chicken picking a name:
Chick-hens 🐔 featured in the video:
"Red" the small red hen, a Red Leghorn. She is the star and picks out the name.
“Biscuit” the Black feather-legged hen. She's a Cochin.
“Ronnie Swanshen” the white fluffy hen, a Silkie.
“Tammy” the black hen with golden neck. She's a Black Sex-link.
“White Meat” the white hen with black accents. She's a Colombian Wyandotte.
- Author: Randi Black
The University of California Cooperative Extension in Sonoma County received funding to assist farmers and ranchers in applying for these funds.
The AMMP program provides financial assistance for the implementation of non-digester manure management practices in California, which will result in reduced greenhouse gas emissions. These practices include solid separation, conversion from flush to scrape manure collection, increased pasture access, and construction of a compost bedded pack barn.
The program offers a maximum project award of $750,000 without the requirement of a cost share. Applications are currently being accepted and the deadline to apply is March 27th, 2020 at 5:00 pm PT. If you are interested in this program and would like more information, visit the CDFA AMMP page.
For assistance in project development and submitting an application, contact:
Randi Black, Dairy Advisor, UCCE Sonoma County, email@example.com, 707-565-2648
The HSP has two components:
- HSP Incentives Program
- HSP Demonstration Projects
The HSP Incentives Program provides financial assistance for implementation of conservation management that improve soil health, sequester carbon, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Incentives projects are eligible for a maximum award of $100,000 with no cost share required.
The HSP Demonstration Projects showcase California farmers and rancher's implementation of HSP practices. Demonstration projects can be either data collection focused with outreach and education components ($250,000 maximum award) or just focus on outreach ($100,000 maximum award).
Applications are not yet being accepted, but are expected to open in February with the deadline for submission in April. If you are interested in this program and would like more information, visit the CDFA Healthy Soils Program webpage.
For assistance in project development and submitting an application, contact:
Stephanie Larson, Livestock & Range Management Advisor, UCCE Sonoma County, firstname.lastname@example.org,707-565-2621/h3>/h3>