- Author: Wendy Powers
It is federal reporting time. Katherine and her team are hard at work assembling the reports based on stories a group of academics gleaned from Project Board. I had a chance to take a quick peak. Here's a sample of the great stories you will find on the Condition Changes webpage:
Change in condition: Participants saved money.
Program evaluation findings from 2020 indicate that EFNEP adult graduates reported an average monthly food cost savings of $58.10, which collectively saved California EFNEP families $1,532,445.
- Families in Los Angeles and Orange County saved an average of $80 and $95.40 a month on groceries, respectively, after participating in EFNEP's ESBA workshop series.
- Families in Tulare County saved an average of $44.50 on groceries per month after participating in Eating Smart Being Active.
Change in condition: Jobs created.
The French Meadows watershed restoration project partners have appeared on various forums highlighting the role of UCCE research in changing the pace and scale of forest restoration in California. UCCE's continued engagement with research, education, advocacy, and fundraising resulted in 3,100 acres of forest restoration within the 28,000 acres of federal and private land. In the year 2020 alone, the project generated jobs for over 100 contractors. In addition, it removed 1.4 million board feet of timber to a local mill and more than 1,200 tons of biomass to local renewable energy facilities to help offset restoration costs, and contributing to the local economy.
Change in condition: Improved productivity.
Through conversations and on-farm observations, it has been noted that those who attended the UCCE Watermelon Grafting Field days in 2019, have either increased their acreage of grafted watermelon in 2020 or plan to increase in subsequent seasons. Currently, the estimated total acreage of grafted watermelon in the northern San Joaquin Valley, the biggest watermelon region of California, has at least tripled from less than 200 in 2019 to over 600 in 2021. Growers mentioned that successful grafted fields can produce 15-25% more watermelon fruit than the non-grafted fields per acre on average, and the average plant population per acre in grafted fields is about two-thirds that in non-grafted fields.
Thanks to everyone for their great effort and contributions to Project Board. I will share more stories in the coming weeks. And, as we head into our long weekend, let's thank farm workers and their families for all that they do to ensure a safe, abundant food supply. The public value of their efforts is unrivaled.