ANR Employees
University of California
ANR Employees

Posts Tagged: February 2023

UC ANR shares research highlights at World Ag Expo

UCCE Kern County advisors Tobias Oker and Mohammad Yaghmour, center, visit the UC ANR booths at World Ag Expo. On left, Terri White represents The VINE.

Along with over 1,200 exhibitors, UC ANR participated in the World Ag Expo held in Tulare on Feb. 14–16. This annual event attracts visitors from across the world to see the latest agricultural technology and advancements. This year's event had the highest attendance in 10 years, with 108,233 visitors coming to learn about the latest innovations in agriculture. This provided UC ANR with a unique opportunity to showcase work being done throughout our organization and share our research with a wider audience.

At the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture's Farm Bill Listening Session on Feb. 14, Kambree, a member of the Oakdale 4-H Club in Tulare County, led the Pledge of Allegiance. During the comment session, Vice President Glenda Humiston thanked House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and the other representatives for supporting agricultural research. She urged Congress to invest in agricultural research facilities and technology that would benefit both large and small farms, to redefine “rural” to improve resource allocation, and to provide equitable programs for farmers using leased land. 

4-H'er Kambree, right, poses with Vice President Glenda Humiston at the Farm Bill Listening Session.

World Ag Expo seminars provided opportunities for UC Cooperative Extension specialists to share their valuable research with other academics and industry professionals. Golden State Dairy Management hosted a series of three seminars throughout the expo: Animal Management & HealthFeeds & FeedingFocus on Management Practices and Tools for Antimicrobial Stewardship.

Speakers from UC ANR included Alec Gerry, UCCE veterinary entomology specialist based at UC Riverside; Betsy Karle, UCCE Glenn County director and dairy advisor; Noelia Silva Del Rio, UC Davis veterinary medicine extension specialist based in Tulare; Jackie Atim, UCCE abiotic stress specialist based at Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center; Nicholas Clark, UCCE farm advisor for Kings County; Jennifer Heguy, UCCE director and dairy farm advisor for Stanislaus County; Randi Black, UCCE dairy advisor for Sonoma, Marin and Mendocino counties; Emmanuel Okello, UCCE antimicrobial stewardship assistant specialist based at UC Davis; and Alda Pires, UCCE associate specialist and associate agronomist in AES at UC Davis.

Jackie Atim presented 2020 and 2021 data on sorghum variety trials. The drought-tolerant crop is increasingly important for forage as less water is available.
They shared their research findings on fly control, navel disease, group housing calves, sorghum silage options, weed management, byproduct feeding, and the use of antimicrobial drugs while maintaining livestock health.

At the exhibitor booths, visitors engaged with UC ANR professionals through various displays and informational handouts. The Lindcove Research and Extension Center provided attendees with Tango mandarins and displayed citrus varieties, including buddha's hand and lemons with pink flesh. Kearney REC-based researchers Andreas Westphal and Atim were available to answer questions about nematodes and sorghum, respectively. Brady Holder promoted the Nitrogen and Irrigation Initiative and demonstrated the use of tensiometers and flowmeters.

Additionally, UC Master Gardener volunteers gave away seeds and information for the diverse group of gardeners in attendance. Tapan Pathak, UCCE climate adaptation specialist based at UC Merced, promoted his risk-management program CalAgroClimate, encouraging growers to use its crop-specific weather data tools to help make decisions. 4-H members from Fresno County answered questions about the program and showcased their project samples. Terri White and Lucie Cahierre of The VINE exhibited their robot to promote the Farm Robotics Challenge.

The local UCCE nutrition education team also greeted booth visitors. Irene Padasas, UCCE community nutrition and health advisor for Tulare, Kings, Madera and Fresno counties; Mariana Lopez, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) nutrition educator for Tulare County; and Elia Escalante, Marina Aguilera and Alyssabeth Navarro – all CalFresh Healthy Living, UCCE nutrition educators for Tulare County – provided information about health and nutrition.

Terri Gonzalez, business manager, and Julie Pedraza, staff research associate, of Kearney REC coordinated logistics for the booth. 

Next year, the World Ag Expo will be held Feb. 13-15.


Posted on Monday, February 27, 2023 at 3:22 PM
  • Author: Kiera Heberlein, student intern

L&D - Food systems & climate, budget basics, unpacking oppression, accessible documents, project management

Landing page| Webinar Recordings| Learning Resources

Do you have a webinar to present in any of these four learning strategies? Let us know by filling out this interest form!

Extension Methods & Delivery
Building Support
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Office, Team, and Personal Management

Dynamic Discussions (Extension Foundation)
March 23
11 a.m. -12 p.m. PT

Details. Registration.
Each fourth Thursday of the month, the Impact Collaborative will host professionals from across Cooperative Extension and beyond to address hot topics of interest to Cooperative Extension. Each month, we will update the information for the Dynamic Discussion for the month!

Food Systems and the Climate Crisis Webinar Series (Extension Foundation)
March 2, 9 and 16 at 12-1 p.m. PT

Details & registration. Alternative Proteins, webinar 6
March 2
Details & Registration. Educational programs to reduce food waste, webinar 7
March 9
Details & Registration. Planning and sharing Extension programs, webinar 8
March 16

The Cornell Civic Ecology Lab and CCE are sponsoring a webinar discussion on food systems solutions to reduce climate emissions. The goal is to foster a learning community around food systems and climate solutions. This series has been planned to (1) promote learning and sharing among CCE educators interested in food solutions to climate emissions, including plant-rich diet, reducing food wastes, alt-proteins and reducing methane emissions on farms….and more.

Program Center Stage (Extension Foundation)
March 27, 2023
11 a.m.-noon Pacific time

Details & Registration.
The Program Center Stage will highlight programs from across the system including current and past New Technologies from Ag Extension projects, Impact Collaborative projects, National programs like EXCITE, and more on the fourth Monday of each month at 11 a.m. - noon. Each month, we will update the information below for which program we will be putting center stage! This series is open to anyone that would like to attend.

Image credit: UC Davis Food Systems Lab

Top of page

Budget Basics and Calculator (UC ANR, Virtual)

March 22, 2023
12:30 -1 p.m.

Learn how to develop a proposal budget. Topics covered include cost components that make up a budget, applicable cost principles, budgeting techniques and practices, calculating F&A costs, and budgeting tools and resources.

Password: 4Learning | +1 669 900 6833 | Webinar ID: 751 701 428

Using the new ANR Workflow Automation program to route C&G Forms “800“ and Advance Account Request
May 24
12:30-1 p.m.

Introduction and training on the new Workflow Automation system. We will go through the automated program and show how to use it for the C&G Form 800 and the C&G Form Advanced Account Request. 

Password: 4Learning | +1 669 900 6833 | Webinar ID: 751 701 428

Award Process (ANR-Virtual)
June 28
12:30-1 p.m.

Once a sponsor elects to fund a proposal, the review, negotiation and award acceptance process begins. This webinar walks you through what is happening in the Office of Contracts and Grants, and what to do when the accepted agreement arrives in your office.

Password: 4Learning | +1 669 900 6833 | Webinar ID: 751 701 428

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Top of page

Creating Accessible Documents Systemwide Training Program

Details and May cohort application closes April 7.

A six-session training program focused on how to evaluate and achieve accessibility in digital documents. Sessions will be one hour long, conducted via Zoom, occurring at a regular time every other week.

Additional support opportunities will be available to participants throughout the program so they can ask questions, confirm their understanding, engage in practice activities and explore specific areas relevant to their work. Accessibility fundamentals, creating accessible Word docs, evaluation, and improving PDF accessibility and more.

Unpacking Oppression (UC Davis Health, in-Person)
Wednesday, March 15
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Register here.
This course offers an opportunity for participants to explore their questions about race and ethnicity in a safe environment. Participants will explore the cultural barriers to dismantling racism. By understanding the realities of privilege and power, we can participate more fully in antiracism work and foster an equitable campus community for everyone. This session includes an exploration of how the pandemic has impacted this area of DEI.

Avoiding Bias in the Hiring Process (UC Davis, Virtual)
Thursday, April 20, 2023
8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Zoom
Details & Registration.

This session explores the power of impressions and its potential influence in the evaluation of job applicants. Using reflection exercises, participants will explore the relationship between impressions and bias and introduce learners to key research involving biases in hiring. Participants will leave the session having greater awareness and understanding of bias theory (coupled with case studies) and strategies in mitigating bias in the hiring process.

Image by mohamed_hassan from PixabayTop of page

Top of page

Programmatic Orientation (UC ANR, Virtual)
March 2, Part 2

Details & Registration.
Goal of this orientation is to provide ANR academics with the foundation to build on for success, where success is positively impacting the lives of all Californians. Open to all early career academics:

  • Cooperative Extension Advisors
  • Cooperative Extension Specialists
  • Academic Coordinators
  • Academic Administrators
  • Agricultural Experiment Station Faculty

2023 UC ANR Administrative Orientation for New Employees, in-Person
Wednesday, March 22
9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

Details & Registration.
Learn about ANR Administrative Units and Statewide Programs and Institutes!

Who should attend: All UC ANR Employees (academics, staff and affiliated staff on campuses, counties and RECs) who have not participated in an administrative orientation in the past. Priority will be given to those hired by ANR within the past year.

Image by Harish Sharma from Pixabay

Project Management Foundations: Integration (LinkedIn Learning 1 hr. 44 min.)

Learn the 12 steps to managing projects without creating a lot of extra overhead and shows how to use traditional project management tools—such as Gantt charts and network diagrams—to help you succeed. Learning objectives:

  • Describe a project and its constraints.
  • Interpret the appropriate level of granularity of tasks.
  • Determine the importance of a project's critical path.
  • Explain how to calculate and add contingency to a project.
  • Analyze the data within a risk chart.
  • Interpret the challenges of monitoring costs and identifying when to adjust the project plan.

Request your LinkedIn Learning account from ANR IT at

PowerPoint Data Visualization: High-Impact Charts and Graphs (LinkedIn Learning 1 hr. 44 min.)

Data visualization is a hot topic, and we all know charts should be as clear and effective as possible. But do you know what makes one chart more effective than another? In this course, PowerPoint MVP Echo Swinford shows how to build high-impact charts in Microsoft Office. Using PowerPoint and Excel, she demonstrates specific techniques to make your charts easier to read and understand quickly.

Request your LinkedIn Learning account from ANR IT at

Top of page

Posted on Monday, February 27, 2023 at 1:45 PM

Haviland ups his extension game

In the video game Ground, David Haviland and HelloIAmKate venture into a virtual backyard and encounter insects that are bigger than they are.

David Haviland, UC Cooperative Extension entomology advisor for Kern County, and Twitch streamer HelloIAmKate try to survive backyard bugs in the video game Grounded.

“This was a really neat opportunity to combine science and entertainment, while teaching the science of biological control to a lay audience far-removed from traditional agriculture,” said Haviland. “It was also great to be able to portray scientists as fun, passionate people.”

The video has been viewed thousands of times.

Watch as they compete at


Posted on Monday, February 27, 2023 at 11:39 AM
Tags: David Haviland (10), February 2023 (12)

Hansen REC to expand capacity in Camarillo

In December 2022, the UC acquired a 114-acre farm property in Camarillo to serve as Hansen REC's new home. Photo by Annemiek Schilder

UC Hansen Agricultural Research and Extension Center – the site of popular school field trips, 4-H programs, a UC Master Gardener demonstration garden, and numerous research trials on crops and landscape plants – is moving to a new location on the west side of Camarillo. The center was established through an endowment bequeathed to the UC by Saticoy farmer Thelma Hansen, who sought to support university research and extension activities benefiting Ventura County.

For the past 25 years, Hansen REC has been located on the historic Faulkner Farm in Santa Paula. At 27 acres, Hansen REC was the smallest of the nine RECs across the state operated by UC Agriculture and Natural Resources; in 2019, UC ANR leadership decided a larger property was needed to expand the center's capacity. The Faulkner Farm was sold in March 2021, but a portion was leased back to the UC to sustain its programs until a new location was identified.

The new Hansen REC site, located on the Oxnard Plain, is conducive to research on Ventura County's high-value crops, such as strawberries. Photo by Annemiek Schilder
In December 2022, the UC acquired a 114-acre farm property in Camarillo to serve as Hansen REC's new home. Moving structures and equipment from Faulkner Farm will take place over the next six months. Public programs at the new location are on hold until seismic retrofitting and other building upgrades are completed. A new research and educational facility also will be built, with an estimated opening date in 2027 or 2028.

“Our planning committee looked for a site on the Oxnard Plain that is representative of the coastal agriculture environment and conducive to research on Ventura County's high-value crops, such as strawberries,” said Annemiek Schilder, Hansen REC director. “We also sought a location with diverse soil types, access to sufficient irrigation water, and a low risk of flooding – and we're pleased that this Camarillo property meets most of our search criteria.”

Of the approximately 104 cultivable acres, 28 are certified organic, which will allow researchers to study organic as well as conventional crop production methods, Schilder noted. She said another bonus of the new location is its proximity to California State University, Channel Islands and the Rodale Institute California Organic Center, which are both potential partners for future research and a student organic farm on site.

Initial plans for the new Hansen REC facility include offices, conference rooms, laboratories, greenhouses, a demonstration kitchen, and indoor and outdoor education areas. The center will aim to be water-efficient and energy-neutral, relying on solar panels for much of its energy usage. The UC Cooperative Extension Office in Ventura is also slated to move to the new facility.

“We fully expect Hansen REC to become a vibrant research and education hub that provides science-based solutions and is responsive to the needs of agricultural, rural and urban communities and the environment in Ventura County,” said Glenda Humiston, UC vice president for agriculture and natural resources. “We're excited to expand current programming while bringing in new educational opportunities, such as the UC Master Food Preserver and Master Beekeeper programs.”

Posted on Monday, February 27, 2023 at 10:36 AM
  • Author: Mike Hsu

Richard Smith retires after 37 years of translating science into solutions for vegetable growers

Richard Smith tests nitrogen levels in soil out in a field.

For four decades, when a new plant disease infects fields of lettuce or a new regulation is issued for agriculture, vegetable farmers across the state have turned to Richard Smith, the University of California Cooperative Extension vegetable crops advisor, for answers. After 37 years of service with UCCE, Smith retired on Jan. 4.

“The whole industry has been dreading Richard's retirement!” exclaimed Jennifer Clarke, executive director of the California Leafy Greens Research Program. “Richard is a wealth of knowledge and has a great ability to translate science into real-world practical solutions.” 

In the past few years, the leafy greens industry has lost millions of dollars of crops due to infections of impatiens necrotic spot virus (INSV) and Pythium wilt. Smith is among the researchers investigating the diseases.

“Richard has conducted important variety trials and led efforts in identifying the ‘top 10' weed hosts for INSV and strategies to reduce the wintertime ‘green bridge' for this virus,” Clarke said.  

Smith also has kept policymakers informed of the latest research. In 2021, he testified before the Assembly Committee on Agriculture about leafy green plant diseases. 

A legacy of practical advice, service to community

Richard Smith, left, and Michael Cahn speak at a field day.

By serving on numerous grower and county committees and working directly with growers, Smith has built a reputation for understanding growers' needs and developing practical solutions. He has found it rewarding to see his research results used.

“The research that I have conducted with my collaborators has helped the water board to better fit their regulations to the reality of farming and to minimize the economic constraints,” Smith said. 

Smith and his colleague Michael Cahn, UCCE irrigation and water resources advisor, also have become trusted and respected voices when discussing AgOrder 4.0 with the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, according to Clarke. AgOrder 4.0 calls for farmers to reduce the amount of fertilizer they apply to crops.  

Field trials conducted by Smith and Cahn showed growers they could use nitrogen from high nitrate wells toward meeting a crop's nutritional needs.  

“Richard has also done important research to develop nitrogen removal coefficients for AgOrder 4.0,” Clarke said. “Recently he and Eric Brennan of USDA-ARS (Agricultural Research Service) looked at cover crops and identified a system to predict shoot biomass and allow for nitrogen scavenging credits. His work has been pivotal in helping growers comply with AgOrder 4.0 in a cost-effective and realistic manner.”  

Growers also use his research to manage cadmium, a heavy metal that is naturally present in soils. 

“He led the effort to help growers find a best management practice that reduces cadmium uptake in various crops,” Clarke said. “The Central Coast has areas of productive agricultural land where there are naturally occurring shale deposits. The ability to amend soil to reduce plant uptake of this heavy metal has allowed these important production areas to continue to farm nutritious vegetables.”

‘Never had a bad day as a farm advisor'

Richard Smith

Growing up in Watsonville, Smith began working at a young age in agriculture for summer jobs.

“I was in 4-H and got to know ag advisors and was always impressed by them,” Smith said. “I was fortunate to be able to work as an advisor for my career. I never had a bad day as a farm advisor – it was very satisfying working with growers and helping them with their issues.”

Smith joined UC Cooperative Extension as a farm advisor intern in San Diego County and San Joaquin County in 1985 after earning his master's degree in agronomy from UC Davis. In 1986, he moved to the Central Valley to serve as an interim farm advisor for San Joaquin County, then became a vegetable crops farm advisor for Stanislaus County in 1987. 

In 1989, Smith moved to the Central Coast to serve as UCCE small farms advisor for San Benito, Monterey and Santa Cruz counties. In 1999, he transitioned to UCCE vegetable crops and weed science farm advisor for those three counties, where he served for the rest of his career.

Mentoring the next generation of scientists

“Richard was my mentor, principal investigator on my first collaborative study at ANR, speaker at several of my extension events, and a dear colleague,” said Surendra Dara, former UCCE entomology and biologicals advisor and now director of Oregon State University's North Willamette Research & Extension Center and professor of horticulture. “He is very kind, friendly, and most importantly has a good sense of humor. He is well-regarded both by his peers and stakeholders.”

Smith has been active in professional organizations, regularly attending the annual meetings of the American Society for Horticulture Science and the American Society of Agronomy. He served as president of the California Chapter of the American Society of Agronomy in 2014 and served on the board of the California Weed Science Society, which granted him the Award of Excellence in 2005 and an honorary membership in 2020. 

As a public service, Smith served on the board of the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association, and taught classes and conducted outreach to their Spanish-speaking clientele. He was a regular guest speaker for vegetable crop and weed science classes at CSU Fresno, CSU Monterey Bay, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Hartnell Community College and Cabrillo Community College.

As he winds down his career, Smith has been mentoring new UCCE farm advisors and scientists who have joined USDA-Agricultural Research Service in Salinas and California State University, Monterey Bay, acquainting them with local issues. 

“Richard's leadership and mentorship has been critical in the development of my career as a new researcher at USDA-ARS in Salinas,” said Daniel K. Hasegawa, research entomologist in USDA-ARS's Crop Improvement and Protection Research Unit. “Richard has taught me so much about agricultural practices in the Salinas Valley and has connected me with growers and pest control advisers, which has enhanced the impact of my own research, which includes projects addressing thrips and INSV.”

Smith, who has been granted emeritus status by UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, plans to complete nitrogen research projects that are underway.

Posted on Monday, February 27, 2023 at 8:39 AM

Read more

Webmaster Email: