- Author: Wendy Powers
Somehow this week seems to be progressing slowly which is an odd occurrence. But perhaps it will translate to getting more accomplished. ‘Slow' is not to be confused with not having enough to do though at one point I did recall something my grandmother used to say “Idle hands are the devil's workshop”.
What's not moving as slow as one would like is huanglongbing. Confirmation of the citrus tree disease in Riverside County happened much sooner than anyone would hope to see and resulted in a flurry of activity within UC ANR and among our many partners with a stake in protecting the citrus industry. While many of the UC and UC ANR researchers have been focused on this disease and the associated Asian citrus psyllid and Master Gardener volunteers have been busy educating homeowners for quite some time, confirmation of the disease comes as quite a blow despite knowing it was a matter of time. Fortunately there has been considerable planning underway so folks were as prepared as anyone could be to move into action.
Yesterday, VP Council met in Oakland and had about 30 minutes with President Napolitano. She openly answered questions posed to her by the group and provided us some brief updates on what's new in the Office of the President. As important as our time with the President was an opportunity to hear what's going on with the unit leaders that sit on VP Council. We never seem to allocate enough time to have a good discussion about topics in common so perhaps we will do better in the future with the scheduling. But it was fun to hear about the programming going on around the state, the policy work underway, and plans in the works for the group. I foresee the new UC ANR Newsletter, Connected, as a great way to share our work not only with external partners and stakeholders but to better acquaint all of us internally with what goes on around us every day.
Today I spent time with a group that is working to formalize a partnership aimed at enhancing the on-the-ground work they have been engaged in for some time. The California On-Farm Demonstration Network has, through strong partnerships, been successful in demonstrating the benefits of soil health practices as a means of encouraging adoption of those practices across the state. By formalizing the partnership, the group seeks to take the next step in increasing its effectiveness and adoption. Having been part of groups that have initiated such partnerships, I think it is easy to underestimate the time and effort it takes to bring groups together and move in the same direction with a common understanding of roles and responsibilities. While perhaps painful at times, laying the groundwork now will payoff later. I see great opportunities with this group to secure increasing support to expand their efforts so a solid plan and agreement now will have tremendous payoff later.
Tomorrow it's off to Redding for the 4th of 5 information sessions. I haven't chartered a bus for this trip but still thinking about it for other excursions.