In memoriam: Carl Schoner
After serving in the Navy, Schoner graduated from UC Davis with a bachelor's degree in animal husbandry in 1951. Continuing his education during his career, Schoner earned a master's degree in agricultural education from UC Davis in 1962 and a doctorate in plant ecology from Oregon State University in 1974.
In 1952, Schoner became a superintendent of cultivations with UC Cooperative Extension, then called Agricultural Extension Service, in Fresno. In 1953, he became a UCCE farm advisor for Yolo County, where he served 37 years. Schoner was appointed Yolo County director in 1966, a position he held until his retirement in 1989.
“I was fortunate to have Carl Schoner as my first UC supervisor,” said Gene Miyao, UCCE advisor in Yolo County. “He was fair, efficient, genuine and deeply caring. I've been blessed with other effective administrators, but Carl was the best.”
As a farm advisor, Schoner focused his research on alfalfa production and adaptation of other forage crops for livestock. He also completed several sample cost studies for crops.
“He interacted well with agencies and big picture issues such as land use, water availability and what eventually was described as sustainability,” Miyao said. “It was Carl's interest in computers that energized our office to become computer literate, especially as we faced budget cuts in staff support. Carl also had an affinity to work on sample cost of production studies. He headed our team of advisors in compiling sample costs of production studies on a ‘whole-farm'-based approach to crop budgets. In the early years, it was done on poster board-like graph paper; and then in the later years, updated using computer spreadsheets. While still a daunting task, the computer simplified the process.”
He is survived by his wife, Alice, their children Paula (Tim) Rattigan, Linda (Pete) Cova and Sam (Jennifer) Schoner, and six grandchildren.