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

038 Area Sustainable Orchard Systems Advisor Butte Glenn Tehama

Proposed Location/Housing

Butte County Cooperative Extension, Oroville, CA

Proposed Area of Coverage

Orchard Systems in Butte, Glenn, and Tehama Counties


Associated Documents



All of our great orchard specific Farm Advisers are retiring, and need to be replaced. We rely on the knowledge of these Advisers when making real world, economic decisions. With area wide insight on issues such as disease pressure, rootstock selection, varietal attributes, soil characteristics and limitations, insect pressure, irrigation efficiency and methods and on and on, these Advisers help to ensure the viability of Ag in our area.
With new problems arising yearly (Bot in walnuts, stink bug/plant bug in almonds, potential of SWD in prunes) we need the Advisers present in our area to work one on one with.
Farm Advisers are one of the early founders of the IPM approach in California Ag, and continue to search for softer, better ways to complete the job for less money.
The retirement of Bill Olson, and now Joe Connell, means we will have a gap in our area; Butte County being second in the state for walnut production and rising.
Please consider the hiring of a new orchard Adviser in the Butte, Glenn and Tehama area.
Posted Jun 26, 2014 7:39 AM by Lee Heringer
On behalf of our farm, Kucek Family Farms, I highly recommend that a new farm advisor for walnuts be found promptly. Butte County is one of the major producers of walnuts in California. A farm advisor is this area is particularly important not only to ourselves, for for the research and information the advisors make available to us as farmers. We have several times benefited from the direct assistance of both Joe Connell and others in the last couple of years. And as mentioned above, there are lots of new pests and diseases causing problems for our crops. Please fill this position as soon as possible so that this county and our trees don't slip through the cracks of a slow system. Thanks
Posted Jun 30, 2014 1:28 PM by Maria Espino
Over the fifty years that I have farmed, I have had the privilege of working with and benefitting from the UC Farm Advisors. As a relatively new almond grower, I have learned so much in their production thanks to having a farm advisor locally to keep us up to date on the latest production methods, diseases, etc.. The lack of a farm advisor for orchards in Butte, Glenn and Tehama Counties will set us back from the rest of the state quickly because of the unique situations we find ourselves in the North Sate. Please fill this position soon. Thanks!
Posted Jul 6, 2014 5:52 PM by Philip Wilson
Please fill the tree advisor/orchard crop position. This is a valuable resource to our county which is a primary producer of orchard crops. Mentoring of new and established farmers is essential to continue the tradition of future farming generations.
Posted Jul 14, 2014 12:19 PM by Robin Bennett
Tree crop advisor position is an extremely valuable resource for Butte and neighboring counties in the northstate. The region is highly productive and has potential to grow in an economically sustainable and competitive way. Farm advisor plays a key role in guiding produceres to make best use of these available resources.
Posted Jul 14, 2014 1:40 PM by Farman Jodari
As a long time PCA and orchard grower in Butte County, I have relied on the research and expertise of UC Coop Extension advisers. Bill Olson was never replaced and Joe Connell assumed his duties in addition to his own. He did a commendable job. Now Joe has retired while almond and walnut acreage continue to increase. As mentioned, Butte County is soon to become the largest walnut producer in the state and without an Orchard Systems Adviser? I hope not!
Posted Jul 14, 2014 3:18 PM by Tom Dowd
The permanent tree crops industry is vital to the State and needs talented people to educate and advise local farmers. With the retirement years ago of Bill Olson, and now Joe Connell, the filling of this position should be a high priority. Thank you for considering my thoughts.
Posted Jul 15, 2014 7:32 AM by Brent Barton
The local UCCE advisor is the best possible resource for the grower to have access to the latest research and how to best put it to use. Joe Connell has been exemplary in that capacity all these years and while he will be hard to replace he MUST be replaced. If I know Joe he will, on his own time, be a tutor to whoever takes on his job. The University has been a great asset to many phases of California life and agriculture is one of those that has made a huge return on the investment made.
Posted Jul 15, 2014 1:03 PM by Sam Kamilos
Markets, natural resources, and viability of sustainable environmental considerations change and evolve.

It is time to have a balance between industrial agriculture and traditional and organic agriculture expertise.

Science must come to reflect these options with equal respect. The market certainly is changing, and many smaller farmers and employees in this area fall on the traditional agriculture side.

A wise investment in government programs would be to encompass and enhance the broad climate of agriculture and our growing economic and environmental advantages. This means a new class of advisors for our area.
Posted Jul 15, 2014 3:14 PM by Darro Grieco
I have been farming for the last 45 years, and walnuts for 20 of those years. Tree crops are a large part of our Ag economy in Northern Ca. and the importance of a tree crop Advisor cannot be over emphasized. We have the research farm in Colusa Co. at the Nicoles Estate, and with this drought, the research going on there needs a local Advisor that can be hands on, and to pass the results to the rest of our tree Industry Statewide. Please replace our retiring Advisor(Joe Connell) as soon as possible by someone will be here locally. Thank you for allowing our input. This is a critical issue. With Best Regards,John Garner
Posted Jul 15, 2014 4:29 PM by John Garner
The expertise provided by Joe Connell has been invaluable to our success as mandarin farmers in Butte County. Joe helped us plan the planting of our orchard from tree selection to the type of sprinklers we should install. Two years ago we had a problem with the health of the trees and Joe came out immediately and provided us with more information with what was lacking. His suggestion immediately solved our problem. We will miss Joe immensely, and we need to have that position replaced with another professional that can help us be successful in growing the best fruit and staying successful. The regulations, requirements, products and farming techniques is an ever changing environment that requires a full time position to stay on top of and share the information through seminars and classes. We must continue to invest in our future through positions and our youth. We look to the UC extension to keep providing this education.
Posted Jul 15, 2014 4:41 PM by Glennda Morse, Morse Farms
The comments above already say it, but it is well worth repeating. Permanent tree crops in the Glenn, Butte and Tehama county areas are one of the major drivers of the North State's economy as well as the entire state of California. It is critical that we replace the valuable resources that we have in local farm advisors.
California is the world leader in cutting edge IPM technologies that are critical in keeping us competitive in the world markets. Food Safety, Reliability, and Consistent High Quality are reputations that we need to keep, and local farm advisors are the feet on the ground providing producers the valuable cutting edge information to keep that reputation in tact.
Local farm advisors also provide critical expertise for the next generation of growers that need help in implementing new techniques and technologies as they transition from their parents way of farming to the future. We are not only losing farm advisors we are losing farmers.
With Joe Connell's retirement it is absolutely critical that we fill this position!
Posted Jul 16, 2014 7:22 AM by Bill Carriere, Carriere Family Farms
It is very important to fill the position of Butte County almond advisor now that Joe Connell is retiring. In this area we are subject to higher rainfall. This means that we have more fungus problems. We rely on the farm adviser for his expertise. Joe has also worked closely with CSU Chico and UC Davis and has important variety trials ongoing.
Posted Jul 16, 2014 2:53 PM by Robert Kidd
I am writing to request you fill the vacant positions of Area Sustainable Orchard Systems Advisor and Area 4-H Advisor (Butte/Glenn/Tehama) in the Butte County Farm, Home and 4-H Office.

These positions are vital to the operation of the local office, and they are necessary to continue the provision of services that increase and extend the knowledge of agricultural sciences to our farming community, and that support healthy development of our young citizens.

The partnership between the UC Cooperative Extension and the County of Butte is pivotal in supporting local agricultural operations through research, education and outreach. With local gross agricultural production values in excess of $700,000,000, the department's work to support the County's agricultural community is invaluable to the farmers, and to the County's economic vitality. The Area Sustainable Orchard Systems Advisor position is needed to support the department's mission to help farmers develop more efficient growing methods, solve pest management problems, and develop crop and irrigation methods that use less water.

The 4-H program serves the County's youth and offers programs that are designed to help our young people discover and develop their potential, and grow into competent, contributing and caring citizens that understand and express the concept of service to their community. The investment in the youth of today, through programs like 4-H, will yield the competent, contributing and caring leaders of tomorrow that we need. The continued support of the Area 4-H Advisor position will help accomplish this worthwhile goal for Butte County.

The County appreciates and supports our local Farm, Home and 4-H Office and its mission, and requests the positions be funded and filled to continue to allow that mission to be accomplished.


Paul Hahn
Chief Administrative Officer
Butte County
Posted Jul 17, 2014 10:39 AM by Paul Hahn, Chief Administrative Officer
With the retirement of our area crop advisor we are looking to fill the position. Being a fourth generation farmer in the area the support, guidance and resources coming from a crop advisor are an invaluable tool in farming. We rely on the knowledge and continued research that a crop advisor gives the farmer. We hope that your consider hiring for this position.
Posted Jul 17, 2014 11:20 AM by Theresa Schneider
As Agriculture progresses into the future, technology is allowing more and more of the North Valley to be converted from field crops to tree crops. It is very important that the North Valley has a tree advisor to help with the progress of this movement. Not only do Orchards provide more general income and labor for the area but they also provide a more valuable tax base and more revenue for the counties. To me having a tree advisor to benefit this Agricultural trend would be of benefit to growers, people of the county, and State and Tax revenues. I can not help but believe it would be a win win for everybody.
Posted Jul 17, 2014 2:00 PM by Robert DeValentine
An tree crop advisor is essential for Butte County. Joe Connell has often assisted our operation with various situations. With the importance of nut crops to this area it is extremely important growers have a reliable, non-biased source of current information. Please continue to fund this vital position.
Posted Jul 17, 2014 2:47 PM by Cathleen Grzanich
Our Company (Keyawa Orchards) involves considerable acreage of walnuts and almonds in Butte County. We have relied upon the Universities' experts since the mid 1950's. Their "hands-on" mentality, dedication and involvement with growers is a tremendous asset to our commodities, especially with evolving nitrogen and pesticide restrictions and increased diseases and pest pressure. Not having a "go-to" person to answer questions regarding these issues would be a detriment to our industry. Please fill the tree crop adviser position.
Posted Jul 17, 2014 3:28 PM by Dave Keyawa
I strongly support this critically needed position. It is clearly the walnut industry's highest priority. Butte County, with 33,000 acres and 74,000 tons of production in 2013, is second only to San Joaquin County and is expected to soon become the top walnut producing county in the state. The three counties in the northern Sacramento Valley (Butte, Glenn, and Tehama) are now approaching one-third of the state's production and represent 60% of the walnuts produced in the Sacramento Valley.

The California walnut industry is represented by more than 4000 walnut growers with over 325,000 acres and 100 walnut handlers. It is the world's largest supplier of walnuts with annual production of 500,000 tons (60% exported) valued at over $1.5 billion. Much of the industry's success can be traced to a long and productive collaboration of growers AES and USDA-ARS researchers and UCCE Advisors and Specialists.

It is disappointing to see what historically has been a very cohesive, well coordinated UC research and extension program partnered with the walnut industry become unraveled with successive losses of key advisor positions culminating now with the retirement of Joe Connell in Butte County. Rebuilding the CE Advisor capabilities especially in the Sacramento Valley, which represents 50% of the state's total walnut production, is imperative if the industry is to address the challenges faced in the near term, and be sustainable and continue to successfully compete with international producers of walnuts.

The California Tree Nut Research and Extension Planning Group, representing the almond, pistachio, and walnut industries, supports this proposed advisor position to be located in Butte County.
Posted Jul 17, 2014 5:43 PM by David Ramos
As a PCA in the industry and Orchardist, I believe it is critical to our industry and to the local economy that the Area Sustainable Orchard Systems Advisor position be supported and filled. As the industry changes and continues to grow, our reliance on the valuable research and experience that the position can provide will only become more important for our area if we are to remain competitive in the global economy. Orchard systems are complex and are only becoming more so with increased regulation and competition. The advisor plays a key role in teaching, solving problems and bringing cutting edge information and technology to the industry. Please support the position.
Posted Jul 17, 2014 6:40 PM by Joe Desmond
I believe it is vital to the walnut industry that the Area Sustainable Orchard Systems Advisor position be filled. Acreage continues to increase and as an industry we have relied on the UC Coop Extention advisers fro research and expertise. California is the world's largest supplier of walnuts. This industry is vital to California's economy the the extention service advisors are critical for the industry to continue to grow and remain competitive.
Please fill this position.
Posted Jul 18, 2014 11:27 AM by Pat Schellin Mecklenburg
As a retired PCA who worked for forty five years in the Butte, Glenn, and Tehama county areas, I can not express strongly enough the need to fill the the vacancy created by the retirement of Joe Connell as the tree crop advisor in the Northern Sacramento Valley area. Our region is environmentally unique to the rest of the state nut producing regions and therefore I believe it imperative that we have a UCNR advisor that lives and works in our area. One only has to look back on the advances that have been made over the years due to the work of Bill Olsen in Walnut Blight management, Joe Connell in Almond Disease management in higher density plantings, Bill Kruger in rethinking pruning practices in Almonds, Rick Buchner in pest timing, and I could go on and on. These people represent local resources that we looked to to answer questions, and, perhaps help formulate new questions leading to new areas of research that are not presently available to us with a simple phone call. We have gone from four top flight individuals to only one limited to the north part of the region. I believe that the production impact of this region deserves strong consideration in the replacement of, at the least, Joe Connell's position of Tree Crop Advisor.

Posted Jul 18, 2014 1:56 PM by Wally Cramer
Few will question the highly important contribution of agriculture to the economy of Butte, Glenn and Tehama counties. Orchard production continues to be the stable backbone of the agricultural base in these counties and benefits tremendously from involvement of the Orchard Systems Advisor
While perhaps impossible to measure, this vital position’s funding contributes to economic success and long-term sustainability of orchard production. Profitable production relies heavily on current information and technology that is not available by any other unbiased current conveyance.
Orchard farming continues to become more complex, with many timely decisions and inputs to be made, in order to remain successful. The North Valley counties have received the primary benefit of a highly involved Orchard Systems Advisor. It has been our experience that there is no replacement for the information and reminders provided through the farm advisor network, collating findings and observations from throughout the state, to the advantage of orchardists beyond the local area. Funding this position is a “no-brainer.
Posted Jul 18, 2014 5:00 PM by Chuck Fleck Fowler Nurseries
As a beginning almond farmer 28 years ago the Tree Crop Advisor (Joe Connell) was critical for me to survive and grow, and to this day they are still a vital source of information and help. Please fill this position for our area. Thank-you.
Posted Jul 19, 2014 8:33 AM by Bill Chance
Butte County is the hub of nut crop production in the Sacramento Valley. Having this position filled here is the vital link between research/best farming practices and the orchardists. I'm a fourth generation grower with 60+ years of experience to know and appreciate the value of the local farm advisor.
Posted Jul 19, 2014 9:51 AM by Gary Carlin
We are requesting that Joseph Connell's position as tree crop advisor be filled and not left vacant upon his retirement. The other advisors would be spread too thin if this position is not filled. This position is a vital resource to tree crop farmers in all the farm regions of the state. The advisors provide a wealth of information based on current technology/research and make a huge difference in the survival of the farming industry in California.
Posted Jul 20, 2014 8:44 PM by Maxine Borow Taresh Farms, Inc.
For more than 100 years the land grant universities and their extension education services have been crucial to the survival of family farms. The research has been a success story by sharing the knowledge that produced the green revolution and democratizing information by making it available to every citizen. Without filling these positions little of the progress funded by public dollars will reach any but industrial scale operations. Cutting the public link will change the dynamic of public support for the university. Researchers will be more and more dependent on a smaller and smaller base. Joe Connell's retirement leaves a huge void but it must be filled.
Posted Jul 21, 2014 9:23 AM by Bob Hennigan
I have been a tree crop PCA for 33 years and live in Chico. I urge you to fill the position of Walnut Orchard Systems Farm Advisor in Butte County. By my rough estimate, there may be 160 years of cumulative field experience within the pool of retired Sacramento Valley farm advisors who are begging to pass that accumulated wisdom on to their successors. Walnuts are a growing proportion of the Sacramento Valley’s agricultural production and, by all estimates, will continue to be so. Please respond to the unique characteristics of our valley soils, diseases, and pests and fill this position with someone who can deliver the Walnut Orchard management expertise that Joe Connell and Bill Olsen so ably provided.
Posted Jul 21, 2014 10:51 AM by Robert Sanders
Nut crop acreage has grown considerably in the north state since Joe Connell took over from Bill Olson. This expansion in our area due in part to advances with variety trials, IPM, irrigation methods, etc., under the leadership of our local Farm Advisor.
With additional issues of climate change, water, and increasing population,a Farm Advisors role has never been needed more.
Posted Jul 21, 2014 12:10 PM by Steven Bickley
Please fill the position of the Tree Crop Advisor. This has been a huge help over the years and it's a support for the community we still need.
Thank you
Posted Jul 21, 2014 12:40 PM by Melinda Gallagher
I began learning about the operation of our family farm about 10 years ago when I retired from teaching Math and Physics. I have used UCCE advisors in Butte, Sutter-Yuba, and Tehama counties and attended Prune and Walnut day presentations and Field Meetings in each of those counties every year. The scientifically valid data presented by the UCCE crop advisors has significantly changed irrigation, pruning, pest recognition, and sprayer operations on our farm. A minor negative has been the relatively poor attendance at Prune meetings. The manager of our local dryer says there are growers who are missing some basic information about their prunes. Attendance at Walnut events is growing, and judging by the questions, there are many new growers and certainly one can see many new walnut plantings.
New crop advisors should be scientifically competent, but also need the organizational skill to put on and publicize crop and field meetings. New crop advisors should continue coordinating with colleagues in adjacent counties to learn about new unpublished information and avoid excessive duplication in meeting agendas. Butte county should not left out.
Posted Jul 21, 2014 1:45 PM by Michael Weston
It is important to fill this position as tree crop adviser for our entire tree crop industry. Butte County adviser provides support and additional information to surrounding counties.
Posted Jul 21, 2014 2:06 PM by Marie Van Zandt-Geoia
Filling the position of tree nut advisor is very important for the nut industry and the nut industry is very important for California agriculture. With out that position filled Ag advisors from other counties are being drawn to help neglecting their work in their own counties. On behalf of Gilbert Orchards, Rio Oso Groves, Bear River Walnut Ranch and North Bear River Walnut Ranch I urge you to fill this position as soon as possible.
Posted Jul 21, 2014 4:07 PM by John J. Gilbert
As noted by Dave Ramos above in comment #19, the California Tree Nut Research & Extension Planning Group, representing almonds, walnuts and pistachios strongly supports this position. The position is a very important piece in regionalizing UC extension support to nut crops, particularly walnuts and almonds, in Butte, Glenn and Tehama Counties. This could be accomplished by a division of labor between the orchard crop advisors serving the three counties. For instance, this position proposal specifies the person in Butte County would have emphasis on walnuts. As Dave Ramos notes, Butte, Glenn and Tehama counties are approaching one third of the total California walnut production. Butte County has 33,000 acres of walnuts and soon to be the top walnut producing county in the state. Almond acreage in this three county region currently exceeds 76,000.
Posted Jul 21, 2014 7:48 PM by Bob Curtis
I would like to comment on the importance of hiring an orchard farm advisor to serve Butte County. The information, knowledge and advice this position brings to our community is invaluable given the importance of orchard crops to the local economy. In addition, many home gardeners have planted home orchards, and often profit from the sage advice. This position is at the forefront of identifying diseases in fruit and nut trees before they become a major problem. As a Butte County Master Gardener, I relied on the orchard farm advisor to aid in the identification of a previously unknown pest in Butte County, the acuba white fly, found in my French prune tree. Prunes are a commercially grown local crop and a destructive pest could have grave consequences. Early identification of these potential pest problems in home and commercial orchards is crucial. Many Master Gardeners rely on the farm advisors to help solve any problem we are unable to solve. This helps in the further education of the Master Gardeners who in turn are better equipped to educate the public on home gardening. Lastly, given the change in our climate and the potential for the introduction of previously unknown pests and diseases, it is vitally important to our local economy to have an orchard farm advisor serving the local area.
Posted Jul 21, 2014 11:42 PM by Jeanette Alosi

Add New Comment/Feedback for this Proposal

Comments are currently closed.
Webmaster Email: