- Author: Wendy Powers
Did you happen to see the nice callout in Western Farm Press that UC ANR received? The piece cited the important work that personnel around the state do to provide science and support to the agriculture community. In addition to a great photo of Beth Grafton-Cardwell, the article highlighted that CE Advisors, SRAs, Community Educators and CE Specialists all make a difference as leaders that are embedded in local communities, by looking forward and for novel ways of addressing challenges.
It's no wonder we have growing interest from many of the UC campuses to partner with UC ANR. Today we are one step closer to having our first CE Specialist at UC Santa Cruz, having finalized edits on an MOU where we (UC ANR) will share funding with UC Santa Cruz for a 100% UC ANR CE Specialist that will focus on organic agriculture. We are close to having our third CE Specialist on the UC Merced campus. Interviews for a CE Specialist focused on watershed science, who is half funded by UC ANR and half funded by UC Merced, will take place in early October. Such partnerships may be new to UC ANR but I think they are key to our ability to grow in numbers.
We talked about the concept of shared-funded positions while we visited with Ventura County yesterday. The question was asked how many I would like to see. Honestly, I'd love to see our numbers double and if the only way we could achieve that was so split everyone's funding with a partner, I'd be supportive of doing so. Now I recognize that is unlikely to happen, much less be acceptable to all, but imagine the reach and impact we could have! Yesterday we talked quite a bit about the talent and numbers that have been lost over the span of some longer careers. As I listened, I wondered if we could really ever identify what we wouldn't do. Even in Ventura County while numbers decline there is a desire to regain the breadth of programming there once was, let alone the depth of programming. The only solution to achieving both that I see is to look for non-traditional sources of funding and partners.
Soon I am off to the Advisory Board meeting for the Hansen REC. This will be only the second time I have met with the Board. I believe it will be Annemiek's first meeting as the REC director. I need to take a look at the agenda before I head over there and then look ahead and see what I need to complete this weekend before I leave town on Sunday.