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ANR Employees


Flexible work agreements and staff performance evaluations reminder

Flexible Work Agreements

Employees and supervisors should review Flexible Work Agreements annually to ensure the agreement is still meeting the needs of the employee and unit, including organizational goals, establish performance expectations and compliance considerations.  

Now is the time to re-review and evaluate those agreements that are about to expire! Please be sure to submit your Flexible Work Agreement Form updates by June 14, 2024

To submit your Flexible Work Agreement, go to

  • To Initiate/Submit a Form: Left menu -> Click the plus (+) sign, next to Human Resources 
  • Select “Flexible Work Agreement” Form
    • Forms will route based on the selections on the appropriate fields including supervisor and type of agreement.  Employees seeking to work in the office less than 3 days a week will require exceptional approval. The form will automatically route to the appropriate AVP.

Staff Performance Evaluations 

Staff Performance Appraisals are due to Human Resources May 10. By that date, the following should have taken place:

  • Employee Completes ePerformance self-evaluation in UCPath
  • Supervisor meets with employee to discuss the self-evaluation 
  • Supervisor completes and submits their evaluation in UCPath 
  • Second-level reviewer approves

 Evaluation Resources

Posted on Monday, May 6, 2024 at 8:30 AM

Celebration Corner


CSAC CEO Graham Knaus, left, presented the CSAC Challenge Award to Jen Miller, Shannon Klisch and Mishelle Costa. Photo by Chris Greer

CSAC honors UCCE San Luis Obispo team

A representative of the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) presented the County of San Luis Obispo with the 2023 CSDC Challenge Award during the Board of Supervisors meeting on April 9.

The annual award is presented to California counties to highlight innovative programs developed at the county level.

CSAC CEO Graham Knaus presented the CSAC Challenge Award for the Cross-Sector Partnerships for Food and Nutrition Security program to Jen Miller, County of San Luis Obispo health promotion division manager; Shannon Klisch, County of San Luis Obispo department head and director of UC Cooperative Extension in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties; and Mishelle Costa, CalFresh Healthy Living, UC community education supervisor.

The team developed partnerships with multiple organizations to ensure that fresh produce is more available in the surrounding community. They collaborated to increase the number of markets that accept CalFresh and offer Market Match, provide a more consistent and welcoming experience for CalFresh customers across markets, and increase the visibility of farmers market nutrition incentives.

Together, they have increased equitable access to healthy food and support for local farmers.

According to the County of San Luis Obispo, 8.4% of all residents and 9.7% of all children countywide are defined as food insecure, or "lacking consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life."

Battany honored with ASEV Extension Distinction Award

Mark Battany

Mark Battany,  UCCE water management and biometeorology advisor in San Luis Obispo and Sant Barbara counties, has been selected for the 2024 American Society for Enology and Viticulture Extension's Distinction Award.

The ASEV Extension Distinction Award is given to a current ASEV member and extension educator based on their contributions to enology or viticulture through their extension program, or the translation of novel research findings into commercially applicable tools for enologists or viticulturists.

Battany will present “Flipping dimensions: A vertical weather view helps illuminate vineyard challenges,” at the 75th ASEV National Conference in Portland, Oregon, on June 19.

CalFresh Healthy Living, UCCE Riverside and partners win health equity award

From left, Faith Morreo, tribal ambassador, Esmeralda Nunez and Andra Nicoli.

CalFresh Healthy Living, UCCE Riverside, CFHL, UC Davis and the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians Community Wellness Committee Partnership are being honored with the first National Cooperative Extension health equity award.

The 2024 National Cooperative Extension Priester Health Equity Award recognizes extraordinary programs and professionals that are modeling next-generation work in the area of health and well-being.

The project includes nutrition, garden and physical activity education with the Torres Martinez community. The overarching goal is to foster greater health and well-being through activities that engage the participants with culturally relevant materials and work to restore traditional food systems. 

From left, Philip Waisen, Claudia Carlos, Esmeralda Nunez and Vianca Nunez.

The team includes Claudia Carlos, CFHL, UCCE Riverside supervisor; the Coachella Valley team of community nutrition educators Esmeralda Nunez, Vianca Nunez and Jackie Velarde; Andra Nicoli, CFHL, UC Davis project policy analyst; and Chutima Ganthavorn, UCCE nutrition, families and consumer sciences advisor emeritus.

UCCE Riverside County farm advisor Philip Waisen, through a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant titled ACORNS, pairs lesson activities with farm and nutritional health webinars. UCCE Riverside Master Gardener Brad Hardison offers garden support, resources and education.

Tribal Council Vice Chairman Joseph Mirelez and Community Wellness Committee members anchor health-education initiative activities in local tradition and events for sustained effectiveness.

The award will be presented at the National Health Outreach and Engagement Conference on May 13-15 in Greenville, South Carolina.

Kudos for Rose, Casseer

Kendra Rose, senior contracts and grants officer and Dilshan Casseer, proposal development coordinator, earned gratitude from Whitney Brim-DeForest, UCCE director in Sutter and Yuba counties and rice and wild rice advisor.

“I would like to shout out Kendra Rose and Dilshan Casseer for their incredible help in preparing a grant for submission!” said Brim-DeForest. “They have both gone above and beyond, assisting in editing and writing, helping me and my co-PIs prepare draft documents for submission. Their guidance, preparation and timely meetings have made this process incredibly easy for my colleagues and me. Thank you so much to both of them!”

Larson receives ASI Bradford-Rominger Leadership Award

Stephanie Larson
Stephanie Larson, UC Cooperative Extension director and livestock and range advisor for Sonoma County, is one of two recipients of the Eric Bradford & Charlie Rominger Agricultural Sustainability Leadership Award, which is given by the Agricultural Sustainability Institute at UC Davis. Annie Main, a pioneering farmer at Good Humus in Yolo County, is the other honoree.

Larson has spent more than 40 years working for UC Cooperative Extension to address opportunities and issues that California ranchers face in their agricultural businesses. Her interdisciplinary approach to issues facing livestock producers, rangeland owners and managers, and the public aims to maintain and increase the sustainability of agriculture systems and the environment, with a particular focus on ecosystem services in counties under threat from encroachment by urban development.

“Stephanie is the gold standard of what a UC ANR advisor should be – she has a robust, relevant county program, provides leadership and vision for statewide programs; she offers her service to professional societies and she is highly regarded by all who work with her,” said Theresa Becchetti, UC Cooperative Extension livestock advisor, one of the 20 UCCE peers who nominated Larson for the award.

Larson and Main will receive their awards at a ceremony featuring distinguished speaker Hannah Wittman, interim co-director of the University of British Columbia Centre for Climate Justice, on Wednesday, May 15, 4–7 p.m. To register for the event, visit

The Bradford-Rominger award recognizes and honors individuals who exhibit the leadership, work ethic and integrity epitomized by the late Eric Bradford, a livestock geneticist who gave 50 years of service to UC Davis, and the late Charlie Rominger, a fifth-generation Yolo County farmer and land preservationist. The annual award was suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic and these will be the first awards given since 2020.

Legislators hear about UC ANR research, outreach to improve California

From left, Cindy Chen, Glenda Humiston, Assembly Agriculture Committee Chair Esmeralda Soria, Gabe Youtsey and Victor Francovich, chief consultant for the Assembly Agriculture Committee.

UC ANR held its annual advocacy day on April 10, meeting with state legislators to build awareness of how Californians are benefiting from its work across the state. The group, led by Vice President Glenda Humiston and Associate Vice President Brent Hales, met with Assembly Majority Leader Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, Assembly Agriculture Committee Chair Esmeralda Soria, Assemblymembers Vince Fong and Juan Alanis, and Senators John Laird, Bill Dodd and Anna Caballero.

From left, legislative staff Quincy Stivers, Gabe Youtsey, John Laird, Glenda Humiston and Cindy Chen.

They also met with the staff of President pro Tempore Mike McGuire, Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas, Senators Monica Limón, Steve Padilla, Roger Niello and Josh Becker, and Assemblymembers Bill Essayli, Cottie Petrie-Norris, Jesse Gabriel, Damon Connolly and Steve Bennett.

From left, Haris Gilani, Lenya Quinn-Davidson, Assemblymember Vince Fong, Brent Hales, Cindy Chen and Gabe Youtsey.

This year, Anne Megaro, government and community relations director, and Sheron Violini, associate director government and community relations, added a midday coffee break to showcase UC ANR's wildfire resiliency research and outreachand offer resources for legislative offices to share with their constituents in May, which is Wildfire Preparedness Month. Assemblymember Vince Fong sponsored the room in the Capitol for the briefing. Lenya Quinn-Davidson, Fire Network director, spoke about the importance of prescribed burns and forest management practices and associated job opportunities. Missy Gable, director of UC Master Gardener Program, described how UC ANR is helping communities become more resilient and prepared.

“Our knowledge and prepared outreach materials could be used by offices to help their constituents mitigate wildfire risk,” said Violini. “We garnered great interest from representatives of several caucuses and offices and we are already working with them to share information.”

From left, Cindy Chen, Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, Loyal Terry and Glenda Humiston.

In meetings with legislators and their staff, the UC ANR representatives shared a one-pager that included the new Luna UCR avocado, reducing food insecurity, and pest management in urban communities as well as on farms.

Humiston and Gabe Youtsey, chief innovation officer, discussed the merits of CropManage, an app used by growers to reduce water and fertilizer inputs while harvesting the same crop yields. The decision-support tool developed by Michael Cahn, UCCE irrigation and water resources advisor, will be showcased at the UC Innovation Fair at the state Capitol on May 8.

From left, Brent Hales, Senator Bill Dodd, Lenya Quinn-Davidson and Haris Gilani.

Cindy Chen, UC Cooperative Extension woody biomass and forest products advisor in the Central Sierra, and  Haris Gilani UCCE biomass and bioenergy advisor in Riverside and San Bernardino counties, described UC ANR's role in ARCHES, California's initiative to accelerate renewable hydrogen projects and the necessary infrastructure. The scientists are identifying ways to use biomass to provide energy and consumer products while creating job opportunities in rural areas.

To continue the learning relationship, they invited the legislators and staff to attend UC ANR events in their respective districts.

From left, Brent Hales, Assemblymember Juan Alanis, Lenya Quinn-Davidson, Haris Gilani and Anne Megaro.
From left, Brent Hales, Assemblymember Juan Alanis, Lenya Quinn-Davidson, Haris Gilani and Anne Megaro.

Assemblymember Megan Dahle gave the group a tour of the Assembly Chamber.
Assemblymember Megan Dahle gave the group a tour of the Assembly Chamber.

Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2024 at 1:47 AM
Tags: advocacy (28), Anne Megaro (15), April 2024 (13), Sheron Violini (2)

Governing Council, PAC tour Desert REC, Salton Sea

4-H member Bayne Bernal, left, met UC President Drake during his visit to Desert Research and Extension Center.

Vice President Glenda Humiston and UC ANR employees gave UC President Michael Drake, the UC ANR Governing Council and the President's Advisory Commission members a tour of the Salton Sea area and Desert Research and Extension Center in Holtville on April 25 and 26.

The tour started with visit to Aziz Farms in the Coachella Valley. At the date farm, they met Rita Clemons, director of UC Cooperative Extension for San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange counties; Philip Waisen, UCCE vegetable crops advisor; and Yu Meng, UCCE youth, family and community advisor. Grower Mark Tadros gave an overview of the benefits and challenges of operating a small farm.

At Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, Jim Turner, president of Controlled Thermal Resources Holdings, Inc., gave a talk about geothermal energy and lithium extraction. Hoori Ajami, UC Riverside associate professor and member of the Salton Sea Task Force, and Ali Montazar, UCCE irrigation and water management advisor for Imperial, Riverside and San Diego counties; described the area's ecological and agricultural challenges.

On the second day of the tour, Darren Haver, director for the REC System and interim South Coast REC director, gave the group an overview of the Research and Extension Center System.

Desert REC Director Jairo Diaz and the Desert REC team presented an overview of the community and youth education activities and field studies at Desert REC. The tour included drone and robotics demonstrations by Gabe Youtsey, chief innovation officer, and Ali Pourreza, UCCE digital agriculture specialist at UC Davis.

Ricardo Vela, manager of News and Information Outreach in Spanish, explained how UC ANR is connecting Latinos in California with information.

To wrap up the tour, Oli Bachie, UCCE Imperial County director and agronomy and weed management advisor for Imperial, Riverside and San Diego counties, and Clemons described local UC Master Gardener, 4-H and CalFresh Healthy Living, UC programs.

The tour was coordinated by Kathy Eftekhari, chief of staff to the vice president, and the Program Support Unit.


Posted on Monday, April 29, 2024 at 6:22 PM

Names in the News

Fujiyoshi joins Capitol Corridor small farms team

Phillip Fujiyoshi

Phillip Fujiyoshi joined UCANR on April 3 as a UCCE small farms extension and research associate in the Capitol Corridor. Working with Margaret Lloyd, UCCE small farms advisor, Fujiyoshi supports underserved farmers in Yolo, Sacramento, and Solano counties by providing them with financial and agronomic technical assistance, and making extension materials available in Spanish.

Born and raised in Santa Maria, Fujiyoshi earned his bachelor's degree in biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His academic knowledge of Spanish transformed into bilingual proficiency thanks to his life experiences of living with Spanish roommates, participating in a tree-planting brigade in Nicaragua and setting up a Spanish-speaking household with a Nicaraguan partner. The Nicaragua trip also sparked his lasting interest in agriculture, leading him into doctoral studies in agroecology at UC Santa Cruz.

After completing his Ph.D., Fujiyoshi performed molecular assays, contributed to phylogenetic studies, and led a spore-trapping field study in a lab studying grapevine trunk diseases. In addition, he pursued outside interests in agriculture, including winning an individual grant to study cabbage aphid behavior, pursuing informal cover crop trials in a community garden plot, volunteering on the UC Davis Student Farm and giving agronomic advice to growers at the farmers market.

Fujiyoshi is based in Woodland and can be reached at (530) 666-8143 and

Gill joins UCCE as environmental horticulture advisor 

Haramrit Gill

Haramrit Gill joined UCCE on April 1 as an environmental horticulture advisor for Tulare, Kings, Fresno and Madera counties.

She will be identifying landscape plants that are heat-tolerant, disease-resistant and fire-resistant. Gill will be researching California native plants with sustainable attributes that include superior adaptation, biodiversity enhancement, water efficiency and soil health benefits.

A native of Punjab, India, Gill earned her undergraduate degree in agriculture followed by a master's degree in horticulture at Punjab Agricultural University, where her research focused on micropropagation and haploid production in muskmelons. She earned a Ph.D. from the Department of Horticultural Sciences at Texas A&M University.

Her early research investigated the impact of nitrogen on spinach root architecture. Her doctoral work concentrated on rose breeding and deciphering the genetic underpinnings of flower color transition traits, fragrance and dwarfing in roses, with a particular focus on the intriguing phenomenon of flower color transformation from yellow to dark pink as blooms matured. She also collaborated on projects aimed at enhancing heat tolerance and disease resistance in roses.

Gill is based in Tulare and can be reached at and on LinkedIn at

Mickle joins Central Sierra nutrition education team

Justin Mickle

Justin Mickle joined UC ANR on March 18 as a community nutrition educator for the Central Sierra.

Prior to joining UC ANR, Mickle was a performance nutrition intern working with Division 1 athletes to optimize each individual's nutrition to best suit the demands of their sport and position within the sport.

He also served as an intern with CalFresh Healthy Living's Sacramento Office working alongside the community nutrition educators to deliver lessons.

“I'm excited to learn and educate along with the rest of the team,” said Mickle, who works with children and adults.

“The other day I was doing a site visit at Indian Creek Elementary School where I was teaching the Go, Glow and Grow CalFresh Healthy Living Curriculum to transitional kindergarten and kindergarten students in class,” Mickle said. He also has provided nutrition education to adults at a learning center for adults with disabilities to teach them fundamental cooking skills.

“Later this year, I will be visiting high schools and teaching other curriculum there as well, such as Hunger Attacks/Money Talks and Cooking Academy,” he said.

Mickle is a recent graduate of Sacramento State University with a bachelor's degree in nutrition and food.

He is based at the UCCE office in Placerville and can be reached at

Rosenbaum named disability management coordinator

Jodi Rosenbaum

Jodi Rosenbaum is now the permanent UC ANR disability management coordinator. With extensive experience in various Human Resources roles, including HR Partner; Employee and Labor Relations Coordinator; Leave Coordinator; and interim Disability Management Coordinator, she contributes a wealth of knowledge and expertise. Rosenbaum has served with the University of California for 19 years, including UC ANR for the last nine years.

Disability Management Services provides a wide range of functions and services to UC ANR academics, staff and program participants. Services include but are not limited to engaging with employees who may have workplace restrictions that require accommodation, coordinating with workers compensation, as well as providing guidance and training with regard to promote workplace health, safety and wellness. 

If you have questions about disability management services,send an email to or directly to Rosenbaum at

Posted on Monday, April 29, 2024 at 12:54 PM

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