- Author: Wendy Powers
Happy Monday! It doesn't feel like Monday. Saturday ‘felt' like Sunday and I woke up early this morning thinking how slow the weekend was going by. I don't recall having that concern before. Then I realized it was over – problem solved. Yardwork was front and center over the weekend. I was reminded that it's best not to assume you can have it all. While the geraniums and azaleas look fantastic, with little to no effort, just around the corner a Japanese maple is dead with no clear cause. We lost one last year, too. That leaves us with one. I won't plan on it hanging around past this year. During the Town Hall last week, Anne Iaccopucci mentioned having a great view of her Japanese maple from her home work space. Hopefully, she has a green thumb and will have the Japanese maple for a long time.
Who knows how much longer Anne's home work space will serve as her daily venue. Now that we are hearing about plans to reopen, it's only a matter of time before what was normal is so once again. I read a document from a school district that is making plans. Their conversations include requiring the use of face masks all day for students and teachers. That's in addition to fewer persons in a class room. The UC campuses are putting thought into resuming operations. The Vice Chancellors for Research are sharing ideas amongst the group, specifically related to reopening of campus lab spaces. While UC ANR operations are much different from a campus, we'll want to consider how and what practices are applied across the state. A group has convened to work through logistics, benchmarks, and metrics.
I had the opportunity to read through a draft of our federal report that the Program Planning and Evaluation (PPE) team has been working hard to develop, with input from several academics. This year, the Agriculture Experiment Station work has been integrated with the Extension work. The result is a nice illustration of the continuum of research to policy and adoption. The PPE team shaped the report around our condition changes. What really stood out for me were the impact statements that had been shared in Project Board and pulled out by PPE to feature in the report. Although long, I hope everyone has a chance to read the full report at some point. Here are a couple of statements that stood out to me.
- CalFresh Healthy Living UC participants in San Joaquin County were evaluated using a retrospective pre-survey with Making Every Dollar Count participants reporting improvement (80% of 129) in the food resource management skills emphasized in the lessons, e.g., easy ways to save money on food, using resources to make money go further, knowing more about simple, healthy meals to make at home.
- A field assessment of the vineyard grower's practices conducted in 2018 and 2019 showed that currently 100% of the growers in the Coachella Valley remove stumps before replanting and 75% spray a fungicide after pruning. These practices help extend the productive life of the vineyards.
I will share more statements in follow up posts. There are so many examples of the difference our work makes! While many are anxious to get out with our clientele and continue our work, the work continues to make a difference even while we are stuck at home. It's different, it's not ideal, but for many that depend on us, it is appreciated that we are reaching out in different ways. I see Dan Macon is holding a virtual coffee shop with his rancher clients. I'm excited to hear how that works out. In the meantime, I hope your week is off to a great start!