- Author: Wendy Powers
Last week the South Coast REC team were incredible hosts to the UC ANR Governing Council. From the tours, to the food, to the partners who make it all happen, no one left without a clear understanding of why UC ANR is important in communities across California. The tour stops that included a visit to Alex's work, a stop where it was easy to see the impact of Cheryl's herbicide demonstration, and a stop to see how Darren's agriculture program seamlessly transferred to addressing urban needs. Each stop was rich with examples of how it's the partnerships that make everything happen so much better than any member of the partnership could do it alone. As tourists, we could have visited with the researchers and partners all day. Then it was on to lunch where we were treated by local talent to an incredible meal and beverages made with ingredients from the REC. Following, Bea and Niamh, with their partners, delighted us with strong visuals of what they encounter in their work. For Bea, that's the ‘creepy crawly' and for Niamh, they are the furry things. Thanks to everyone at South Coast REC for the hospitality! I know the entire team was involved in making it happen.
At the end of the week I headed to D.C. for a meeting. One of the topics was identification of grand challenges. Relevant to UC ANR, one challenge identified was' the Extension system of the future'. That's a topic we need to think about as we approach the 2025 and imagine the next iteration of our vision. A second topic, ‘the food system of the future', is one that I know the Sustainable Food Systems Strategic Initiative is already making plans to brainstorm about in the near future. I will be interested to see how these topics develop, both in UC ANR and across the U.S.
In the meantime, because I am on vacation this week, I am not giving much thought to either topic though I am on the lookout for a few furry things and trying to avoid most things that are creepy crawlies. I'm enjoying reconnecting with a group of friends I haven't seen in some time and spending extended time with those I do get a chance to see every now and then. Given that UC ANR is full of world travelers, I'm sure many of you have been where I am. A few of you found my summer test easy. Let's see how you do this time. Here are a few hints:
- I am not in the U.S. or in a U.S. territory
- English is the primary language and the USD is the most popular currency
- I am not cut out for these warm temperatures
- Water and history were two of the primary drivers for choosing the location, in addition to weather for those in the group who are deep in snow this time of year
- We are in the Central Time Zone
- There is no Visa requirement for U.S. citizens but there is an exit tariff
- I don't expect to see a capybara but a Jabiru stork is possible
I hope the clues were helpful!