ANR Employees
University of California
ANR Employees

2014 New Call for Positions

2014 URS Call for Positions

This proposal has been formally submitted for the 2014 cycle.

Position Details

046 Dairy Advisor- Humboldt and Del Norte

Proposed Location/Housing

Humboldt UCCCE office in Eureka

Proposed Area of Coverage

Humboldt and Del Norte


Associated Documents



As the 1st District Supervisor in Humboldt County, I have many dairies located within my district that contribute enormously to the local economy with many value-added dairy products. Many are organic which requires support for unique, natural, pasture-based and organic animal husbandry issues. Further, the local 4-H animal science projects located in my district and throughout Humboldt County are of extreme importance as well. The creation of a Dairy Advisory position in Humboldt/Del Norte County would provide essential dairy animal science research and expertise as well as providing key resources for addressing changes in water quality and manure management issues.
Posted Jul 11, 2014 9:42 AM by Rex Bohn, 1st District Supervisor and Chair of the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors
For more than 17 years UCD and the industry/regulatory collaboration the Dairy Quality Assurance Program (CDQAP) have provided timely outreach and education to the state’s dairy producers, addressing everything from compliance with air and water quality regulations to animal care to disaster mitigation. The program has had more than 12,000 in-person contacts and provided a 50% reduction in state water fees. An indispensable component of this outreach remains the county dairy advisor who helps coordinate outreach activities, serves as a liaison to regulatory agencies and ensures that problems facing producers in a particular county are addressed through state-wide collaborators. Producers in Humboldt and Del Norte counties (perhaps the most remote of dairy sheds in the state) have traditionally had the most limited contact and access to these resources. Their plight has been made even more acute simply by virtue of the fact that there has been no local dairy advisor to facilitate a program to meet their needs.

Of all the agricultural industries, dairy is by far the most complex. It is the most highly regulated agricultural industry in the state falling under not only Cal-EPA, the state water and air resources boards, regional water boards and air districts but county regulations as well. The dairy industry has the most expansive food safety oversight of any food commodity, starting with the wide-ranging Grade A Pasteurized Milk Ordinance, the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and most recently the behemoth Food Safety Modernization Act. Production practices including organic and pasture-based systems in these three counties are frequently different than the majority of producers in the Central Valley, making tailored outreach even more essential. Our partnership, which includes all the major processors and dairy service organizations, state and federal regulatory organizations and of course UC, are anxious to supply program support to a new dairy advisor in the these two remote counties.

Michael Payne DVM PhD
Director: California Dairy Quality Assurance Program
University of California - Davis
Posted Jul 11, 2014 4:49 PM by Michael Payne
The North Coast region of California is distinctly different from other parts of the state, and the local dairy industry faces many challenges due to unique characteristics of the area. The majority of dairies are pasture-based organic operations with relatively smaller herd sizes compared to Central and Southern California operations. The region’s mild climate provides ideal conditions for pasture and livestock production, but there is a lack of locally relevant research related to pasture-based dairy operations. Many scientific tools and resources available were developed in other areas, and are not specific to the North Coast region. Pastures are the advantage for our local dairies, as forage growth is year-round, and localized research is needed for refining nutrient management practices that can maximize pasture growth rate potential.
Organic dairy producers have limited options for animal health treatments and pasture management techniques compared to conventional dairies. Placement of a UC Dairy Advisor in the region will provide essential dairy animal science and pasture research expertise needed to assist producers with organic production issues.
Increased regulations on the local dairy industry have become a reality with the recently adopted Regional Water Quality Control Board dairy permit program. Water quality issues have been a long-standing concern to farmers, and have only been magnified by the adoption of the latest Water Board regulations. A local UC Dairy Advisor would be a key resource for addressing and responding to changes in water quality issues related to the dairy industry.
The dairy industry in the North Coast region of California contributes significantly to the economic stability of the area. As reported in the Humboldt County Agricultural Commissioner’s 2012 Annual Report, gross receipts from milk and milk products totaled over $58 million. Having a UC Dairy Advisor for the region is a local priority and is essential in providing support for the sustainability of the local dairy industry.
Posted Jul 16, 2014 12:21 PM by Frances Tjarnstrom, Dairy Project Coordinator, Humboldt County Resource Conservation District
Western United Dairymen eagerly supports the creation of a Dairy Advisor position to serve the producers of Humboldt & Del Norte Counties. As home to the largest population of organic dairies, and one of the only geographic regions of California that allows for year-round pasturing of cattle, dairymen in these north coast counties face a variety of unique circumstances that make the creation of this position a welcome prospect for the local industry.

The 2012 adoption of new water quality standards for Region 1 dairies has augmented the demand for the research, implementation and evaluation of conservation practices, as well as the need for producer outreach and education. In addition to the ever-increasing regulatory burden, producers would benefit from sound advice pertaining to the development of alternative feed sources, increasing profitability, and sustainably passing operations to future generations.

The development of this position, in one of the most geographically remote regions of the state, will help to ensure the continued generational success of family farming operations that, due to the lack of a local Dairy Advisor, currently have limited access to the full array of resources provided by the University. Again, we encourage the creation of this position to serve the 73 producers of Humboldt and Del Norte counties and look forward to working together with the University in continued support of these dairies.

Very truly yours,

Michael Marsh, CPA
Chief Executive Officer
Western United Dairymen
Posted Jul 16, 2014 4:01 PM by Michael Marsh
The Humboldt County Farm Bureau fully supports the proposed UC Cooperative Extension Dairy Position for Humboldt and Del Norte counties. The HCFB believes that the addition of a dairy specialist would be beneficial to dairy producers and agriculturalist alike through topics specific to our regions niche diary industry. Humboldt and Del Norte counties would benefit from a specialist with knowledge in the unique needs of our natural, pasture-based and organic animal husbandry issues as well as incite into resources for assisting water quality as it is related to the Eel River and surrounding water sources in relation with the requirements of the Regional Water Quality Control Board. Other areas that could benefit from this added position are the local youth Dairy Heifer Replacement Project, dairy industry economic activity and growth potential. Humboldt and Del Norte counties opportunity for research and educational growth to improve the vitality of dairying on the North Coast would greatly increase from the addition of a Dairy Specialist position. Thank you.
Posted Jul 17, 2014 3:06 PM by Katherine Ziemer
The above comments are to support the U C Dairy Specialists from the Agricultural Producers at the Humboldt County Farm Bureau - an organization established over 100 years ago to assist the Agricultural Community on the north coast. When I provided the comments I did not include the Farm Bureau in the title.
Posted Jul 17, 2014 3:09 PM by Katherine Ziemer with the Humboldt County Farm Bureau Organization
A permanent position at Humboldt/Del Norte UC Cooperative Extension focusing on dairy, animal science and water quality issues would fill a noticeable gap in support for agriculture in Del Norte County. Niche roles filled by entities such as irrigation districts, UCCE and Farm Bureau assist agriculture input, educate producers and manage obligations associated with RWQCB irrigated land and dairy programs in other parts of the state. These efforts are limited in our area in part due to farm number/size and geographic isolation. Though the DWQAP was helpfully engaged in outreach during the development and assisted during enrollment in the dairy order, travel distance and program scope limit the extension activities. A dairy advisor is needed to facilitate solutions that help conserve California’s unique challenges of north coast pasture based dairies.

University of California assistance in managing regulatory pressure, planning for economic viability, and addressing state and local environmental concerns would be utilized by and beneficial to local agriculture.
Posted Jul 17, 2014 3:27 PM by Posted by Jeff Stackhouse for: Andrea Souther District Conservationist Natural Resource Conservation Service – Del Norte
I fully support a dairy advisor position for Humboldt/Del Norte UC Cooperative Extension (and wonder why we haven't had one with our emphasis in dairy and cheese products).

Janet Sclar
Humboldt County Farm Bureau Board Member
College of the Redwoods Farm Advisory Board Member
President, Redwood Agricultural Education Foundation
Posted Jul 17, 2014 4:48 PM by Janet Sclar
In 2012 the North Coast Water Board adopted strict water quality regulations for dairies within our region. As a dairy producer this created a new set of challenges for my business. Although the CDQAP and our local industry advocates have been very helpful throughout the process I don’t feel that the full outreach and education potential of the University has been met. The addition of a Dairy Advisor in Humboldt County could help myself and my fellow producers meet water quality standards by assisting in surface and groundwater testing, strategizing new best management practices and researching and implementing new manure management solutions.

Dave Renner
Diamond Point Dairy
Posted Jul 17, 2014 7:49 PM by Dave Renner
For the past 10+ years, dairymen in Humboldt & Del Norte Counties have been without a local Dairy Advisor. Over the same time period, the dairy industry nationwide has seen an increasing regulatory burden and shrinking profit margins; those issues are compounded by the North Coast's remote location in relation to the rest of the state. As a local dairy producer I feel that now, more than ever, we could benefit from the addition of a local dairy advisor to help producers develop worthwhile solutions to combat the many issues we face in this unique landscape. Please strongly consider the Humboldt/Del Norte region for this position.

Frank Leonardo
Grizzly Bluff Holsteins
Posted Jul 18, 2014 9:35 AM by Frank Leonardo
As a local 4-H leader I support the dairy advisor position for Humboldt & Del Norte Counties. Getting and keeping youth involved in agriculture is essential to the sustainability of the industry; the addition of this position would enhance our local 4-H and FFA dairy programs as well as the local Dairy Heifer Replacement project. Please strongly consider Humboldt County for this position.
Posted Jul 18, 2014 9:52 AM by Melissa Lema
Milk is the top valued commodity in California, accounting for $6.9 billion in 2012. California also happens to be the number one milk producing state in the nation, producing about 22% of the US milk supply. In recent years, the dairy industry has been plagued with a combination of low milk prices and very high feed prices, conditions that have led to numerous dairy closures in recent years. Applied research is desperately needed to address the challenges of the CA dairy industry. Increased regulatory pressure has been an area where UC ANR has played a huge role in aiding producers, specifically through the California Dairy Quality Assurance Program. There are currently five dairy advisors serving the state’s top valued commodity, with only one (recently hired) advisor north of the San Joaquin Valley (who also serves as County Director).

Issues specific to the proposed areas are quite different from current UCCE Dairy Advisor programs, and need to be addressed. Issues related to organic milk production, grazing efficiencies and niche marketing are some of the areas not currently addressed by advisors serving the more traditional dairy areas of the state. While on the surface, the North Coast industry seems very different from the San Joaquin Valley dairy industry, there are overlapping needs that can be addressed through collaborative research. For example, improving production efficiencies, animal well-being, and cost of production (including feed costs), are all areas that every California dairy strives to improve, regardless of geographic location.

The need for North Coast Dairy Advisor is great, and is a top priority of the Dairy Health and Production Workgroup. With only 5 dairy advisors serving the state of California’s dairies, approving recruitment for this position would reaffirm the University’s commitment to production agriculture in California, and fill a much needed position in the UC dairy team.

Dairy Health and Production Workgroup
Noelia Silva-del-Rio, Chair
Jennifer Heguy, Co-Chair
Posted Jul 18, 2014 2:01 PM by Jennifer Heguy

On behalf of the Dairy Quality Assurance Workgroup the following comments are provided:
Pasture and confinement dairy operations exist in Humboldt/Del Norte Counties. The dairy industry in this geographic area remains a large economic driver in the rural landscape. Dairy producers effectively manage natural resources. Dairies in Humboldt/Del Norte Counties rely heavily on natural resources (water and pasture). Local producers would gain tremendous knowledge and resources could be managed better were UC ANR able to locate a dairy advisor in Humboldt/Del Norte Counties. The high percentage of organic herds opens an unlimited opportunity to compare organic versus conventional facilities under California conditions and disseminate successful practices to other producers. Animal health and well-being (mastitis, reproductive performance), pasture management, weed, control, food safety, and environmental stewardship are very important research areas. The number of commercial dairy goat animals has soared in recent years. It is anticipated that more goat operations will arise. Making educational information available for these niche producers would improve facility economic well-being and sustainability. Producers have relied upon the California Dairy Quality Assurance Program for environmental regulatory outreach. The local arm of UC ANR would assist in development and dissemination of information on water quality regulations. This would be a huge asset to the region. Drought conditions have exacerbated the importance of maintaining water and water quality. A dairy advisor could work with the Representative Monitoring Program (surface water monitoring) to aid in understanding and disseminate information to maximize the impact of the surface water monitoring program. Currently we have no advisor or specialist focusing specifically in dairy farm resource management, animal well-being, analysis of production practices, or pasture management. Humboldt/Del Norte dairy operators face unique environmental challenges and growing conditions. This individual will be able to utilize expertise already on and dairy team as well as provide much needed depth (resource management analyses) to the UCCE dairy team.
The Dairy Quality Assurance Workgroup ranks this a high priority position for Humboldt/Del Norte Counties.
Posted Jul 19, 2014 9:29 AM by Deanne Meyer
Your support and placement of a full-time Dairy Advisor for Humboldt and Del Norte counties is vital to the future of the dairy industry in our area. My dairy family has relied on the support of a Dairy Advisor to keep us up to date with the latest information in dairy science and regulatory concerns since a Dairy Advisor was first placed in the area many years ago. The absence of an Advisor these past few years has added additional challenges to a rapidly changing industry where keeping abreast of the latest information is critical. We need the assistance of a UC Dairy Advisor to help our local dairy industry plan, compete economically, and grow in the years ahead.
Posted Jul 21, 2014 10:49 AM by Dona Moxon
The North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board supports the position of Dairy Advisor for Humboldt and Del Norte Counties. Since our board adopted water quality regulation of North Coast dairies in 2012, we have worked hard to meet with dairy operators and stakeholders to educate the community on the new permit requirements. A Dairy Advisor would be a much appreciated addition to our stakeholder group as there has been a gap in the area of local representation from the University of California.

We have completed about 50 dairy inspections in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties in the past three years. It is obvious that there is a very slim operating budget on many of these dairies. Clearly, the area would benefit from a local Dairy Advisor to help the community strive to meet water quality regulations and compete in the changing market and climate. Sound advice is essential to the dairy community in order to keep operations protective of surface water and groundwater quality.

Much funding has gone to helping dairies in the Central Valley of California. It is now essential that these unique North Coast dairies obtain a representative that can facilitate solutions to meeting new regulations while helping the dairy run more efficiently to make a profit. Please consider our support for the Dairy Advisor position for these counties.

Thank you.
Cherie Blatt, Water Resource Control Engineer
North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board
5550 Skylane Blvd., Suite A
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Posted Jul 21, 2014 11:59 AM by Cherie Blatt, North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, Santa Rosa, CA
The Del Norte Farm Bureau supports the addition of a Dairy, Animal Science and Water Advisor. We need a local position that understands our unique climate, size, and industries (Easter Lilies) to address today's challenging regulations. We need technical and hands on support in 4H, dairy manure management, pasture management, organic treatments, and surface and ground water management. This new position will fill this void. Currently, the dairy and irrigated land management (Easter Lilies) plans have been very challenging to us with limited outside resources. We consider this position a high priority for our Counties.

Del Norte Farm Bureau
Rob Miller, President
Posted Jul 21, 2014 12:54 PM by Del Norte County Farm Bureau
As UCCE Dairy Advisor for the Northern Sacramento Valley, I wholeheartedly second the comments made by my colleagues on behalf of the Dairy Health & Production and Dairy Quality Assurance Workgroups. I am the only Dairy Advisor (recently hired, at that) north of San Joaquin County. The dairy industry is significant in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties and an Advisor in this area would provide perspective and expertise missing from the existing team of only 5 UCCE Dairy Advisors. It’s amazing that dairy extension in the highest producing dairy state in the nation is served by so few Advisors. This position should be considered high priority.
Posted Jul 21, 2014 3:18 PM by Betsy Karle
The California Dairy Research Foundation (CDRF) supports the Dairy Advisor Humboldt/Del Norte as a high priority position. The Humboldt/Del Norte area is home to both pasture and confinement style dairies. These dairies are a critical component to the area’s economic vitality and possess their own unique challenges of operation. As a base funder of the California Dairy Quality Assurance Program, CDRF has partnered with the University of California Cooperative Extension in providing critical outreach to producers on environmental stewardship, animal care and food safety issues. In particular, the area’s geography invokes unique environmental stewardship challenges. A local advisor to assist producers in identifying solutions and implementing best management practices would be of great value to producers in the area. The position would help producers manage finite natural resources and assist them in remaining a beneficial part of the local landscape. In addition, the individual would be a valuable asset to established environmental networks and partnerships already operating in the area but currently void of a UC expert team member focused on dairy. Such teams include but are not limited to the Resource Monitoring Program and the California Dairy Quality Assurance Program.
Thank you.
Gonca Pasin, RD, PhD
Executive Director
California Dairy Research Foundation
Posted Jul 21, 2014 4:06 PM by Gonca Pasin, RD, PhD
Dairy Cares, a coalition of California dairy producer associations, producer-owned cooperatives and processors of dairy products, strongly supports the filling of this position.

With the recent adoption of new, comprehensive water quality regulations for dairies by the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, this dairy advisor position will serve as a hub for water quality information in the North Coast. This position will not only provide direct assistance to dairy producers on this important issue, but will also facilitate development of a stronger and better-informed consultant community and more efficient delivery of successful existing resources, such as California Dairy Quality Assurance Program classes and compliance assistance tools, to dairies.

North Coast dairies are an important part of the California dairy community, facing similar challenges to dairies across the state, but with fewer resources to assist them all around. This position would help to alleviate that imbalance and allow for development of a stronger and more economically and environmentally sustainable dairy industry on the North Coast.

We strongly support the filling of this position, which will see benefits to the economy and environment far exceeding this investment.

J.P. Cativiela
Program Coordinator
Dairy Cares
Posted Jul 21, 2014 4:34 PM by J.P. Cativiela, Dairy Cares Program Coordinator
As a 6th generation Humboldt County dairyman returning to the family farm I strongly support the addition of the dairy adviser position to Humboldt & Del Norte Counties. Young farmers returning to family dairies are faced with increasing regulation, decreasing margins and a market that is prone to fluctuations requiring continuous business model modification and adaptation. The addition of an adviser specifically focused on the dairy industry would aid in making what can appear to be insurmountable obstacles more manageable for young farmers. This adviser would be an invaluable resource in negotiation regulatory hurdles, adapting to the specific challenges of organic production and capitalizing on advancements in the dairy industry that lead to a sustainable/ profitable business model.

Dakota L. Darst
Foggy Bottoms Jerseys
Posted Jul 21, 2014 4:54 PM by Dakota L. Darst

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