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Posts Tagged: July 2019

Regent: ‘What ANR does and its reach is really exciting to me’

VP Glenda Humiston enjoyed hearing regents compliment UC ANR during the UC Board of Regents meeting July 18.

“I just wanted to say how excited I am to hear your presentation. ANR is a part of UC I know the least about and just to get a taste of what ANR does and its reach is really exciting to me,” Regent Lark Park said to VP Glenda Humiston.

Humiston delivered an overview of UC ANR to the UC Board of Regents during their July 18 meeting at the UCSF–Mission Bay Conference Center.

The regents appeared inspired by the description of Californians throughout the state benefiting from UC ANR research and outreach. Following her presentation, Humiston answered questions and offered to give interested regents tours of ANR activities. She immediately received requests.

“You do so many valuable things, not only in the agricultural community, but as you highlighted, a lot of times in the urban areas,” Regent Richard Leib said to Humiston.

Turning to his fellow regents, Leib asked, “How do we get this message out to the policymakers, to the legislators who are funding these projects? Because it's such a valuable thing that the organization is doing, but unless you've been touched by it, you might not know it's UC.”

Chair John Perez agreed, saying, “I think your frame is the right one. There are counties where we don't have a campus, but we have a presence.”

Park requested an ANR tour, saying, “You really opened my eyes to the importance of ANR to our overall mission and all the public policy problems facing the state. I'm really excited to learn more and advocate more for this.”

Anne Megaro, government and community relations director, is working with leadership to plan tours for regents in Fresno, the Napa-Sonoma area and Southern California. 

Watch a 30-minute video of Humiston's presentation and the UC regents' comments following her presentation at https://youtu.be/0sdYykYgakI

Posted on Wednesday, July 31, 2019 at 2:42 PM
Tags: Glenda Humiston (70), July 2019 (9), regents (7)

Names in the News

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Amer Fayad
Fayad named Western IPM Center director

Amer Fayad joined ANR on July 8, 2019 as director of the Western Integrated Pest Management Center. He is a plant pathologist focused on the identification, epidemiology, biological and molecular diversity of viruses, virus movement, interactions between viruses and plant virus resistance genes. and management of virus diseases. Fayad will provide overall leadership of the Western IPM Center, collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders to identify regional IPM needs and formulate strategies to address the issues. He will represent the Western IPM Center to other agencies at the state, regional and national levels to identify opportunities for collaboration.

From 2011 to 2019, Fayad served in several capacities at Virginia Tech. From 2016-2019, he was the associate director and the Africa program manager of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Integrated Pest Management, an $18 million program that advances IPM science and education and develops IPM technologies. He coordinated projects in East Africa and South Asia that identified and developed environmentally sound IPM strategies, prepared action plans, assessments, reports and publications.

Prior to that, Fayad, who is fluent in Arabic and French, taught biology at Notre Dame University in Lebanon. At the Citrus Research and Education Center at the University of Florida, Fayad conducted postdoctoral research.

He earned a Ph.D. in plant pathology, physiology, and weed science from Virginia Tech, a M.S. in crop protection and a B.S. in agriculture and a diploma of “Ingenieur Agricole” from the American University of Beirut.

Fayad is based at the ANR building in Davis and can be reached at (530) 750-1271 and afayad@ucanr.edu.

Read a Q&A with Fayad at http://ipmwest.blogspot.com/2019/07/a-q-with-new-western-ipm-center.html.

Otto joins Master Food Preserver Program

Anna Otto

Anna Otto is the new program coordinator in the statewide office for the Master Food Preserver (MFP) Program.

As UC Master Food Preserver coordinator, she will provide statewide support to the UC MFP Program, which operates in 17 counties with more than 400 certified volunteers. Her responsibilities include project management in office administration, event planning and meeting coordination, communications, marketing, training and fund development.

Before joining UC MFP on May 6, 2019, she spent the past 17 years as an adjunct professor of family and consumer science at Sacramento City College, where her courses focused on child and lifespan development.

Prior to teaching, Otto was a research associate for the 4-H Center for Youth Development in Davis. She is excited to be back working for UC Cooperative Extension.

Otto first learned about UC MFP Program this past fall, during a visit to the Arcata Farmer's Market. Since that time, she has attended their demonstrations and classes in Sacramento, Humboldt and El Dorado counties and learned about pressure canning, dehydrating, fermenting and making salsa.

Otto earned an M.S. in child development and a B.S. in dependent care management, both from UC Davis.

Otto is based in the ANR building in Davis and can be reached at (530) 750-1382 and amotto@ucanr.edu.

Michailides receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Themis Michailides

The Pacific Division of the American Phytopathological Society recently honored Themis Michailides with their Lifetime Achievement Award. They presented him with the award on June 26 at their annual meeting in Fort Collins, Colo.

Michailides, a UC Davis plant pathologist based at Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Parlier, is a leading authority in fungal fruit tree pathology and is nationally and internationally recognized for his innovative ecological, epidemiological, and disease management studies of devastating diseases of fruit and nut crops.

After intensive and multifaceted research on the panicle and shoot blight of pistachio caused by Botryosphaeria dothidea, a major disease that became an epidemic in 1995 to 1998 and threatening California's pistachio industry, he developed tools for successfully controlling the disease. For this outstanding research, the California pistachio industry awarded him a plaque engraved “Honoring 20 years of research excellence.”

Based on what they learned from the Bot of pistachio, Michailides and his colleagues expanded their research to Bot (or band) canker of almond and the Botryosphaeria/Phomopsis canker dieback and blight of walnut.

Michailides, who has been working at Kearney REC for 31 years, has also been doing pioneering research in understanding and managing aflatoxin contamination of pistachio and almond and has published more than 235 refereed articles.

He has also been active in the American Phytopathological Society, serving as a member or chair of various committees. Additionally, he has served as associate editor (1991–1993) and senior editor (1995—1997) of Plant Disease and senior editor (2006–2008) of Phytopathology. In 2011, he was named an APS Fellow. He has collaborated with international scientists in more than 10 countries. He served as APS Pacific Division president in 2012-2013.

Kern County Entomology Team wins WEDA Award of Excellence

From left, Wendy Powers, David Haviland, who accepted the WEDA award on behalf of the team, Glenda Humiston and Jean-Marie Peltier, who represents California for Council for Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching (CARET)

For more than 15 years, the Kern County Entomology Team has helped growers respond to invasive insect pests that threaten California agriculture. Their efforts have been recognized with the Western Extension Director Association's Award of Excellence for 2019.

The Kern County Entomology Team is composed of David Haviland, UC Cooperative Extension entomology and pest management farm advisor for Kern County; Jhalendra Rijal, UC IPM advisor for the Northern San Joaquin Valley; Emily Symmes, UC IPM advisor for Sacramento Valley; Robert Beede, UCCE farm advisor emeritus in Kings County; Stephanie Rill, UC Cooperative Extension staff research associate in Kern County; Robert Curtis, research director for the Almond Board of California, and Judy Zaninovich, director of the Consolidated Central Valley Table Grape Pest and Disease Control District.

The Kern County Entomology Team has implemented more than a dozen applied research and extension programs with documented impacts on top California commodities such as almonds, table grapes, pistachios, cherries and blueberries. Team members have organized Extension meetings, workshops, presentations, publications and media articles. The collaboration team consists of university professionals and agricultural producers. These collaborations led to reduced pesticide use, increased reliance on biological control, improved worker safety and increased farmer profitability on the more than $15 billion in agricultural commodities grown in the southern San Joaquin Valley.

Haviland accepted the award on behalf of the team on July 9 at the Western States Joint Summer Meeting in Albuquerque, NM. Haviland also gave a short presentation to the joint meeting of Western state extension directors, research station directors, agriculture and extension deans and CARET members.

Van Eenaannaam honored for animal breeding and genetics research 

Alison Van Eenennaam

The American Society of Animal Science presented its Rockefeller Prentice Memorial Award in Animal Breeding and Genetics to Alison Van Eenennaam, UCCE specialist in the UC Davis Department of Animal Science.

Van Eenennaam has developed an internationally recognized research program in animal breeding and genetics, with an emphasis on beef cattle. She conducts both basic lab and applied field research on subjects ranging from genome editing to validation of DNA tests, along with work to ensure regulatory policy allows access to innovative breeding technologies. She has delivered more than 600 presentations, translating her research to stakeholder groups with skill and passion.

She received the award July 10 at the 2019 American Society of Animal Science and Canadian Society of Animal Science annual meeting held in Austin, Texas.

Vidalakis named to prestigious, endowed citrus research position 

Georgios Vidalakis

Georgios Vidalakis, professor and UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Microbiology and Plant Pathology Department at UC Riverside, has been named Presidential Researcher for Sustainable Citrus Clonal Protection. The position will enable Vidalakis, a plant pathologist, to continue doing research that improves citrus production and quality in California.

A $1 million endowment fund for this work was established by the state's Citrus Research Board with funds matched by the UC President. It will support Vidalakis for the next five years as he helps develop diagnostic tools and therapies for citrus pathogens.

Vidalakis is director of the UC Citrus Clonal Protection Program, or CCPP, which is a collaborative program between the UCR Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology, the CA Department of Food and Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and California's citrus industry.

The Citrus Research Board provides the CCPP with assessment funds from the $3.4 billion California citrus industry. The CCPP maintains more than 450 varieties free from diseases. – Jules Bernstein

 

Posted on Wednesday, July 31, 2019 at 12:01 PM

Farm Bureau celebrates centennial at Capitol

Assemblymember Adam Gray of Merced, who grew up working at his parents’ dairy, met the farm advisors.

University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources joined in the California Farm Bureau Federation's Centennial Celebration at the State Capitol on June 26.

State legislators visited booths where county farm bureaus displayed products from local growers and ranchers and discussed the benefits of agriculture in their county.

“We love Cooperative Extension!” CDFA Secretary Karen Ross exclaimed when she saw Jim Farrar and Katherine Jarvis-Shean talking with Jenny Lester Moffitt, CDFA undersecretary.

Sarah Light got to meet her Assembly representative James Gallagher of Yuba City.
UC ANR was represented by Jim Farrar, UC IPM director; Michelle Leinfelder-Miles, UCCE Delta crops advisor for San Joaquin, Contra Costa, Sacramento, Solano and Yolo counties; Sarah Light, UCCE agronomy advisor for Sutter-Yuba and Colusa counties and Katherine Jarvis-Shean, UCCE orchard systems advisor for Sacramento, Solano and Yolo counties. They answered questions about pest management and crop production and discussed their research and outreach.

4-H volunteer Julie Farnham and Nicole Jansen and members of the Esparto/Capay Valley 4-H Club brought a small petting zoo consisting of three dairy calves and two exotic sheep and talked with legislators about the benefits of participating in 4-H.

“The California Farm Bureau Federation's Centennial at the Capitol was a great opportunity to talk with legislators about how UC is present in their districts and helping their constituents,” said Anne Megaro, director of government and community relations, who coordinated ANR's participation in the event.

UC Cooperative Extension has partnered with the Farm Bureau for more than a century. As UC Cooperative Extension was being organized in 1913, UC leaders required each county government that wanted to participate in the partnership to allocate funding to help support extension work in that community. It was also required that a group of farmers in participating counties organize into a “farm bureau” to help guide the UCCE farm advisor on the local agriculture issues. These grassroots groups later evolved into the California Farm Bureau Federation.

Assemblymember Devon Mathis of Visalia welcomed the Esparto/Capay Valley 4-H Club members and their livestock.

Michelle Leinfelder-Miles and Anne Megaro greeted Assembly Agriculture Committee Chair Susan Eggman of Stockton.
Assemblymember Jim Cooper of Elk Grove chatted with 4-Hers about their calves and the woolly Navajo churro sheep before meeting the farm advisors.
Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva of Fullerton had some questions for the farm advisors.
State senator Bob Wieckowski of Fremont talked with 4-Hers about raising dairy cows.
Assemblymember Steven Choi of Irvine, whose district includes South Coast Research and Extension Center, visited with Megaro and the UCCE farm advisors.
State senator Jim Nielsen of Tehama greeted Leinfelder-Miles and Jarvis-Shean.
Posted on Wednesday, July 31, 2019 at 11:02 AM

Top 3 things to know about public safety power shutoff

To reduce the likelihood or severity of fire incidents during extreme weather or potential wildfire conditions, California has approved the Public Safety Power Shutoff Program allowing utility companies to turn off power as a preventive measure.

UC ANR Risk & Safety Services has prepared Safety Note #199 PUBLIC SAFETY POWER SHUTOFFS (PSPS) to provide tips and links to additional information.

Here are the three most important things to know about public safety power shutoffs:

1. The decision and action to turn off power is made by each energy company and is based on a combination of factors, including high winds, red flag warnings, low humidity, dry vegetation serving as fuel, fire/wind threat to electric infrastructure, on-the ground observations, and overall risk to public safety. Monitor these conditions in your immediate area and be prepared to act. Visit http://prepareforpowerdown.com to learn more. Additionally, the California Public Utilities Commission has posted maps of areas they have determined to have the greatest fire threat https://www.cpuc.ca.gov/FireThreatMaps/. You can review these maps to better understand the potential fire threat at your location and other locations that you visit for research, extension or other activities.

2. Sign up for alerts! Update your personal and office location contact information with your local energy company. You can do so by contacting the company, visiting their website, or by visiting http://prepareforpowerdown.com. If you are alerted of a possible shutdown, look for more detailed information from your utility company's website or social media accounts to better understand how the shutdown may affect you. A PSPS will usually affect a specific area or neighborhood, not an entire city or county. In some cases, the utility will post maps of the affected area.

3. If your office is closed or affected due to a PSPS or other emergency, directors or office managers should notify ANR Risk & Safety Services by contacting Brian Oatman (baoatman@ucanr.edu). If employees aren't able to work due to a natural disaster or emergency, ANR Human Resources (anrstaffpersonnel@ucanr.edu) should also be notified so that arrangements may be made to track and report employee leave time during the emergency.

 

Posted on Tuesday, July 30, 2019 at 12:18 PM
  • Author: Brian Oatman

Patricia Crawford, a catalyst for change, retires after 40 years

Patricia Crawford
Patricia Crawford's work on improved food labeling is but one example of the way that her timely, rigorous research has demonstrated the role of sugary foods and beverages in the development of diabetes and obesity and in helping to fuel America's childhood obesity epidemic. In countless ways Crawford, who is retiring this year after more than 40 years as a UC Cooperative Extension nutrition specialist, has supported the adoption of public policies that promote safer, more healthful food and beverages for all people.

There are direct lines from her resume to major policy advances in nutrition education and public health. Crawford's research and outreach have influenced nutrition policies and trends to improve the food environment at child care centers and schools, promote more nutritious food in programs serving low-income families and advance education and communication.

Since earning her master's degree in public health nutrition and her registered dietician credential at UC Berkeley in 1972, Crawford has been a force of unceasing productivity as a researcher, evaluator, educator and leader. Early in her career, she managed the nation's largest biracial study of girls' health, the National Growth and Health Study. During the course of this long-term study, she went back to school to obtain her doctorate in public health nutrition.

She soon was hired as the first UC Cooperative Extension nutrition and obesity prevention specialist and she co-founded and directed UC Berkeley's Atkins Center for Weight and Health. The center focused largely on food and nutrition policy to improve the health of children, and shared research results with community health workers. Local and state health professionals found an extension partner eager to conduct research that would answer important questions and provide real-world solutions, productively linking research, policy and practice. 

Friends and colleagues celebrated Crawford career accomplishments at her retirement party.

The Center for Weight and Health, which in 2015 merged with the UC ANR Nutrition Policy Institute (NPI), became known for rigorous research that is aligned with UC ANR's core values of addressing food security, obesity, socioeconomically based health disparities, and access to healthy foods. After the merger, Crawford became NPI's senior director of research, working with her long-time collaborator, NPI Director Lorrene Ritchie.

Ritchie stated that in addition to Crawford's academic achievements, she is the consummate mentor — a “career godmother” for Ritchie and many others.

“Pat has an uncanny ability of knowing what you are good at — even before you yourself do — and mentoring you to build on that strength,” Ritchie said. “Likewise, she has an uncanny ability to know your weaknesses, and help you to overcome those by developing new skills or pairing you with others who have those skills.”

Kelly Brownell, Jen Falbe, Crawford and May Wang at the retirement party.

Although Crawford would be quick to tell you that her work is collaborative, she has been a researcher or important influence on nearly every population-based nutrition policy success in the past four decades. She has served as president of the California Nutrition Council and on countless state and national committees and task forces focused on improving health and addressing obesity, including being an advisor to California's Let's Get Healthy Task Force. Most recently, she co-authored a seminal Healthy People 2020 report for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, on model policies to increase fruit and vegetable intake in the population.

To honor the work that Crawford does and to continue this kind of work, NPI has established a student fellowship fund to train the next generation of students on nutrition research and its policy impacts.

Read more about Crawford's accomplishments.

Posted on Friday, July 26, 2019 at 2:24 PM
  • Author: Liz Sizensky
  • Author: Ann Brody Guy

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