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

100 Grain Legumes and Cropping Systems Specialist

California agriculture is characterized by being extremely diverse and dynamic. This necessitates expertise and resources to be focused on the evolution of existing cropping systems and evaluation of new crops and legumes (both grain and cover crops) to ensure the long-term sustainability of California production systems and support the ‘farm to fork’ food system concept.  This CE Specialist position will focus on developing innovative new cropping systems for California farmers, based on improved grain legumes, cover crops, and newly introduced crops, and integrating these crops into sustainable new cropping systems. It will also be linked to the existing $70 million/yr grain legume industry. This position will create new business opportunities for California agricultural enterprises, maximize net farm income, develop new grain legume, cover crop, and recently introduced crop opportunities that provide prospects for new foods, improved health, water conservation, crop rotation benefits, boosting soil organic matter and nitrogen in rotations, reduced pesticide use, environmental protection, and adaptation to global climate change.

Proposed Location/Housing

Department of Plant Sciences, UC Davis

Proposed Area of Coverage



Associated Documents



This position is of critical need by the dry bean industry. We used to have over 30 researchers working on dry beans in California back in the 1990's; now there are only 3 of us (Professor Gepts and Roberts and me). We grow 4 classes of beans: limas, commons, blackeyes, and garbanzos. The industry is highly engaged, interested, and supportive of funding research on dry bean production. There is a tremendous need for addressing production issues including pest management, varieties, and irrigation and nutrient management to keep the industry viable. We really need some help through a UC ANR Specialist dedicated to working with this industry. As it is right now, it's not sustainable and we may eventually lose ties to a significant crop for California. There really is a pressing need because when I retire, I am the last UC Farm Advisor with expertise in bean production in California. Given this is the International Year of the Pulses (including grain legumes), we need to make a commitment to keeping this important industry strong in our state. Beans are important for a healthy diet, are good for the soil, and important in field crop rotations for weed control.
Posted Jun 13, 2016 2:17 PM by Rachael Long
When Steve Temple retired, I took over the breeding program to assure continuity in this activity, which has been funded continuously for over 30 years by the California Dry Bean Advisory Board. More recently other industry groups have become interested in dry beans as well, like the organic industry. A UC ANR specialist will provide a key link between UC campus research conducted at UCR and UC Davis and the industry. Research is going on to increase water use efficiency, resistance against pests (Lygus and nematodes), and product quality. Beans are an essential component in crop rotations (disease and weed control) and are increasingly touted as part of a healthy human diet, including a diet high in plant proteins. This position is broadly framed as, in addition to research on dry beans, it also envisions research on legume cover crops, and new crops to the state of California. Given the diverse climates and topography, as well as the entrepreneurial spirit of the California growers, there are many opportunities to develop new research and extension programs.
Posted Jun 14, 2016 4:53 PM by Paul Gepts
Dry bean research is needed to continue improvements in water use efficiency, pest and disease resistance, and comestible traits to support an important, protein dense human food crop in California. Additionally, legumes play an important role in California cropping systems, as they provide a rotational tactic not just for pest management, but also in providing a source of mineral nitrogen to the soil for following crops. Furthermore, dry beans provide growers with a good source of income as the value of beans has trended toward increase over at least the last 15 years. Finally, with the coordination of research provided by a specialist, work in which I am currently engaged as one of a handful of dry bean advisors may be appropriately supported.
Posted Jun 20, 2016 3:01 PM by Nicholas Clark
The California Dry Bean Advisory Board has partnered with the University of California for over 30 years on a variety of research projects. Although the Board has been able to sustain some of that research through the assistance of Paul Gepts, Phil Roberts and Rachael Long, there remains a void in the overall planning and coordination of statewide research activities that link the Bean Board and the University together. Despite the California bean industry’s ability to maintain its production over the last few years there is a growing concern over the future of the industry as agriculture and farmers continue to face the increasing number of regulations and obstacles that hinder their ability to farm. Without a grain legume specialist to assist the California bean industry in overcoming these regulations and obstacles it will become much more difficult to grow beans in the future. Each year the Bean Board reviews its research priorities and as the list grows there are fewer researchers to tackle the issues that the producers are facing. Hiring a new grain legume specialist will allow the Bean Board to regain a valuable partner in its efforts to overcome pest, weed and diseases issues along with irrigation and nitrogen management that all compliment the continuation of the breeding work that has produced several varieties that are being used.
Posted Jun 23, 2016 2:12 PM by Nathan Sano
Having a CE specialist at UC Davis who is dedicated to developing grain legumes and cropping systems is critical for an organization which is a world leader in agriculture research. Legumes are a key component to improving sustainability of agriculture through use in rotations and cover crops they have the potential to increase soil fertility and decrease weed and pest pressure. A legume specialist will contribute valuable research to CA state and globally because of the important role legumes play in many people’s diets and in maintaining soil fertility. The longer a new specialist has to overlap with current legume researchers, Rachel Long, Paul Gepts and Phil Roberts the better.

As a graduate student who came to UC Davis to study bean breeding and will continue to be a farm advisor in the Yolo, Sacramento, Solano area for agronomic crops, I was underwhelmed by the amount of expertise in dry bean development and management that UC was able to provide. I work with Paul Gepts, Rachel Long, Phil Roberts and several dry bean growers in Northern California who are all excellent resources, but because of the importance of legumes in agriculture I expected there to be a much larger research community with more leadership dedicated directly to legume crop improvement and management. The UC system would benefit greatly by having a CE specialist as a dedicated leader to act a nucleus for much of the legume knowledge that already exists across members of the academic and grower communities.

A significant portion of institutional knowledge, including breeding line development, crop management and relationships with growers was lost when Steve Temple retired and much more will be lost if there is not a faculty member hired to overlap with Long, Gepts and Roberts. This position and a timely hire will help UC Davis continue to be a leader in agriculture research.
Posted Jun 29, 2016 9:11 PM by Sarah Dohle
I am a research plant pathologist specializing on grain legumes with USDA ARS located in Pullman, Washington. I collaborated with Steve Temple on chickpea diseases before he retired. I view this position of Grain Legumes and Cropping Systems specialist very important. It is very important not only for California agriculture because of California's unique cropping conditions, but also for collaborative research at national level. This position will provide a key link at national level for cooperative research on pulse crops. I look forward to seeing this position created and filled so that I can reestablish a regular contact in California about disease problems and production issues of grain legumes in the state of California.
Posted Jun 30, 2016 12:02 AM by Weidong Chen
Legumes are a critical component of pretty much any successful organic rotation in field crops and are otherwise valuable tools in sustainable conventional rotations. My first call as a Farm Advisor was for what looked like a fungal disease in blackeye beans. When I brought the sample in and spoke to a few people on campus it became clear to me that most of the experts who had some stake in legumes would be retiring in the foreseeable future. Benefits to supporting this type of position are otherwise outlined well above. In terms of timing, however, ideally the University can get someone on board who can grow into the position over time and be available to assist growers, researchers, and advisors with confidence well before some of the turnover actually happens.
Posted Jul 6, 2016 3:07 PM by Konrad Mathesius
Sustaining a healthy crop of beans and keeping the soil strong is so important! It's the first steps into keeping America healthy! Providing a healthy diet to keep our children on the right path begins with good soil, great crops, and people who know how to organize all those agricultural tasks!
Posted Jul 7, 2016 12:30 AM by Alita Alexander
As a UC farm advisor working on agronomic crops, I rank this position highly for reestablishing the continuum between the UC campuses, the county Cooperative Extension offices, and California dry bean growers through the Dry Bean Advisory Board. In California, there are few agronomic crops that are organized under an advisory board; dry bean growers are organized in this way. The partnership between UC and the Board will be strengthen if this position is prioritized and filled, and undoubtedly, research and outreach will expand statewide with the leadership of a specialist. In addition to serving the grain legume industry of California, I view this specialist as a critical need for the advancement of research and extension on legume cover cropping, newly introduced crops, and cropping systems for organic growers, small farms, and urban farms. These are ever-increasing sectors of the agricultural economy in California and would benefit from the expertise of a Grain Legumes and Cropping Systems Specialist.
Posted Jul 7, 2016 11:06 AM by Michelle Leinfelder-Miles
As a diversified farmer who relies strongly on the ability to rotate beans into my crop rotation, I strongly support the importance of a new hire to the CE Specialist position. Since Steve Temple’s retirement several years ago, the CE Specialist position has been filled through the outstanding efforts of Paul Gepts, Rachel Long and Phil Roberts. Although these dedicated researchers and advisors have provided outstanding consultation, advancements and information, there are still many concerns and issues that need to be addressed by a CE Specialist position. Specifically, a CE Specialist position would advance the bean industry by supporting farmers to produce a quality bean product. Without a specifically identified individual to act as a dedicated CE Specialist, there is too little support for the bean grower to advance their product to meet the needs of the consumer.

Filling this vital position would provide the support necessary to the bean grower. Disease and pests are an ever changing concern. Through research and diligence to varietal improvement, the CE Specialist would support farmers in crop rotation, disease and pest management, and through the development of new varieties that are disease and pest resistant. Through public awareness of the nutritional benefits of beans, it is vital that the CE Specialist position be filled so that the advancements and success of the California Bean Industry may thrive.

David Richter
Chairman of the Research Committee of the California Dry Bean Advisory Board
Posted Jul 11, 2016 1:51 PM by David Richter
A UCCE Specialist in Grain legumes and associated cropping systems is an urgent need and an opportunity for California agriculture. While the current UC commitment to this program area includes AES researchers at UCD and UCR and CE Advisors in some counties, the coordinating and integrating role of a dedicated Specialist has been missing since S. Temple retired several years ago. This crop production sector is supported by the California Dry Bean Advisory Board, and its funds are leveraged with federal and Foundation funding for grain legume research and breeding. The position proposal is written broadly enough to encompass not only the dry bean industry and its several bean types, but also legumes as nitrogen fixing cover crops and their role in cropping systems more comprehensively. A specialist working in this area will have high impact on current and new crops which fit into this state production system, and will be able to team-build efforts to anticipate and adapt legume production to fit future production scenarios. The genetic diversity of legumes for drought tolerance, pest and disease resistance and low-nitrogen requirements make this crop area a rich resource for adapting cropping under lower input production systems. UC leadership and its support of stakeholder growers and processors in this area can be greatly enhanced through hiring a Specialist as proposed.
Posted Jul 11, 2016 3:16 PM by Phil Roberts
In addition to the comments made by others regarding the importance of the grain legume and cropping specialist position due to the role of dry beans in cropping systems in California, the benefit they provide due to nitrogen fixation, the history of the partnership between the California Dry Bean Advisory Board and the role of pulses in the world food supply (to which I agree whole completely), I would like to state that it is much easier to maintain the economic viability of an already established crop (such as blackeyes, limas, garbanzos, common beans) than to develop the grower know-how and the industrial infrastructure of a "new crop" for California growers. The flexibility dry beans can play in rotations (because of their range of planting dates and harvesting dates, their relatively short season, and relatively low water requirement) is an important factor in cropping systems. UC has been a leader for this industry and should continue to be so in the future.
Posted Jul 11, 2016 9:52 PM by Carol Frate
The California Bean Shippers Association strongly supports the hiring of a CE Specialist in Grain Legumes. Dry bean research is needed to continue improvements in water use efficiency, pest and disease resistance, and variety development. Filling this position would provide continued support necessary to bean growers to maintain a viable industry.
Posted Jul 13, 2016 1:40 PM by Jane Townsend/California Bean Shippers Association

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