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Posts Tagged: CARET

UC CARET delegates visit Congress in March

From left, Dan Sanchez, Mike Mellano, Wendy Powers and Marcel Horowitz visited the offices of Senator Dianne Feinstein, Senator Kamala Harris, Congressman Scott Peters and Congressman Mike Levin.

UC ANR Vice President Glenda Humiston led a delegation representing California to the annual joint meeting of the Council for Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching (CARET) and the Administrative Heads Section (AHS) of the Association of Public & Land-grant Universities in Washington, D.C., March 1-4.

While they were in Washington, CARET delegates met with CaliforniaCongress members to discuss the specific impacts of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources in their districts and the importance of strong federal funding to support the programs, including Cooperative Extension, 4-H Youth Development, nutrition education, and the research and extension centers. 

From left, Anne Megaro, Mike Mellano, Congressman Jim Costa, Glenda Humiston, Jhalendra Rijal and Kathy Eftekhari discussed the importance of research funding to California.

“CARET delegates provided first-hand testimony of UC ANR's impact on their own lives and businesses while UC ANR academics gave a boots-on-the-ground perspective of working in and among community members to build partnerships and deliver content and programming,” said Anne Megaro, UC ANR director of government and community relations.

Collectively, the group visited 36 congressional offices, including TJ Cox, Jim Costa, Jimmy Panetta and Mike Thompson.

From left, Kathy Eftekhari, Marcel Horowitz, Congressman and 4-H alumnus TJ Cox, Glenda Humiston, Dina Moore and Anne Megaro.

CARET delegates – San Diego County nurseryman Mike Mellano, Humboldt County rancher Dina Moore, and Environmental Solutions Group managing partner Jean-Mari Peltier,  – explained how their businesses and industries have benefited from UC ANR research and extension. Bill Frost, former UC ANR associate vice president and UCCE advisor emeritus, also served as a CARET delegate.

UCCE advisors Jhalendra Rijal and Marcel Horowitz, UCCE specialist Dan Sanchez and CalFresh Healthy Living, UC director Kamal Khaira were the academics who described their work. Associate Vice President Wendy Powers and Kathy Eftekhari, chief of staff to the VP, also participated. 

From left, CARET members Jean-Mari Peltier, Kamal Khaira, Marcel Horowitz, Dan Sanchez and Glenda Humiston met with Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s staff to discuss UC ANR research priorities.

CARET delegates arrived back in California while the national response to COVID-19 was just developing. They have since reached out to the congressional delegation to share what UC ANR is doing to help communities under the changing circumstances. Specifically, UC ANR is converting educational materials into online formats so they are accessible for families and individuals sheltering in place. UC ANR is also looking to extend internet connectivity to UCCE county office parking lots in rural areas where broadband access is not available.

“All of the California congressmen and staff members were supportive of UC ANR, however given the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, funding priorities are changing rapidly,” Megaro said.

Posted on Friday, March 27, 2020 at 10:05 PM

ANR briefs California congressional members on ag research

From left, Julia Rowe, Marjorie Duske, Keith Gilless, Kathryn Uhrich, Mike Mellano, Dina Moore, Glenda Humiston, Anne Megaro and Keith Nathaniel visited congressional offices in March to brief lawmakers and staffers on the latest UC ANR research.

VP Glenda Humiston, AVP Wendy Powers and several UC ANR representatives visited more than 30 congressional offices in March to brief lawmakers and staffers on the latest agriculture and natural resources research and outreach benefiting Californians.

On March 5-8, a UC ANR delegation attended the 36th Annual Council on Agriculture Research, Extension and Teaching (CARET) meetings in Washington D.C. CARET is part of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). With the assistance of Julia Rowe and Marjorie Duske of UC Federal Governmental Relations, they also visited congressional offices to explain the importance of science and research to California.

From left, Moore, Peltier, John Garamendi (whose district includes Solano, Yolo, Colusa, Glenn, Lake, Sutter and Yuba counties), Dillard, Humiston and Brandon Minto, UC Davis federal relations.

Keith Nathaniel, UC Cooperative Extension director for Los Angeles County; Katie Panarella, director of nutrition, family and consumer sciences program & policy; and Mark Bell, vice provost of strategic initiatives and statewide programs; joined the deans Helene Dillard, Keith Gilless, Michael Lairmore and Kathryn Uhrich for the visits.

From left, Megaro, Dillard, Jim Costa (whose district includes Fresno, Madera and Merced counties), Humiston and Minto.

“We had a lot of great meetings with Congressional members and their staff, discussing the need for sustained investments in ag & natural resources programs, research and innovation,” said Anne Megaro, director of government and community relations.

From left, Minto, Peltier, Mellano, Dillard, Jeff Denham (whose district includes San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties), Gilless and

The group split up into teams to visit the offices of Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, Representatives John Garamendi, Jim Costa, Jeff Denham, Barbara Lee, Ami Bera, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Jimmy Panetta, Raul Ruiz and several other California representatives.

From left, Gilless, Megaro, Mellano, Humiston, Jimmy Panetta (whose district includes Monterey and Santa Cruz counties) and Minto.

“California CARET representatives Dina Moore, Mike Mellano and Jean-Mari Peltier shared their experiences of how UC ANR research drives innovation and helps California farmers and related businesses remain competitive in the global market,” Megaro said.

From left, Dillard, Uhrich, Raul Ruiz (whose district includes Riverside County), Peltier and Powers.

“Overall, I felt that the visits were high quality,” said Powers. “I don't envy the elected officials or the staffers that see a revolving door of people through their offices at this time of year.”

From left, Uhrich, Ami Bera (whose district includes Sacramento County), Dillard, Humiston and Gilless.


Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2018 at 12:26 PM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture, Economic Development, Innovation

Thank you, and looking ahead for a great 2017!

Dear Colleagues,

As we wrap up 2016, I want to take a moment to thank you for everything you've done on behalf of UC ANR this year. Whether you are conducting research, organizing extension programs, teaching nutrition, leading volunteers or quietly working behind the scenes to support our various activities, your work makes a huge difference in the lives of all Californians.

In addition to those activities, many of you also took the time to give feedback to the recent strategic planning exercise, gathered to exchange ideas at the Research to Policy conference, or contributed to enhancing the UC ANR mission in many other ways.  A special thanks to the folks who chaired a committee, led a program team or served as county director – having strong, passionate leaders at every level of this organization is what makes us effective.

We are continuing to grow in numbers as hiring outpaces retirements. In 2016, 29 academics joined UC ANR and three more are poised to start in 2017. We also established four new endowed chairs with matching funds from UC President Janet Napolitano, the California Rice Research Board, the California Pistachio Research Board and, recently, the Orange County Farm Bureau. Thanks to the hard work of many stakeholders – both internal and external – we identified 26 academic positions ( for a new round of hiring priorities over the next two years. 

At the request of President Napolitano, we've submitted a five-year plan for UC ANR that will help us operationalize the Strategic Vision 2025 in a very thoughtful and timely manner. The next step is to further develop specific action plans for implementation and ensure the financial stability to support our vision. After the winter break, we will share the plan with the UC ANR community, as well as external stakeholders, and invite additional input as we move forward.

I'm very excited about 2017!  Some great groundwork has been laid this past year to further enhance our ability to deliver the UC ANR mission and enjoy new partnerships. I hope you will have a chance to relax and enjoy the holidays with friends and family and return refreshed to tackle the challenges that await us in the new year.

Happy Holidays!


Glenda Humiston
Vice President


Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2016 at 2:16 PM

DANRIS-X launches into Project Board with webinar trainings

DANRIS-X has been updated and Project Board will open for 2018 reporting.

DANRIS-X has been updated and will eventually be replaced with the newly created Project Board for UCCE specialists and advisors. When DANRIS-X opens for reporting, users will see a reduced number of data fields and an aesthetic refresh.

Project Board will open for 2018 reporting and will have an improved user experience and simplified data entry. Special thanks to the Project Board Academic Advisory Committee and Project Team for their continued involvement. More information can be found at

Upcoming dates and action items:

CE Specialists

  • DANRIS-X opens Jan. 9
  • All CE specialists are invited to the Zoom webinar trainings offered on Jan. 20, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., or Jan. 24, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Topics include an overview of the reporting system, what and why we report, etc.
  • Actions: Complete Annual Report for FY 2016 and Annual Plan for FY 2017 by March 6, 2017, at midnight.

CE Advisors

  • DANRIS-X opens on Feb. 2
  • All CE advisors are invited to the Zoom webinar trainings offered on Feb. 6, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., or Feb. 7, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Topics include an overview of the reporting system, what and why we report, etc.
  • Actions: Complete Annual Report & CASA for FY 2017 and Annual Plan for FY 2018 by Oct. 30, 2017, at midnight.

If you have questions or comments, please contact Kit Alviz, Program Planning and Evaluation, at or (510) 987-0027.



Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2016 at 2:14 PM

Names in the News

Mary Maffly Ciricillo
Ciricillo named director of Annual Giving

Mary Maffly Ciricillo brings more than 20 years of professional experience to her new role as the director of Annual Giving for UC ANR. She comes to ANR from the UC Davis Graduate School of Management, where she was director of Development & Alumni Relations, steward of the Business Partnership Program and point person on building connections, community and involvement of the school's alumni.

Ciricillo has spent the last 10 years in diverse roles at UC Davis, creating and growing programs that help further university goals. She launched UC Davis goClub, the campus alternative and sustainable transportation program. To get goClub rolling, Ciricillo signed on sponsors, built new relationships across campus and the business community, and revved up the marketing plan to encourage campus commuting options, such as carpool, vanpool, bike, walk, bus and train.

Before joining UC Davis, Ciricillo was an account executive in the communications industry, developing branding and marketing solutions. Her clients included The Gap, Oracle, Knight Ridder Newspapers, the San Francisco Ballet and the Tech Museum of Innovation in Silicon Valley.

She earned a B.A. in history with a minor in business from San Francisco State University.

Based in Davis, Ciricillo can be reached at (530) 750-1302, cell (530) 219-1085 and

Glenn County Soil Partnership from left, Dani Lightle, Betsy Karle, Kandi Manhart, RCD executive officer, and Rob Vlach NRCS district conservationist.

Karle and Lightle on team honored for conservation innovation

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and California Association of Resource Conservation Districts presented its prestigious Excellence in Innovation award to the Glenn County Soil Partnership, which includes the Glenn County Resource Conservation District, UC Cooperative Extension in Glenn County and the NRCS field office in Willows.

Betsy Karle, UCCE county director and dairy advisor, and Dani Lightle, UCCE orchard systems advisor, both based in Glenn County, are among the partners working together to promote and encourage healthy soils and greatly increased local interest among farmers. Their goal is to increase awareness of the importance of soil health and to create a forum for farmers to share information and learn from each other. To ensure a locally led process, the partners created a farmer-led Steering and Technical Advisory Committee made up of farmers and local experts.

“Dani Lightle was a key player in the process and she has taken the opportunity to tackle some very interesting questions about cover cropping in orchards,” said Karle. “UCCE specialist Jeff Mitchell has also been a key motivator and has logged hundreds of miles and countless hours to support the effort.”

“Your partnership is bringing back a focus on conservation planning, technical assistance and management change motivated by the desire to enhance the health of the soil resource,” said NRCS state conservationist Carlos Suarez, who presented the award.

“You wisely chose to root your leadership in local farmers and agencies, combining agency and university technical knowledge with private business skills and real world know-how. This makes your partnership credible and inspiring to local farmers who are open to improving the health of their soil.”

“This is the best way to engage our customers in conservation planning that results in regenerative agriculture and ecological benefits,” Suarez said.

The Soil Partnership received the award on Nov. 17 during the 71st annual California Association of Resource Conservation Districts' conference in Ontario.

Sabrina Drill
UC CalNat associate director named to national organization board

UC Cooperative Extension natural resources advisor Sabrina Drill has been elected to the board of the Alliance of Natural Resource Outreach Service Programs (ANROSP). Drill is associate director of the UC California Naturalist Program.

ANROSP is the national organization in which master naturalist programs from around the country share methods and information to train naturalists, build local and statewide communities, and support their efforts to protect, enhance, understand, and teach the public about each state's unique natural history.

“As a board member, the things I am most keen to work on are strengthening efforts to professionalize participatory citizen science, and build bonds with groups like the new Citizen Science Association and communities of practice like SciStarter,” Drill said. “In addition, I want to build on our individual efforts to increase the demographic diversity of naturalists.”

Drill's role in the national organization will support the continued growth and development of the California Naturalist program, which was established in 2012.

“Working across states, I think we'd like to again see how we might garner national support to grow our programs, and see where we can use nationally developed educational and evaluation tools,” Drill said. “For example, we recently published a paper in Conservation Biology with Virginia Master Naturalist looking at how our training programs enhanced individuals' experiences as citizen scientists, and the opportunity to compare programs was very enlightening. Being an active part of ANROSP leadership can enhance these efforts.”

ANROSP holds a national conference each year in September, where it presents awards in five categories: program of the year, outstanding educational materials, outstanding team, outstanding volunteer project and outstanding program evaluation. In 2015, the UC ANR California Naturalist program was named the “program of the year” by ANROSP

Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2016 at 1:53 PM

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