ANR Employees
University of California
ANR Employees

2014 New Call for Positions

This proposal has been formally submitted for the 2014 cycle.

Position Details

026 Area Livestock-Natural Resources and Community Development Advisor

Proposed Location/Housing

Plumas County

Proposed Area of Coverage

Based in Plumas-Sierra contributing of the Northern California Livestock & Natural Resources Team

Contacts

Associated Documents

Comments

16 Comments

1
This should be a priority position given the importance of the area for livestock and water resources management. This is a critical position where faculty and CE specialist from UC Davis have already started to work in collaboration with current County advisors in Plumas and Sierra Counties. This position has the potential of long lasting collaboration across program, campus and scientific expertise.
Posted Jun 13, 2014 2:32 PM by Samuel Sandoval Solis
2
The Sierra County Board of Supervisors supports UC ANR’s call for position 026 Area Livestock-Natural Resources and Community Development Advisor based in Plumas and Sierra Counties. The UCCE has a strong working relationship with local community members and has engaged campus resources to effectively address a number of agricultural production, land use and environmental issues. The benefit of this relationship between UCCE and the local community is invaluable and we look forward to working with a new Advisor building upon previous work conducted by Holly George.

Extensive livestock and hay operations are the economic backbone of our agriculture communities. Yet there are ever increasing societal demands on the land and water resources used by agriculture. While water that flows from the Feather River watershed is extremely valuable to the balance of the state, its use locally is essential to our area ag production systems. We need a locally based UCCE Advisor who will provide programmatic leadership and linkages to campus to develop effective solutions to resource management issues that affect and/or are affected by ranching operations. Continued research and development of management strategies to improve watershed function and water management policy will be critical to the viability of regional agricultural operations, the health and resiliency of our rural communities.

It is important to us that a future extension advisor be based locally in Plumas and Sierra Counties so that he/she can develop an understanding of local resources, production systems and the political and economic realities confronting policy-makers and agricultural stewards across the Upper Feather River Watershed. Research and educational programs developed at the local level will be much more effective with far greater impact than those that are simply adapted from a statewide program. We support the proposed research and extension programs proposed in the position justification and are committed to working with and supporting a new advisor.

Posted Jul 9, 2014 11:34 AM by Sierra County Board of Supervisors
3
As a beginning farmer in Plumas County I strongly support this position and the continuation of cooperative extension support in Plumas & Sierra Counties. Even though I do not personally work with livestock; water management, soil health and the creation of a resilient food system are things that directly affect all producers.

Because we are at the top of the watershed, many in the area feel that it is not necessary employ water conservation methods or develop ecologically sustainable landscapes. Having a UCCE academic adviser to educate on and advocate for better water conservation and soil management is critical to the long-term viability of agriculture in the region as well as in communities down stream.

Additionally, despite a long history of agriculture in the area, many farms and ranches still struggle to be viable. This can be attributed in part to relatively small operation size, limited technical resources, the harsh climate, and a limited market. In order to turn this tide, we need to work with farmers and ranchers to improve production, with regulators and county officials to remove market and logistical barriers, and with community members to increase awareness of and appreciation for local agriculture. Having an academic adviser in this position will contribute greatly to our ability to achieve success in this endeavor and develop a resilient and diverse food system.
Posted Jul 10, 2014 11:47 AM by Cody Reed
4
The USDA NRCS has a long history of working successfully with the UC Ext in Plumas & Sierra Counties, and the Partnership with the Agricultural community is greatly enhanced by having a Technical Specialist located within the watershed. Interpersonnel skills and ability to collaborate with diverse interests is going to be important for this position. There is a great opportunity for the UC Ext to provide leadership among the watershed restoration and ranching communities up here while working with the local, state and federal Agencies to further the last 25 years of investment in watershed restoration projects that have been completed by various organizations and agencies. Scientific and unbias research and/or monitoring of the effects of these activities are very important and will play an important role in CA Water Policy and Investment into the future for this watershed (which provides water for 20 million people in CA) and throughout the state. Agriculture and local Communities within the Feather River watershed have benefitted greatly from the UC Ext presence here for the last 30 years, and today more than ever that direct link to scientific reasearch and collaborative spirit is needed to move the complex Partnership forward between downstream water users and Agricultural interests in the headwaters of the Sierra Nevadas.
Posted Jul 10, 2014 3:22 PM by Dan Martynn District Conservationist for USDA-NRCS
5
The Plumas-Sierra Cattlemen’s Association would like to stress the importance to our industry and communities of filling the position of Area Livestock-Natural Resources & Community Development Advisor based in Plumas and Sierra Counties. Generations of farmers and ranchers in Plumas and Sierra Counties have relied heavily on the technical advice and assistance of our farm advisors. With the help of our extension agent we have tackled many important issues including crops for our area, forage production, private and public land grazing concerns, and most recently water and watershed issues. We are committed to working with and supporting the new advisor in the proposed research and extension programs to explore options to enhance our ability to economically produce more food and fiber with less inputs, assess realistic policies and maintain the viability of our agricultural families, natural ecosystems and rural communities.

Situated on the northeast side of the Sierras, Plumas and Sierra Counties are often left out of the information loop. Our UC Extension Advisor provides us a link to one of the finest agricultural university systems in the nation. The UC Extension Advisor keeps our organization, local producers and policy makers informed and aware of things we need to know in an ever-changing world. It would be a great loss to our businesses and communities if we didn’t have a locally based Livestock-Natural Resources and Community Development Advisor who has an understanding of the opportunities and challenges we face, ability to engage UCCE resources and work collaboratively across our public and private land and water resources for long term solutions.
Posted Jul 17, 2014 2:07 PM by Plumas-Sierra Cattlemen's Association
6
Feather River College’s Agriculture Department supports UC ANR’s call for position 026 Area Livestock-Natural Resources and Community Development Advisor based in Plumas and Sierra Counties. Feather River College’s 35+ year association with our local UCD Extension Advisor has been vital for our students’ education as well as our Community. Feather River College consults and works closely with our local UC Extension advisor on numerous important issues on a regular basis. Examples of Feather River College’s most recent collaborations include: research and development of management strategies to improve our local watershed, water management policy; developing and implementing regional agricultural operations best management practices and production systems; contributes to political and economic Agriculture issues that require producer regulation compliance; attends periodic meetings with local and regional policy-makers, politicians, government agencies and agricultural specialists. UC Extension Advisor, Holly George, has been the lead initiator and partner in the success of the Plumas and Sierra Counties Agriculture Community. It is imperative that we continue this very important relationship.
Russell Reid, Agriculture Department Chair, Feather River College

Posted Jul 17, 2014 3:12 PM by Russell Reid, Agriculture Department Chair, Feather River College
7
The Upper Feather River Watershed Group supports the position for Area 026 Livestock-Natural Resource Advisor for Plumas and Sierra Counties. The ranching community and agricultural membership of our organization has benefited significantly from the leadership of the local Coopertive Extension Advisor in developing a water monitoring and research program to address the State’s irrigated lands water quality program and other important local water issues.

The CE Advisor’s knowledge of local resources and agricultural production practices has been critical in developing a program to meet the mandates of a state agency, and in gaining the support of the local ranching community to share generational and cultural expertise. Access to UC Davis scientists and specialists, which our Advisor recruited to our under-served area, contributed immeasurably to the development of research and information to expand resource management knowledge among private and public land managers which has resulted in the implementation of many beneficial management practices.

Through her UCCE network, and personal commitment, our Advisor can be credited with increased collaboration, coordinaton and partnerships among the diverse groups in our watershed as we strive to address the growing water resource challenges facing all stakeholders in our headwaters area of Northern California.

The Plumas-Sierra CE Advisor has played a key role in organizing and conducting stakeholder meetings to bring the various interest groups together to discuss viewpoints, watershed roles, water rights concerns, and long range visions for the natural resources in our watershed. As the focus on water resources increases over the next decade, it is important that the CE Livestock and Resource Advisor position be filled to build on the progress made by Holly George during her 25 year term in Plumas and Sierra Counties.

Additionally, the local Advisor attends and contributes to the distribution of statewide information at meetings of the various cattlemen, farm bureau, community food group and beginning farmers, local policy makers, and public agencies. The CE Advisor is key to bringing new research-based perspectives and balanced resolution ideas to controversial water discussions of our watershed region.

While larger scale livestock ranching and hay production are historically the major agriculture commodities in our area, and will likely remain so, there is an increased interest and contribution by community food marketing groups and small niche farmers. The role of the Advisor in providing services and UC networks to these new organizations is extremely important as well. Additionally, innovative ideas promoted by our Advisor and subsequently implemented for nature and ag tourism has revitalized several economically depressed local farm families.

While the focus of our particular group has become water resources, most of our members are actively involved in various other local agriculture groups which are served by the CE Advisor. The information the Advisor brings to our organizations as a result of attendance to out-of-area industry seminars and conferences, that we as ranchers are not able to attend, is vital to providing options for improved production practices. The Advisor also accesses and provides economic and community development strategies learned working with others in the UCCE system.

Our UCCE Advisor is unarguably the information hub of this rural and agricultural community. Please consider the vital link our “Farm Advisor” provides to remote ranchers, niche community food gardeners, beginning farmers and other resource managers in an economically depressed area such as Plumas and Sierra Counties. These working landscapes, timber, water, wildlife, and other natural resources are often stewarded by agricultural landowners to provide benefits to the entire State. Without a CE Advisor, many important resource concerns of the near future will be unaddressed.
Posted Jul 18, 2014 2:58 PM by Board of Directors, Upper Feather River Watershed Group: Executive Director Carol Dobbas, Chairman Russell Reid, Vice Chair Paul Roen, and Directors Brian Kingdon, Jeff Carmichael, John Genasci, Mia Van Fleet, Carl Genasci
8
The California Rangeland Conservation Coalition (Rangeland Coalition) would like to express support for the Livestock and Natural Resources and Community Advisor position in Plumas County.

The Rangeland Coalition is an unprecedented group of ranchers, environmental organizations, scientists and government agencies who are major California rangeland stakeholders. Together, signatories strive to enhance and preserve private working landscapes. We feel strongly a need for this position that working across disciplines will play an essential role in the development and application of science-based recommendations to maximize the provision of ecosystem services such as forage productivity, wildlife habitat, invasive species control and an adequate and reliable water supply for California. This position will provide critical insights to guide rangeland management, and outreach, along with playing a pivotal role in meeting the objectives stated in the Rangeland Coalition Strategic Plan.

Rangeland Coalition signatories are confident that this position would provide the expertise required to translate research into management recommendations to increase the viability of the ranching industry while protecting rangeland ecosystems in California.


Sincerely,

Pelayo Alvarez
Conservation Program Director
Posted Jul 18, 2014 3:54 PM by Pelayo Alvarez
9
The ranchers who work to make a living in the northern Sierra Nevada face considerable challenges – the remote location, the high mountain climate, the regulatory pressure that comes from running livestock in California’s critical headwaters region. Meanwhile, the timber industry’s decline has left the rural communities struggling.

Even so, the region’s resources are rich, and so is its agricultural potential with the help of sound advice from a strong local UC Cooperative Extension adviser. A well-informed technical livestock adviser with strong community-development skills is important to understand regulatory impacts and help cultivate sustainable locally based responses with the buy-in of the agriculture community.

It also bears mentioning that the Plumas-Sierra region is one of California’s most geographically isolated and lightly populated, and that other pending retirements could leave it with no direct assistance from the UC Cooperative Extension. That would be a real loss for the region and its agriculture.

I appreciate the University’s careful consideration of this position. If you need any further assistance, please contact my District Director, Bruce Ross, at (530) 223-6300.
Posted Jul 18, 2014 4:04 PM by Assemblyman Brian Dahle, 1st District
10
The Feather River Resource Conservation District feels that there is a strong need for continuing the Livestock, Natural Resources and Community Advisor Position for Plumas and Sierra Counties. Our rural region has greatly benefited from the work of Holly George and it is imperative that the next advisor is in position to continue the important work that Holly has facilitated during her career,preferably before Holly leaves.

With this current drought we are facing unprecedented challenges state wide and our watershed needs to be ahead of the curve as we work to address the serious issues that we all face. We need a strong advisor that will be able to build upon our numerous local partnerships, and help to bring funding to the region to implement projects that benefit local producers, private landowners and downstream water users.

Sincerely,

Nils Lunder, President, Feather River Resource Conservation District
Posted Jul 18, 2014 4:29 PM by Nils Lunder
11
My husband and I are working to establish a Savory Institute Hub for holistic management in the Northern California region. We are in the accreditation process now. Holly George, as the Cooperative Extension Advisor, has been critical to our work--through technical support, communications and expertise. Please continue to support this position in the Plumas-Sierra Counties area. Thank you for your consideration. Abbey & Spencer Smith
Posted Jul 19, 2014 8:33 AM by Abbey Smith
12
Having lived in the Sierra Valley for the last fifty years I have had the pleasure of working with several employees from the UC Extension office. None of them remind me of the farm advisor off of the TV show Green Acres. Instead, they have all been very professional and well-educated individuals who represented the position very well. Looking back on time it is easy to see the difference this position has made in the life of farmers and ranchers in our small communities of Sierra and Plumas Counties.

My name is Rick Roberti and I am a 4th generation rancher. Over the last twenty years there have been a lot of changes in our area. The logging industry is no longer a thriving part of our local economy and many people now commute to work in towns and cities outside of our county. Thankfully the cattle business has remained strong and there is room for more growth in this industry. With the ever-growing world population there is a need and an urgency to produce more food and fiber, especially in years to come. In order to accomplish this important goal, ranchers will need the expertise of an Area Livestock-Natural Resources & Community Development Advisor based here in Plumas and Sierra Counties. If this position should cease to be filled in our area there would be a great void, and our livestock industry and community would suffer.

Posted Jul 21, 2014 11:47 AM by Rick Roberti
13
Having lived in the Sierra Valley for the last fifty years I have had the pleasure of working with several employees from the UC Extension office. None of them remind me of the farm advisor off of the TV show Green Acres. Instead, they have all been very professional and well-educated individuals who represented the position very well. Looking back on time it is easy to see the difference this position has made in the life of farmers and ranchers in our small communities of Sierra and Plumas Counties.

My name is Rick Roberti and I am a 4th generation rancher. Over the last twenty years there have been a lot of changes in our area. The logging industry is no longer a thriving part of our local economy and many people now commute to work in towns and cities outside of our county. Thankfully the cattle business has remained strong and there is room for more growth in this industry. With the ever-growing world population there is a need and an urgency to produce more food and fiber, especially in years to come. In order to accomplish this important goal, ranchers will need the expertise of an Area Livestock-Natural Resources & Community Development Advisor based here in Plumas and Sierra Counties. If this position should cease to be filled in our area there would be a great void, and our livestock industry and community would suffer.

Posted Jul 21, 2014 12:00 PM by Rick Roberti
14
I worked in the public schools of Sierra County for 30 years, am currently a member of the Sierra Valley Resource Conservation Board, and participate in a family ranch active in Sierra Valley for the past 100 years. I believe the UC Agriculture Extension program has provided rural counties with valuable information, new technology and maybe most importantly connection with agricultural efforts from across the state. Holly George and Art Scarlett before her, have been part of the community fabric, understanding the nuances of politics, the unique and varied needs of local agricultural efforts and the changing demands of the larger world of state economics and regulations. The position under consideration provides a presence of leadership in a remote but important piece of the state land use and water use picture.

We in Sierra and Plumas Counties want and need to expand our knowledge of new techniques to better the productivity of our lands. We want to better understand what the future holds for us as water and land use politics and regulations continue to change. We want a knowledgeable, solid leader who can coordinate resources and facilitate learning opportunities. I believe such leadership will be best realized if the valuable UC Ag. Extension resources are coordinated through an Advisor based in the Plumas Sierra area.
Posted Jul 21, 2014 2:03 PM by Michael Filippini
15
As the Agricultural Commissioner for Plumas and Sierra Counties, I support UC ANR's call for position 026 Area Livestock-Natural Resources and Community Development Advisor based in Plumas and Sierra Counties. A locally connected individual who researches, and disseminates agricultural and natural resource related information to the community is important to the economic health of these rural counties. The mid and high elevation growing conditions found in this area and the geographical remoteness is unique enough to warrant an advisor located in the area. Another aspect to consider is the importance of our watershed to the whole state. A locally based advisor will have more credibility and influence on local land management practices, promoting best management practices that will benefit local agriculture, and the whole state.
Posted Jul 21, 2014 4:32 PM by Tim Gibson
16
I'm writing to express strong support for maintaining a UC Cooperative Extension position in Plumas and Sierra counties focused on Livestock-Natural Resources & Community Development.

For the past 26 years, I've owned and managed a cattle ranch in Sierra Valley and benefited in countless ways from the knowledge and good judgement of our current advisor, Holly George. Holly has been at the center of (and often the driver of) the most important conversations we've had in our community about water, agricultural productivity, and conservation practices, among many other topics. Able to draw on the vast resources of the UC system, but solidly grounded in the practical realities of agricultural in our mountain counties, Holly has been a force for good in our counties for more than two decades. With her strong facilitation skills, deep patience and respect for others, Holly has helped us as individual operators and as a community.

Finding an exceptionally talented person to fill Holly's big shoes will be hard but there is no question that it should be a top priority for UC. The state is beginning to recognize the upper watersheds of the Sierra Nevada as the top of California's water system. Having a knowledgeable person in place in Plumas and Sierra counties to help all of us implement best practices on the ground is a smart investment in the future of our state.
Posted Jul 21, 2014 4:41 PM by Lucy Blake, President, Northern Sierra Partnership

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