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

088 Economics of Sustainable Agriculture Management Specialist

Proposed Location/Housing

Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, UC Davis

Proposed Area of Coverage



Associated Documents



We need an Ag economics CE specialist for several reasons:
1. Funding agencies like USDA NIFA require economic analysis of project impacts on many funding programs
2. Economic analysis of alternative management systems is extremely important information to add to Extension publications and presentations. Industry members always pay better attention and ask more questions when we present cost data. A common question/comment is "The treatment works, OK. But what does it cost?" We need this position so that we can answer that question.
3. The cost and return studies are extremely important background information for writing papers and proposals and for our own education. For example we might consider suggesting a new soil treatment for strawberry - but we need to consider that we are putting at risk a crop worth $41,000 per acre. We need to keep financial risk to growers in mind always!! The cost and return studies help in this regard.
Posted May 6, 2016 11:39 AM by Steve Fennimore
The third reason that Steve gives above is already good enough reason to place this position. This position will be vital in giving us the ability to continue to address the economic challenges of the rapidly evolving berry industry. Over the years we have produced a great many cost and return studies in berries - conventional strawberries, second year strawberries, primocane raspberries and the list goes on. Perhaps it seems incidental, but having written so many of these studies with Laura, Karen and Rich, costs and returns of these cropping systems are now second nature to me in my work and certainly have benefitted my research and extension by keeping things well grounded in sound economics.

The job is never finished however as cropping systems change all the time!! Primocane blackberries, new cropping systems for raspberry and who is going to do the complex work of doing a cost and return analysis for strawberries produced in substrates under glass? This position will play a huge role in all of that.

Mark Bolda, Strawberry and Caneberry Farm Advisor
Posted Jun 3, 2016 4:55 PM by Mark Bolda
Cost of crop production evaluations via the UC Budget Generator from the UC Davis Ag Econ Department that was developed by UCCE Specialist Karen Klonsky has been a highly requested document by growers, financial institutions, commodity boards and associated industry. Maintaining those updates as well as exploring the cost of new commodities along with production changes is an important step toward economic sustainability. Providing studies with a similar set of assumptions and core set of costs provides users greater confidence in having relatively comparable analysis across commodity cost of production studies. A UCCE Specialist is need to facilitate the studies across the counties with the support of SRAs trained and managed by the Specialist.
Posted Jun 6, 2016 10:22 PM by Gene Miyao
This position is critical and should be a top recruitment priority for UC ANR / UCCE leadership. To fully understand changes in agricultural technologies, practices, and innovations, economic analyses are essential-- for growers, policy makers, and for decision makers in other organizations and businesses. Currently UC ANR / UCCE does not have sufficient applied research and extension capacity in economics to address myriad questions at the forefront of today's agriculture. Also, farm advisors at the local level could greatly benefit from having a campus based UCCE Specialist and colleague focused on the economics of sustainable agriculture, to consult with and to collaborate with, in order to more fully serve our communities. In addition, most all projects funded by competitive grants now require an economic component to round out multi-disciplinary teams. These teams are able to provide more complete portrayals of the potential impacts of any new technology, practice, or innovation. Finally, the Cost and Return Study Project, which for decades was led by Emerita Karen Klonsky, and generated important and timely economic analyses for many agricultural products, became one of the most essential "go to" resources for growers, marketers, policy makers, bankers, researchers-- and many others. It should absolutely continue. The project is currently being led by an Interim Director, however, this new position would be a perfect fit to lead it into the future. Again, please make this position a top priority for recruitment by UC ANR / UCCE.
Posted Jun 9, 2016 11:53 AM by Laura Tourte, Farm Management Advisor
UC ANR cost of production studies are used extensively by the agricultural industry for many purposes, including farm loans. An Economic Specialist is critically needed to oversee this process, including managing an SRA team to work on the studies. I worked extensively with Karen Klonsky on these cost studies; one that just came out was on drip irrigation in alfalfa. We relied on her expertise to pull this study together and it is frequently used by the industry to help address issues of water shortages during drought years. I also frequently use cost studies in my grant proposals to justify needs in the industry, as well as in research reports and publications. Furthermore, the cost studies help tremendously with addressing all those calls that come to our office about production practices (such as how and when to irrigate or fertilize crops). This is a highly important position that will help keep everyone informed about crop production issues. Over the years, I would say the cost studies have been extremely helpful for outreach in my career. We highly need a CE Specialist to facilitate this process.
Posted Jun 15, 2016 4:17 PM by Rachael Long
As an active member of the fresh produce industry, I can tell you that our industry actively and desperately uses and needs current information to continue to be competitive in global agriculture. The work by retiring economists, such as Dr. Roberta Cook, Dr. Karen Klonsky, and Dr. Richard Howitt have been critical for farmers, investors, and financiers. They have been a much needed resource and are a source of accurate and current information. Their research and their availability have assisted many of us in California agriculture as decisions are being considered and made. And even more importantly, when the press is doing research, it is critical that they have the availability of current, accurate and unbiased information. Without this CE Specialist, there will be a huge void.
Posted Jun 18, 2016 6:09 PM by Karen Caplan, President & CEO, Frieda's Specialty Produce
The economics publications produced for the livestock industry through UC are some of the most sought-after publications we produce as a group. This position is crucial to maintaining momentum on many natural resources/agriculture economics projects for many advisors within livestock/natural resources.
Posted Jun 22, 2016 11:03 AM by Jeff Stackhouse
I agree with everything that Steve, Mark, Gene, and Laura said. The bottom line is that farming is a business, so for researchers and extension personnel microeconomics should form the basis of much of what we do. However, I would guess that most of us have little to no training in this area--I certainly do not.

I would like to expand on a point raised by Steve: risk. Advancing technologies have made available new tools for decision making, such as predictive disease models, that are often based on probability. On their own, using formal models of risk probability to make decisions is a challenging task, but it is made more difficult when it needs to be incorporated into a cost-benefit analysis. I envision that the use of prediction and risk will only increase in the future, so a sound understanding of these topics and the availability of tools that implement them will be crucial for growers, industry, and research and extension alike.

In addition to use of predictive models, larger scale shifts in California agriculture that move away from short-term leasing arrangements are possible. For example, options to effectively manage soilborne pathogens are dwindling or are not cost effective depending on crop. It is possible that well-defined, long-term crop rotations that manage soil health are part of the answer to this problem. This position would be valuable in determining if and how such systems would be economically sustainable and in guiding transitions to this system. Regardless of the specific transition, factors including but not limited to climate change, water, labor, and land value are dynamic challenges that this position would be crucial in responding to.

I see this position as complementary to the proposed “CE Specialist in Information Systems & Data Analytics for Agricultural & Food Production” position.

Alex Putman
Asst CE Specialist, Vegetables and Strawberry
Department of Plant Pathology & Microbiology
University of California, Riverside
Posted Jun 24, 2016 9:06 AM by Alex Putman
This position has the potential to impact almost every Advisor and certainly every County in California. It is a critical position to fill as agriculture continues to face new challenges that threaten to undermine the profitability of agriculture across the state. Without profit, agriculture is not sustainable. The economics of farming is and should continue to be a major focus for the UC.
Posted Jul 6, 2016 12:05 PM by Julie Finzel
Expertise in this area is critical to many projects that involve studies of insect/disease and weed problems affecting agricultural crops in California. Many proposals will not be competitive without a well-qualified person to address economic issues related to pest management.
Posted Jul 9, 2016 9:44 AM by Thomas Gordon

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