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

116 Orchard Systems Specialist - Southern San Joaquin Valley

California is the largest producer of fruit and nut crops in the western world and is almost the sole US producer (>90%) of crops such as plums, prunes, nectarines, clingstone processing peaches, apricots, figs, pomegranates, persimmons, almonds, walnuts and pistachios. California fruit and nut industries face increasing production costs due to land, labor, fertilizer and fuel. Similarly, there are increasing environmental challenges associated with energy, water, fertilizer and pesticide use as well as water, air and soil quality concerns with current management practices. Currently there is no statewide specialists dedicated to working on key crops such as such as fresh plums, cherries, freestone and clingstone peaches, nectarines, apricots, apples, pears, pomegranates, persimmons or kiwifruit. Furthermore, nut crop acreage in the state has exploded in the state, particularly in the Southern San Joaquin Valley.   A CE Specialist based at the Kearney Research and Extension Center  is critical for supporting recent reinvestments in county advisor positions covering fruit and nut crops in the Southern San Joaquin.  The specialist’s program would be expected to help growers and industries assess the impact of current production practices on land, labor, energy and water use as well as overall environmental quality, and focus on the development of more sustainable fruit and nut orchard production systems.

Proposed Location/Housing

Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, affiliated with the Department of Plant Sciences, UC Davis

Proposed Area of Coverage

Statewide with emphasis on Southern San Joaquin valley


Associated Documents



California is home to some of the largest producers of fruit and nut crops in the western world. KARE is surrounded by crops such as plums, dried plums, cherries, nectarines, apricots, figs, pomegranates, persimmons, almonds, walnuts, and pistachios. The CE specialist is critical to the continued growth and expansion of these important orchards. A specialist at KARE is needed to support the growing county advisor positions that are supporting these crops. The specialist would be expected to strengthen current productions practices and work to develop more stable and sustainable orchard production systems which would support the extension activities of the new county advisors. Working with a core group of pathologists, entomologist and IPM specialist on the Center would strengthen research programs on orchard management and profitability.
Posted Jun 7, 2016 11:01 AM by Jeff Dahlberg, Director
The California fruit and nut industries, including dried plums, are extremely important to the world consumption of these commodities. Ever changing production requirements, environmental and regulatory conditions make this position very important to these industries to stay economically competitive and provide the superior quality it has been providing to the consuming public. The leadership of the Specialist position will be critical to the future of these industries in California.
Posted Jun 12, 2016 4:04 PM by Gary Obenauf
The California Specialty Crops Council (CSCC), a 501(c) 5 non-profit organization, is a trusted source of field based information spanning horticultural crop production, pest management, food safety and stewardship activities in fruit, root, vegetable, vine and berry crops (fresh, dried, and processed). Our diverse partnership of ag organizations also includes beekeepers. Combined, CSCC growers generate $4.1 billion annually on approximately 522,000 acres of California farmland. Our membership strongly supports the establishment and filling of this position. Many of the problems and challenges facing growers, such as with pests, water, air, labor, marketing, crop care materials, etc., are beyond their control, but through research solutions can and will be found that will have a positive impact on the CA specialty crops industry.
Posted Jun 13, 2016 10:22 AM by Gary W. Van Sickle
As today’s growers face a mountain of increased regulatory and environmental requirements as well as fierce global competition, the need to become more productive and cost efficient while being able to the lower demand on natural resources has never been greater. The recent investment in the county advisor positions has provided many industries with a robust base of localized research and outreach. The addition of an Orchards System Specialist based out of the Kearney Ag Center would be a natural, and logical compliment to furthering the research aimed at improving the total crop production system.

California’s acreage of fruit and nut crops continues to expand, and with that expansion comes the need to diagnose and understand new challenges and opportunities in specific regions. In recent years, extension researchers have developed meaningful and beneficial understandings in the fields of: fertilizer optimization, orchard canopy and light management, and water use efficiency. Without the focus on this important research continuing, as well as the necessary grower outreach provided by extension specialists, the implementation of these practices would not occur. It is only once the practices are implemented that growers, processors, and consumers experience the benefits of the research. As VP of Grower Services at Diamond Foods (large walnut processor) and part of a small, specialty fruit farming operation, I have been involved with the field research, the grower-cooperators and the handling of the resulting crops. I have seen and experienced the positive impact that is generated by the work of extension specialists. These are a few of the many reasons why Diamond has a long history of support and cooperation with extension specialists and why this position is highly worthy of funding. Thank you for your consideration.
Posted Jul 8, 2016 1:46 PM by Eric Heidman
I have recently retired but have been working with the advisers who work with these crops for the past 35 years. During that period the number of specialists working with these crops has been reduced from 5 to essentially 1. These crops are economically the most important in the state and almost the entire cadre of advisers working with these crops will be recent hires in a few more years. If ANR does not fill this position in the next year they should be considered to be negligent and incompetent!
Posted Jul 9, 2016 12:01 PM by Ted DeJong
The California Tree Nut Research and Extension Planning Group representing the almond, pistachio, and walnut industries share the concerns being expressed regarding the loss of commodity-based CE specialists focused on deciduous tree nuts and fruit and strongly support this position as a high priority. At the present time, there are only two remaining CE pomology Specialists associated with the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis: Bruce Lampinen (almond/walnut) and Louise Ferguson (pistachio) who will likely be retiring next year.
Most of the deciduous tree fruit and nut crop industries in California have no commodity focused CE specialist assigned to them and in the case of almonds and walnuts, two of the largest industries in the state, the current arrangement is becoming untenable. Bruce Lampinen, CE Specialist for almonds and walnuts, is simply over taxed and does not have the time nor sufficient human and financial resources to adequately cover all of his responsibilities for these two major crops due to their explosive growth in recent years and widespread geographic distribution from one end of the Central Valley to the other. This situation must be rectified soon if Cooperative Extension Advisors and Specialists and campus departmental AES faculty are to continue to be integral parts of an interactive and interdependent process and part of a continuum which extends from basic research to application. The commodity focused CE Orchard Systems Specialist is the key to this highly interactive technology/information transfer. The position is the critical link between campus-based AES researchers and county-based CE Advisors. This position also provides program support to CE Advisors, serves as a resource for local applied research, and is expected to help mobilize needed resources to do the work.
The California Tree Nut Research and Extension Planning Group recognizes the importance of all three proposed tree fruit and nut crop CE Specialist positions (i.e., 114 Orchard Specialty Crop Horticulture Specialist, 115 Orchard System Specialist -Northern San Joaquin and Sacramento Valleys, and 116 Orchard Systems Specialist-Southern San Joaquin Valley) and supports them. However, our highest priority is for filling the position to be located at the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center. A CE Orchard Systems Specialist based at the KAC is critical if we are to be able to continue supporting county CE Advisor positions covering tree nut and fruit crops in the Southern San Joaquin Valley.
Posted Jul 11, 2016 10:23 AM by Joe Grant and David Ramos
These comments are in addition to those submitted by Joe Grant and Dave Ramos #6 above. To reiterate, the California Tree Nut Research & Extension Planning Group, representing the almond, pistachio and walnut industries (combined 2015 acreage exceeding 1.7 million acres) strongly supports this position and regards it a high priority.

While the primary focus of this position will be fresh market tree crops, there also is the opportunity to be engaged secondarily with pistachio as well as walnut and almond. This is important from the standpoint that the current specialist Bruce Lampinen must cover 1.4 million acres of almonds and walnuts statewide. Furthermore, Bruce’s workload has increased to the three nut crops because he has just received a pistachio endowment and as noted above, these three crops constitute 1.7 million acres. Having this specialist housed at Kearney is a definite strong point for some collaboration between Bruce Lampinen and the successful candidate. Filling this position and housing it a Kearney would wisely better distribute specialist coverage for these three California tree nut crops.
Posted Jul 11, 2016 5:25 PM by Bob Curtis, Almond Board of California and the CA Tree Nut Research & Extension Planning Group

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