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Posts Tagged: April 2021

Names in the News

Martinez joins UCCE in Kings County

Vanessa Martinez

Vanessa Martinez joined the CalFresh Healthy Living, UCCE Kings County team as a nutrition educator on March 1. In this position, she hopes to bring success to the program and motivate individuals to make positive changes and create a healthier lifestyle by making good nutrition choices.

In her free time, Martinez loves to take hikes with beautiful sceneries, preferably with a view of the ocean. She also loves to spontaneously take trips and be able to cross off places off of her travel bucket list.

With a bachelor's in psychology, in the near future Martinez hopes to continue her education in graduate school to enhance learning and skills needed to dedicate the best of herself to her career with CalFresh Healthy Living, UC in Kings County. Martinez can be reached at

Purdy joins UCCE in Shasta County

Margaret Purdy

Margaret Purdy joined CalFresh Healthy Living, UCCE Shasta Cluster as an administrative assistant on March 22. She recently relocated from the Bay Area, where she had over 13 years of experience working in nonprofit and theatre arts administration.

Purdy brings a combined background in customer service, database management, digital and arts marketing and communications, and radio production and promotions. She has been a volunteer staff member at KFJC 89.7 FM in Los Altos Hills since 2006, where she won a College Radio Award for Outstanding Spot Production in 2011.

Purdy earned a Bachelor of Arts in theatre from Humboldt State in 2004, and an Associate of Arts in radio production from Foothill College in 2012.

She will be based in the nutrition education program building in Redding and can be reached at and (530) 224-4301.

Spalding joins KARE as ag supervisor II

Dan Spalding

Dan Spalding joined the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center staff as an agricultural supervisor II on March 22.

Previously, Spalding worked as a field scout in row crops and as a pest control adviser in fruits and nuts. More recently, he worked as a farm supervisor for Wonderful Citrus and Sun Pacific Farming. 

Spalding's family roots run deep in agriculture. He grew up working on his family's farm and studied agriculture from high school through college, earning an A.S. in Plant Science from College of the Sequoias in Visalia and a B.S. in fruit science at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.     

Spalding is based at KARE and can be reached at

Callahan named SAREP agritourism coordinator 

Rachael Callahan

Rachael Callahan joined the UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program SAREP team as the statewide agritourism coordinator on March 29. She has devoted her career to strengthening vibrant and sustainable food systems.

Over the past 10 years, Callahan has worked for nonprofit organizations promoting urban farming and food security in Washington, D.C., building a robust local food system on the island of Nantucket, Mass., and showcasing sustainable agroforestry techniques in southern Belize. In each of these settings, she has seen the power of agritourism to provide resiliency to farmers, inspire and educate the public, and connect the community. 

Callahan holds a bachelor's degree in international affairs from the University of Georgia, a master's degree in global environmental policy from American University, and certificates in agroecology, permaculture design, and urban agriculture.

She is eager to connect with, learn from, and share ideas with California farmers and ranchers. Callahan is based at the UC ANR building in Davis and can be reached at

Avery King
King joins UC ANR as senior artist

Avery King joined UC ANR as senior artist on April 5. He brings 16 years of graphic design experience. Most recently, he was the graphic designer for Mariani Packing Co. in Vacaville, where he managed their package design and marketing materials.

Throughout his career, King has engaged in design projects tailored to a wide array of audiences, ranging from home appliance companies and electronics to dried fruit consumers. He has also supported several nonprofit organizations with his design skills.

Avery earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science at UC Berkeley. He will be based in the UC ANR building in Davis and can be reached at

Quinn-Davidson honored with ANREP Early Career Award

Lenya Quinn-Davidson
Lenya Quinn-Davidson, UCCE area fire advisor for Humboldt, Siskiyou, Trinity and Mendocino counties, received the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals' Early Career Award on May 26, during the virtual ANREP 2021 Conference.

In presenting the award, ANREP stated “Quinn-Davidson has shown outstanding leadership in advancing the practice of prescribed fire in her region, California, and across the nation. As the first fire advisor for the University of California Cooperative Extension, she has kickstarted the practices of prescribed fire on private land in California by organizing workshops, the Northern California Prescribed Fire Council, training exchanges, and the first prescribed burn association in the West. She developed the first women's training exchange to increase female leadership in wildland fire and continues to coach organizers nationwide. She co-founded the Humboldt County Prescribed Burn Association, which helps landowners build skills in burn plan development, permitting and implementation. She influenced state policy by helping craft successful legislation and joining CALFIRE's cadre of experts developing the California Certified Burn Boss program. Her success has been demonstrated by adoption and dissemination of practiced and extension methods she pioneered throughout California and the West.”



Posted on Friday, April 30, 2021 at 3:29 PM

Virtual CARET visits with congressional staff productive

CARET representatives met virtually with Congressman Jim Costa, who represents the 16th district in the San Joaquin Valley.

Vice President Glenda Humiston led a delegation representing California to the virtual annual joint meeting of the Council for Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching (CARET) and the Administrative Heads Section (AHS) of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, March 1-4.

Over a series of Zoom calls, CARET delegates met with California's Congress members to discuss the specific impacts of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources in their districts and the importance of strong federal funding to support the programs, including Cooperative Extension, 4-H Youth Development, nutrition education, and the research and extension centers. 

“CARET was our last in-person meeting in 2020 so we weren't sure what to expect with virtual visits in 2021, but they were even more productive than in years past,” said Anne Megaro, UC ANR director of government and community relations.

“We had more time with congressional staffers and members in each meeting and our conversations were more detailed and thoughtful. Congress is working hard to meet the needs of their constituents and they were very interested to hear about UC's work in wildfire and everything we've been doing to support communities through COVID, particularly with our communities of color and those where English is a second language.”

Collectively, the group visited 22 congressional offices, including meeting with members Jim Costa, Jimmy Panetta and Ami Bera.

CARET delegates – new delegate Ishmael (Ish) Herrera of California Forward, San Diego County nurseryman Mike Mellano, Humboldt County rancher Dina Moore, and Environmental Solutions Group managing partner Jean-Mari Peltier – explained how their businesses and industries have benefited from UC ANR research and extension. Bill Frost, former UC ANR associate vice president and UCCE advisor emeritus, also served as a CARET delegate.

UCCE forest and natural resources advisor Ryan Tompkins, UC Master Gardener Program Director Missy Gable, and UCCE County Director for Fresno, Tulare, Kings and Madera counties, Karmjot Randhawa, were the UC ANR academics and staff who described how their work and programs impacted members' districts over the past year. COVID-19 was a strong theme, as well as wildfire and forest management.

Building on the success of the virtual CARET visits, Megaro arranged a few more meetings for UC ANR academics and congressional staffers over Zoom.


Posted on Friday, April 30, 2021 at 12:44 PM
Tags: April 2021 (17), CARET (6)

Celebrate Asian Pacific Heritage Month in May

Everyone in the UC ANR community is invited to join virtual events to learn, share, support and celebrate Asian Pacific Heritage Month every Tuesday in May from 3 to 4 p.m.

  • May 4 - The Asian Pacific Identity: Experiences and Stories
  • May 11 - Asian Pacific Farmers in California: Past and Present
  • May 18 - Violence in Asian Pacific Communities: Exclusion, Internment and Hate Crimes
  • May 25 - Supporting Our Friends and Colleagues: Bystander Intervention Training

The weekly events will begin May 4 with a discussion of who is included and what is meant by the terms Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander. Surendra Dara will describe his immigration experience and Soo-Young Chin, a cultural consultant and ethnographer from Ethnoworks will present.

On May 11, we'll hear perspectives from Asian Americans involved in agriculture, starting with a video about Koda Farms and how this Japanese-American family continues to farm since starting to grow rice in 1928. Kellee Matsushita-Tseng will talk about her work with Second Generation Seeds, representation in Extension, and the current acts of hate. UC ANR's very own Sua Vang, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) community health specialist, will talk about her experience farming and continuing connections with Southeast Asian farmers in Fresno County. 

On May 18, we will review some history of violence and discrimination against Asians and Asian Americans in the U.S., then May Lin, postdoctoral fellow at the Interdisciplinary Research Institute for the Study of (in)Equality at the University of Denver, will encourage participants to think beyond the framing of individual hate crimes and more towards community approaches – such as the Black-Asian solidarity efforts in Oakland – to dismantle systemic violence.

On May 25, Advancing Justice Chicago, in partnership with Hollaback! and CAIR-Chicago, will give us a crash course in how to de-escalate harassment and support people who are targets of harassment and violence.

All of the sessions are scheduled for an hour, but speakers will remain online beyond 4 p.m. if needed to answer questions and allow for extended discussion. 

Register at 

The image for UC ANR's Asian Pacific Heritage Month was designed by Surendra Dara, UC Cooperative Extension entomology and biologicals advisor in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

The font and colors are representative of Asian Pacific heritage. The cherry blossoms represent spring, new life and vibrancy. The lanterns symbolize light, and light represents knowledge, wisdom and education. Lanterns representing the cultures of China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand are included. The shapes and colors of the lanterns are different, but the lanterns all serve the same purpose: to shine light. For UC ANR, the cherry branch represents our role in food production and natural resources while the lanterns represent our role in outreach.

Your APHM planning team:

Apurba Barman

Sibani Bose

Surendra Dara

Charles Go

Greg Ira

Pam Kan-Rice

Janice Kao

Dohee Kim

Vikram Koundinya

Elaine Lander

Tunyalee Martin

Yu Meng

Stephanie Parreira

Devii Rao

Marisa Tsai

Sua Vang

Laura Vollmer

Posted on Friday, April 30, 2021 at 9:22 AM
Tags: April 2021 (17), diversity (21)

ANR team wins ANREP educational materials award

The “Ranch Water Quality Planning Instructor's Guide and Lesson Plan” won the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals bronze award in the category of Book or Comprehensive Program Curriculum. 

The team includes Toby O'Geen, Bill Birmingham, Brooke Latack, DJ Eastburn, Dan Macon, David Lewis, David Lile, Devii Rao, Fadzayi Mashiri, Jeffrey Stackhouse, Jim Downing, Josh Davy, Julie Finzel, Kenneth Tate, Laura Snell, Leslie Roche, Lucien Crowder, Matthew Shapero, Michael Lennox, Morgan Doran, Randy Dahlgren, Rebecca Ozeran, Rob Atwill, Sandra Osterman, Stephanie Larson, Theresa Becchetti and Tracy Schohr. 

The Ranch Water Quality Planning Instructor's Guide and Lesson Plan represents the evolution of the UC Ranch Water Quality Planning Partnership and shortcourse program. The Instructor's Guide was published in two formats – a dynamic PDF document and an HTML webpage. Both formats integrate 29 educational and instructional videos in a curated playlist on the UC ANR YouTube channel. This comprehensive training resource gives instructors the tools to plan and deliver a shortcourse that trains private and public grazing land managers to develop land stewardship and water quality management plans. The Instructor's Guide provides a wealth of contemporary information and resources about water quality management on rangelands and supports adaptation of the curriculum content and elements to local conditions and needs.  The team began outreach and extension of these resources in November 2020. Through January 2021, the materials were downloaded 110 times and received 240 unique page views.

Posted on Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 5:45 PM
Tags: April 2021 (17), rangeland (2), water quality (3)

Start planning for Big Dig Day June 4

Big Dig Day is June 4. The 24-hour online fundraising campaign is an opportunity to collect supplemental support for UC ANR programs and research. 

Happy McGivins
In an effort to better communicate campaign plans and resources with participants, UCCE offices, RECs, programs and clubs are asked to register. Registered Big Dig Day participants will receive The Scoop e-newsletter with campaign updates and links to webinars and tools.

Register by filling out this 3-minute survey.

On May 3, the Big Dig toolkit will be available on Box.

Happy McGivins is our Big Dig Day mascot. You will find a "Flat Happy" in the toolkit that can be printed. Take Flat Happy with you to your garden, workplace, virtual club meetings, etc. and snap a selfie! Then post it on social media with a message that says, "I dig (INSERT PROGRAM NAME) because...(FILL IN THE BLANK!") #BigDigDay #GiveBack

On May 5, at 12 noon, there will be a Master Gardener webinar "Big Dig Day & Social Media: Strategies for Success."

If you have questions, contact Emily Delk, director of annual giving, at or (916) 564-4862.

Posted on Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 2:09 PM
Tags: April 2021 (17), Big Dig Day (5)

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