ANR Employees
University of California
ANR Employees

2016 Call for Positions

On December 14, 2016 UC ANR Vice President Humiston announced the the release of 26 CE positions from the 2016 call for a new round of hiring over the next two years. This new release continues the commitment for hiring to exceed projected turnover, thus achieving the goal of academic growth. And, as funding becomes available, UC ANR will consider additional positions.

2016 approved CE positions

January 12, 2016 solicited proposals for Cooperative Extension (CE) advisor and specialist positions in the ANR Update. The call identified positions for strengthening and expanding the UC ANR network to address programmatic gaps and emerging needs. Below this public webpage displays all 138 new CE position proposals (there is a search tool to assist in finding proposals).

The online submittal process was open from January 12 – May 5 (5:00 PM) to allow as much time as possible for internal consultation and external input from UC ANR stakeholders in all program areas. Submissions were accepted from the following official submitter groups:

The Review Phase was completed May 5 – August 1. All proposals were reviewed. The program area and unit reviews were conducted by the Program Teams; geographic groups of County/Multicounty Partnership and Research and Extension Center Directors, and the UC ANR affiliated colleges and school. These groups prioritized and provided rationale for the position proposals under their purview. This input was used to inform UC ANR Program Council’s recommendations and ultimately the UC ANR Vice President’s decisions. More information about the review process is available in the review orientation.

The public comment period was open Jan. 12 through July 11, 2016. Comments can be viewed by clicking the position links below. Comments were reviewed by the review groups, Program Council and the Vice President.

Relevant documents:

If you have any questions, contact Katherine Webb-Martinez at (510) 987-0029 or


2016 URS Call for Positions

This proposal has been formally submitted for the 2016 cycle.

Position Details

125 Small Fruit Production Specialist

California is the largest US producer of strawberry (79%) and the major producer of fresh market caneberries (blackberries and raspberries) in the United States. The value of the California strawberry production in 2015 was over $2 billion; production of caneberries is upwards of $250 million. The California small fruit industry faces mounting challenges due to the impending loss of preplant soil fumigation, higher costs for land, labor, and water. Similarly, there are increasing environmental challenges with regard to energy, water, fertilizer and fumigant use, which affect the viability of current production practices. This CE Specialist position will focus on long term sustainability of production systems for the small fruits strawberry, raspberry and blackberry. The CE specialist is will explore methods to enhance the productivity of small fruit production through suppression of soilborne diseases by means that include both fumigants and non-fumigants. Other work will focus on nutrient management, management of insects, control of soil and foliar pathogens both in fruiting fields and plant nurseries, with a view to the ever increasing importance of organic production to the berry industry of California.

Proposed Location/Housing

USDA Salinas Facility and affiliated with the Department of Plant Sciences, UC Davis.

Proposed Area of Coverage

Statewide with emphasis on the coastal CA small fruit growing regions.


Associated Documents



For an industry that grosses over 2.5 billion dollar in farmgate receipts, the berry industry of California is in for some very rough sledding. At this late hour, it does it not yet have a suitable alternative to the soon to be banned pre-plant soil fumigant methyl bromide, at the same time it also faces sharply increased pest pressure, escalating costs for labor, water and land.

On the other side of the ledger, demand for fresh berries is strong as ever. The incentive continues to be very strong for the berry industry to produce and grow, and given the right levels of research and educational support, it can and will adapt to the above challenges.

This Small Fruit Production Specialist position in this proposal is well designed to assist and expand the current UC group already on the ground working in research and extension on this myriad of issues facing the industry. The position has the ability to reach across the state to form and enhance collaborations with other scientists to address specific and areawide needs in caneberries and strawberries, at the same time it offers the industry stand alone capabilities in its own right.

It's a good fit for our group and should be moved forward.

Mark Bolda, UCCE Farm Advisor, Strawberries and Caneberries
Posted May 10, 2016 5:19 PM by Mark Bolda
I wish to express my support for the proposal to add a specialist in small fruit production to the ANR UCCE team.
UCCE farm advisors and staff are now the principle source of practical, useful research and information for California strawberry producers.The additional position described above in the request for a new position focusing on small fruits and based in the Monterey Bay area is sorely needed
There has been a shift in the research groups that support our agricultural industries over the past decade. The rolls played by UC campus-based researchers have shifted away from the pragmatic. The CSC has become bogged down in politics and shifted its main focus away from research. The involvement of Cal Poly in strawberry research is great news. In a few years time the Cal Poly involvement can become very significant to the small fruit growers. However, now, practical research grower education has fallen to UCCE Farm Advisors and staff.
California strawberry producers will face the loss of tools that are regarded as critical by the industry. The Driscoll organization is the one place where meaningful preparations are being made to address the coming changes. This work is generally not available to those outside of the company. Public sector research is needed to benefit all strawberry and small fruit producers.
The role of UCCE has been education as well as research. Farmers are by nature a conservative lot. I takes a lot of convincing to get them to move on from their comfort zone into new practices that will address the coming changes. The UCCE Farm Advisors for small fruits have done a great job trying to spread the relevant information to growers. However, much more is needed.
Please give thoughtful consideration to adding this position. The returns to the growers will be great.
Posted May 12, 2016 9:16 AM by Thomas Flewell
As the proposal states, California's berry industry is facing enormous challenges including labor, fumigation alternatives, and water quality/availability to name a few. As a Driscoll's employee working within our company's research and extension system, I would like to express my strong support for this position. We value our working relationships with UCCE and believe that such private-public partnerships are absolutely essential to supporting growers. We see this position as an opportunity to establish yet another contact point between Driscoll's and UCCE. We look forward to working with and supporting this position drive applied research and effective extension.
Posted May 12, 2016 11:05 AM by Matthew Hoffman
The California strawberry fruit production industry currently produces over $2 billion worth of strawberries annually. The long term sustainability of our industry is challenged due to a complex set of issues relating to the availability of labor, increased regulation on the use of water, fertilizers, and pesticides and the lack of efficient and effective tools for the management of important diseases and pests. There has never been a greater need for applied research on the development of improved methods and best management practices for a wide array of production problems and issues. The industry needs help in developing improved control of soil borne diseases with the increasing restrictions on the use of fumigants. Improved management of water and fertility are already being mandated by regional water boards and growers are losing 10-20% of their crop each year due to the lack of effective tools for management of lygus and spider mites. In addition to the significant research needs, the industry needs additional education and training programs on best management practices for production of strawberry fruit. A Small Fruit Specialist based in Salinas would provide desperately needed support for strawberry growers throughout the state of California. A new researcher would have a wide array of issues to select from to work on and a receptive audience in the strawberry industry for the results of their research. Our industry needs reinvestment by the University of California in this and other positions to help us address an increasing array of issues that will challenge the long term sustainability of the California strawberry industry.
Posted May 27, 2016 9:09 AM by Dan Legard
As a Partner in Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce (a large international Grower/Shipper of fresh fruits and vegetables and as Chairman of the Research Committee for the California Strawberry Commission, I strongly support the proposal for a new UC Cooperative Extension Specialist in Small Fruit Production.

The University of California has a long history of partnering with small fruit producers in providing consumers worldwide with safe, wholesome, fresh strawberries, raspberries and blackberries.

Future research provided by this new position would directly address two priority issues within Small Fruit Industry; Resource Optimization and Productivity Improvement. The long term viability of our industry will depend on our ability to innovate on both of these fronts. Our consumers, our communities, our employees and our livelihoods all depend in part on the practical applied research provided by UCCE and their team of professionals.

The selection and funding for a new CE Specialist in Small Fruit Production based in Salinas will be critical.
Posted Jun 4, 2016 10:16 PM by Dave Murray
I strongly support this position. Strawberries are the 3rd most valuable crop in California behind almonds and grapes with a 2014 value of $2.5 billion. The industry faces many challenges including soilborne diseases (Verticillium wilt, Fusarium wilt, Macrophomina crown rot) which are on the rise in the absence of methyl bromide fumigation. Loss of effective pesticides coupled with resistance has made lygus bug, mites, gray mold and powdery mildew increasingly important. Rising labor costs and increased regulation is pushing this industry rapidly towards increased mechanization which will impact all aspects of production. Production systems will change dramatically to accommodate these changes and make research even more critical to the continued success of this industry.

Salinas is an ideal location for this position. Salinas-Watsonville is the largest of the 3 strawberry growing regions in CA. Having other scientists at the USDA and UCCE will provide potential collaboration among disciplines and within the industry. Several recent retirements and near-future retirements increase the need for a UC Specialist.

The Cal Poly Strawberry Center would welcome the addition of more scientists to this exciting area of research at a time of great need.
Posted Jun 22, 2016 5:03 PM by Gerald Holmes; Director, Cal Poly Strawberry Center
On behalf of our team at Pie Ranch, I strongly support this position, and not just because strawberries & caneberries are important pie crops. As an educational, working farm serving over 50K people per year through our markets and educational programs, it is vital that we demonstrate economic viability and the importance of high value crops like berries. For any diversified grower dependent on direct marketing, fruit crops often bring in the most income and can be what makes or breaks a farming operation. It’s imperative that growers have access to specialists with practical knowledge based in research, as they are often the only ones who can answer critical questions and convince folks to try different techniques.

There is a growing, committed group of diversified, organic farmers in San Mateo County (I hear this county might also be included) in addition to conventional growers who would greatly benefit from a specialist in small fruit production.
Posted Jun 27, 2016 5:08 PM by Nancy Vail
My strawberry farm has seen the steady raise of California Strawberry acreage. In 1962 it was 9,800 acres to almost 40.000 acres in 2013. The UC researchers and the farm advisors had catapulted California strawberry industry into being the most productive and progressive Strawberry growing regions in the world. Farm advisors and the UC researchers helped in it all. by defusing the newest technics and products to the farming industry it had done all that. A shift down to 32000 acres in 2016, this is caused by new laws and regulations of pesticides, rising cost of land, rising cost of supplies, lack of water, shortage of labors, a bottle neck in the Agricultural research (Entomology, Soil pathology, foliar pathology) at UC and the loss of Methyl Bromide and the threat of losing all Fumigants. Yields will come down significantly as we move away from fumigants with weaker materials and plant health. It is more important now than ever before to do more field research with The extension specialists (farm advisors) level and they can be a conduit of information and doing field research that immediately tangible by growers and can have a higher rate of field implementation and adaptation. All central coast farmers need an extension specialist who can do hands on field research that growers can talk to and see firsthand technics and methods. We need at least one doing soil pathology, looking at new materials or technics for the replacement of Methyl Bromide. With a focus on Macrophomina and fusarium.
I do support to addition of a small fruit production specialists (Farm advisor) to the ANR UCCE. The need is very high. This position will help keep our farmers a tuned to new technics and materials and keep California Strawberry industry Ag leaders in the global farming. And the California Economy flourishing. Agriculture is the foundation of this Country.
Thank you for your concideration of this position for us.
Rod Koda
Shinta Kawahara Co,
Posted Jun 29, 2016 1:56 PM by Rod Koda

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