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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 katherine.webb-martinez@ucop.edu.

 

2016 URS Call for Positions

This proposal has been formally submitted for the 2016 cycle.

Position Details

117 Organic Production Systems Specialist at UCSC

The Specialist will work at the intersection of weed, disease and fertility management in organic production systems and will have significant interaction with organic farmers in our region.

The Specialist will work to bolster areas mentioned by the 2015 UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (DANR) Strategic Vision, including efforts to enhance competitive, sustainable food systems, increase science literacy in agriculture, enhance sustainable natural (and agricultural) ecosystems, optimize water use, manage endemic pests and diseases, and improve the health of families and communities. 

 

Proposed Location/Housing

UC Santa Cruz

Proposed Area of Coverage

Statewide

Contacts

Associated Documents

Comments

19 Comments

1
This position is of low to medium priority. The UCCE Advisors and Specialist in the Central Coast region address many of the needs of the organic industry at present. It is unclear what areas of need that this position will fill in. I feel that it is a mistake to place this position at the UCSC campus. For this position to succeed, there is a need for this position to be located more central to the industry, such as in Salinas at the USDA Vegetable Research Station (which already has two UC Specialists). There would be more opportunities to interact with colleagues and to have easier access (less traffic issues) to the industry.
Posted Jun 6, 2016 5:58 PM by richard smith
2
The position of an Extension Specialist in Organic Production Systems at UCSC is much needed and long overdue. It is time that science based practices replace the ideologies, mythologies and hyperbole that circulated as good organic farming practices in the recent past. Places as diverse as Cornell University, Michigan State University and Oregon State University already have separate faculty staffing their programs devoted to improving the practical systems of organic agricultural production. California has the great UCCE extension system staffed with dedicated and extraordinary people. It needs to be augmented by a person whose activities are dedicated to organic crop production.
I have farmed organic strawberries for nearly ten years. Before that I farmed vegetable and strawberry crops conventionally. I know first hand that organic farming practices are very different to conventional farming practices. It is a systematically different approach to growing crops that starts with soils and moves up through the finished crop.
The right person working on organic farming systems will be a good addition to the UCCE extension system. This person will assist organic growers in better understanding and improving organic farming practices. The specialist could offer assistance to conventional growers as they transition their businesses in whole or in part to organic production.
Why choose the University of California, Santa Cruz as the home campus for this position? UC Santa Cruz has a mature organic farm already staffed with growers practiced in organic farming. It will not require acquiring and developing ground to use for organic farming. Such development requires a minimum of 3 years even if the land fulfills the NOP criteria to be certified as organic ground.
Posted Jun 21, 2016 2:10 PM by Thom Flewell
3
As a grower of mixed organic vegetables and strawberries I was excited to see that the position of Organic Production Systems Specialist has been proposed to be stationed at the UCSC campus.
Despite a steady increase in the demand for organic produce, organic growers in the Central Coast region face a unique and serious set of challenges. Decreases in the supply of labor, along with impending changes to state minimum wage and overtime laws, are driving costs steeply higher. Expanding urban boundaries have decreased the amount of suitable organic land driving rents higher as well. Meanwhile, the pressure from emerging and established pests and diseases is intensifying. These include fusarium wilt and macrophomina in strawberries, bagrada bug in brassica crops, and the ever evolving downy mildew in spinach, lettuce, and cucumber crops among many others.
These combined pressures mean Central Coast organic farmers have to be smarter and more diligent than ever and avail themselves of as much information as possible. This is where the Organic Production Specialist would play a vital role. Effective methods of weed control, optimal rotations to reduce soil borne diseases, fertility management and post harvest/food safety issues are just some of the areas where growers need science based, yet “real world”, advice and solutions.
The prospect of the Organic Production Systems Specialist being able to serve the many medium to small, direct market oriented farms in the area—of which we are one—is what excited me the most. Being stationed at the UCSC campus, they would be ideally located to serve this rapidly growing, yet underserved sector, with its particular set of concerns.
Posted Jun 25, 2016 8:13 AM by Stephen Pedersen
4
I strongly support the placement of an Organic Production Systems Specialist at UCSC. Placement at UCSC would allow for mentoring of undergraduate and graduate students at the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems. The Specialist would have the support of the University Office of Sponsored Projects to aid in grant writing that could support students and help expand the organic program.
In addition the Specialist would be able to interact with faculty and researchers interested in water conservation and best agricultural practices. The serious water availability issues facing the State of California requires a collaborative effort between growers and policy makers. The Specialist's research program at UCSC could help inform the next generation of growers and policy makers.
Posted Jun 27, 2016 1:10 PM by Mary Margaret Perez
5
I am from Seven Bridges Cooperative and we are certified organic through CCOF. I strongly support the creation of an organic farm advisor position.
Posted Jun 27, 2016 1:28 PM by Tallula Preston
6
As a highly diversified organic farmer on the San Mateo coast, I strongly support this position. My business is now in its 11th year and is currently going through a significant expansion to serve the growing demand for locally grown organic products in the San Francisco Bay Area. I foresee increasing challenges ahead for farmers in this area, such as a decreasing labor pool, increasing minimum wage and overtime laws, erratic climate conditions, dwindling water supply, more stringent food safety requirements, access to land and infrastructure, new pests problems, and new disease pressure. In order sustain a thriving business into the future, I will need assistance in dealing with these challenges. This position could provide such assistance in helping my farm evolve into an efficient and productive operation that is more resilient to the challenges we are facing. Currently, organic growers in San Mateo County are underserved when it comes to agricultural support. Without hesitation, myself and other organic growers in my area would benefit greatly from having a specialist such as this available at UCSC.
Posted Jun 27, 2016 8:25 PM by Ryan Casey, owner of Blue House Farm
7
As growers of organic vegetables & orchards, we are excited to see that the position of Organic Production Systems Specialist has been proposed and to be stationed at the UCSC campus.
Every so often opportunities come up that have the chance to really contribute and change the face of something really good. In this case, to help the organic farming movement.
California has a significant amount of organic farms, often small to medium size that can utilize the talents in this area on a daily basis. Our only disappointment is that there is not a team of people being hired to accommodate the potential request for assistance from the farmers.
We also think the suggested base location will create the synergy combining many different disciplines brought together to offer the latest information possible.
We highly recommend the hiring of this position.
Posted Jun 30, 2016 6:11 PM by Rich & Laura Everett
8
It is very important to the organic growing community in the central coastal region of California to have a COOP Ext. Farm Advisor that has expertise in organic production and issues. This unique vegetable production regions is one of the world's most productive and intense organic production areas in the world. We need a world class UC Farm Advisor to deal with the issues that are unique to our organic production.
Posted Jul 1, 2016 9:51 AM by Sharan Lanini
9
As Executive Director of the UC Santa Cruz Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) and Professor of Environmental Studies, I wholeheartedly support placing an Extension Specialist in Organic Production Systems at UC Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz County may have the largest percentage of its agricultural land under organic certification in the nation (about 30%); a figure that is sure to keep rising. The region is thus very much in need of, and supportive of, Extension attention in the organic production area. Indeed, current Extension Specialists active in our region provide all growers with important assistance, but none specialize in the unique and complex issues facing organic producers. Placing an Extension Specialist in Organic Production Systems at UC Santa Cruz would thus greatly leverage existing expertise (on- and off-campus), while assisting an agricultural industry sector that is among the nation’s fastest growing. As a well-established organic agriculture research, teaching and production center, CASFS is uniquely positioned to host and assist an Extension Specialist in Organic Production, while simultaneously benefiting enormously from the Specialist’s presence on campus.
Posted Jul 4, 2016 2:23 PM by Daniel Press
10
As the owner and main operator of a small certified organic veggie, fruit and chicken farm, I have endless duties on my plate. I cannot always keep track of all pests, weeds, regulations, and restrictions that come my way. A Organic Production Systems Specialist at UCSC would be a great resource to help me stay on top of these things when needed.
Posted Jul 4, 2016 6:17 PM by Caleb Barron, owner of Fogline Farm
11
As an Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and a research and education liaison with CASFS, I strongly support appointing an extension specialist at UCSC. This position will bring high value to the campus and to the region. UCSC has long been a research center for organic production systems, and Santa Cruz County growers have long innovated in organic production. But until now, these two communities have not had the express opportunity to connect via an extension specialist position. Both the Environmental Studies Department and the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems are poised to make large contributions towards organic agriculture management, and provide scientific expertise and communication - in fact, we already are. Having an extension specialist position in our region will solidify and facilitate greater connections between the UC system and the large network of organic growers in Santa Cruz County. The position will benefit the growth of sustainable and organic agriculture in this region, and will provide training opportunities for students interested in pursuing a line of work in cooperative extension and farmer outreach, and bringing sustainable agriculture to a wider section of California.
Posted Jul 5, 2016 1:42 PM by Stacy Philpott
12
On behalf of our team at Pie Ranch, I strongly support an extension position at UCSC. As an educational, working farm serving over 50K people per year through our markets and educational programs, we are constantly reaching out to our community of growers for advice on improving our production practices. For any diversified grower dependent on direct marketing, there are endless questions that come with maintaining a healthy diversity of crops. 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.
The growing, committed group of diversified, organic farmers in San Mateo County (I hear this county might also be included) - in addition to conventional growers transitioning to organic - would greatly benefit from being able to have access to a specialist in organic production systems.
Posted Jul 7, 2016 6:46 AM by Nancy Vail
13
On behalf of our team at Pie Ranch, I strongly support an extension position at UCSC. As an educational, working farm serving over 50K people per year through our markets and educational programs, we are constantly reaching out to our community of growers for advice on improving our production practices. For any diversified grower dependent on direct marketing, there are endless questions that come with maintaining a healthy diversity of crops. 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.
The growing, committed group of diversified, organic farmers in San Mateo County (I hear this county might also be included) - in addition to conventional growers transitioning to organic - would greatly benefit from being able to have access to a specialist in organic production systems.
Posted Jul 7, 2016 6:46 AM by Nancy Vail
14
An extension specialist in disease and weed management would be a tremendous benefit to our program. As an assistant manager in one of the garden sites at UCSC, I know that this position would both greatly enhance both our productivity and overall farm health, as well greatly improve the quality of the educational programming that we offer to a multitude of audiences and extended farm communities that we serve.
Posted Jul 7, 2016 5:00 PM by Kellee Matsushita
15
An extension specialist in organic disease, pest and weed management would be a tremendous boost for organic growers located on the Central Coast, especially for small- to medium-scale growers specializing in mixed crop operations, who contend with a wide variety of pest, disease, and weed control issues. Locating this position at UC Santa Cruz would provide opportunities for many interactions with both Environmental Studies faculty and with staff of the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS), who focus on training beginning organic growers, as well as with graduate students. This position would also have access to the existing networking efforts taking place through CASFS and the Central Coast Farmer Education Network, providing even more opportunities to reach a broad audience of both organic growers and home gardeners. As principal editor for CASFS, I strongly endorse this proposal.
Posted Jul 10, 2016 12:13 PM by Martha Brown
16
As a researcher and specialist on social issues within the organic and sustainable food and agriculture sector for more than a decade I have interacted across the agrifood supply chain. Many of my projects have included an emphasis to ensure small and mid scale growers have greater market opportunity while also better learning how the larger industry grower-shippers participate in regional supply chains while also delivering the finest speciality crops around the state, country, and world. The vision of scaling and problem-solving organic agriculture challenges in the Central Coast could not have a better home then at UC Santa Cruz with CASFS. CASFS's reach into the organic farming sector through research, training, and engagement is considerable. Given the campus's seminal role in organic training programs and research partnerships that include UCCE, this position provides an opportunity to strengthen the network of organic practitioners and knowledge producers. In closing, I consider it a high priority to bridge UCSC's hosting of this position with the growing organic sector of the Central Coast and look forward to the fruits of this proposal's success!
Posted Jul 10, 2016 1:25 PM by Tim Galarneau
17
I strongly support the placement of a UCCE Organic Production Systems Specialist at UCSC. This position will better serve an already strong constituency of organic specialty crops producers in the region, will engage and activate a thriving academic community examining the role and function of organic production in agriculture, and will effectively help to develop the solutions that organic and sustainable agriculture can provide in addressing some of the environmental and social challenges facing world populations. UCSC is well appointed to host this position with a strong outreach arm through the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, an existent 30-acre certified organic farm facility, a student body that shows strong interest in learning organic agricultural practices, all of which are located within a surrounding community of organic producers. I strongly advocate for the placement of this position at UCSC. Thank you!
Posted Jul 11, 2016 10:59 AM by Melissa Betrone
18
There is a long-established demand for an Extension Specialist in Organic Production Systems at UCSC. For decades the horticultural staff, farm managers, and research staff at the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems have provided information and training on organic production methods for growers in the region, as much as they have been able given their other job duties at the UCSC Farm and Garden. In recent years this has primarily been provided through grant and gift funding, funding that is far from consistent, though the need has increased. A committed UC ANR Extension Specialist position is very much needed to provide the sought-after organic production information in the central coast region, especially from Santa Cruz to Pescadero as the number of organic growers increases in this area.
Posted Jul 11, 2016 12:40 PM by Ann Lindsey
19
This proposal deserves High ranking and priority support for the following reasons:

1. Specific regional need for bio-intensive Integrated Pest Management in certified organic and transitional systems extant in Santa Cruz County. There is an extensive and well-established local economy of diversified organic operations, ranging from very small to significant wholesale shippers. In the coastal benchlands and Santa Cruz Mountains, these operators are only marginally well-served from current UCCE positions located in the Pajaro and Salinas Valleys.

2. UCCE has generally been weak in supporting the state's organic production sector. A Specialist position at UCSC-CASFS will be associated with the outstanding organic research and education functions located there, providing wider regional benefits for diversified organic systems.

3. The specific design of this position will emphasize agroecological innovation for chronic and emerging management challenges. Appropriate management strategies for diversified organic systems in this region have to integrate fertility and residue management practices with ecosystemic pest management services. Likewise, the specific needs and established approaches of farms in the area provide the opportunity to innovate soil-health-management practices for drought resistance, super-low-irrigation productivity, and super-low-impact performance.

4. The position also could provide the opportunity for development of new Extension approaches, i.e. a "specialized generalist" approach to whole-systems understanding and management of advanced organic and transitional agricultural operations.

UCCE should not miss the opportunity to establish a position at UCSC-CASFS that can meet the highest standards of scientific rigor while opening up new paths for innovation in adapative management and harm reduction.
Posted Jul 11, 2016 4:18 PM by Mark Lipson

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