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Posts Tagged: December 2021

Legislative staff attend virtual wildfire tour

UC ANR hosted a wildfire virtual tour for state legislators, legislative staff and agency officials Nov. 16.

UC ANR hosted a wildfire virtual tour for state legislators, legislative staff and agency officials Nov. 16. Vice President Glenda Humiston introduced the UC Cooperative Extension advisors, a program coordinator and a Master Gardener volunteer who shared real-world examples of how UC research and tools are helping Californians prepare for and mitigate wildfires in their homes, communities, and wildlands.

Fourteen legislative and agency staff members joined the virtual morning tour across California's landscapes.

Ryan Tompkins, UC Cooperative Extension forest and natural resources advisor, discussed his forest management research and shared photos of live fires – some taken from his own front yard this year. Andy Lyons, Informatics and GIS program coordinator, showed them tools such as drone imagery and mapping that can be used in real time to fight fires. 

Clio Tarazi, UC Master Gardener volunteer and retired urban planner who helped UC ANR pioneer defensible space training and Firewise Landscaping in Sonoma County, described how UC Master Gardeners worked one on one with residents, helping them reduce fire risk around their homes and neighborhoods.

Lenya Quinn-Davidson discussed her work with prescribed fire.

Lenya Quinn-Davison, UCCE fire advisor, discussed her work with prescribed fire, training women and people from other underrepresented groups in fire careers (WTREX), and bringing together non-traditional partners to build capacity to improve fire resiliency. 

“Inviting legislators and their staff to witness the work we do hand-in-hand with their constituents is critical to making informed policy,” said Humiston. “Wildfire resiliency is of utmost importance, and UC has the tools and expertise to build California's capacity to prevent and reduce the damage from catastrophic wildfires. No matter where you live in California, wildfire affects all of us.” 

For guests who expressed interest in seeing a live prescribed burn, Anne Megaro, director of government and community relations, is arranging visits.

Posted on Tuesday, December 21, 2021 at 10:15 AM
  • Author: Anne Megaro

Names in the News

Doan named UCCE small farms advisor

Hung Doan

Hung Doan joined UCCE as a small farms and specialty crops advisor serving Riverside and San Bernardino counties on Nov. 1.  

Before joining UC ANR, Doan was an instructor for an USAID-funded Farmer-to-Farmer Program in Guyana. He has experience working on small-scale farms in California and abroad in Kenya and Vietnam.

While studying at UC Davis, he coordinated many plant disease clinics and diagnosed plant diseases for a large clientele base ranging from small-scale farmers to UC Cooperative Extension staff.

His research interests include integrated pest management, vegetable and mushroom production, nutrient management, food safety and vegetables and specialty crops pathology.  

Doan graduated from UC Davis with a B.S in biochemistry and molecular biology and an M.S in plant pathology under the guidance of Professor Mike Davis, working on developing sustainable controls for Fusarium wilt of cotton at UC Davis. Hung earned his Ph.D. at UC Davis studying pathogenic Escherichia coli on leafy greens working with Professor Johan Leveau.  

Doan is headquartered in Moreno Valley and can be reached at and (408) 717-0161.

Pierce named UCCE irrigation and water resources advisor 

Curt Pierce

Curt Pierce joined UC Cooperative Extension as the area irrigation and water resources advisor for Glenn, Tehama, Colusa and Shasta counties on Oct. 15.

He works with other local UCCE orchard advisors and community stakeholders on agricultural irrigation issues such as improving efficiencies, scheduling and system maintenance, as well as groundwater recharge, flow measurements and water diversions. His past research has focused on deficit irrigation and partial root-zone drying in field-grown pecan.

He earned his Ph.D. in horticulture and B.S. in agriculture and community development, both from New Mexico State University.

Pierce is based at the UCCE Glenn County office in Orland and can be reached at

4-H Latino Initiative team wins national DEI award

Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty, Claudia Díaz Carrasco, Liliana Vega, Lupita Fábregas and Russ Hill accepted their award at the National 4-H Association of Extension for Youth Development conference. Local COVID-19 safety and vaccination protocols were followed at the conference.

The Latino Initiative team of UC ANR's 4-H youth development program received the national diversity and inclusion award for their outstanding performance in expanding the 4-H program to California's Latino youth. The award was presented at the November annual conference of the National 4-H Association of Extension for Youth Development in Memphis, Tennessee. 

The award recognizes their pilot program implemented in eight California counties that generated a 250% growth in the participation of Latino children and adolescents from 2016 to 2019.

“I'm so proud to be associated with this very important work and group of passionate and skilled colleagues. The Latino initiative has set a strong foundation for expanding this work throughout California to ensure all young people have access to high caliber programming that meets local needs,” said Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty, UC ANR Statewide 4-H director.

Members of the Latino Initiative present to accept the award included 4-H advisors Claudia Díaz Carrasco, Russ Hill and Liliana Vega, Schmitt-McQuitty and Lupita Fábregas, former UC ANR 4-H Youth Development assistant director for diversity and expansion and currently director of the Missouri 4-H Center for Youth Development.

"This week, I am happy to be at the National Conference of the 4-H Extension Association for Youth Development," Claudia Diaz Carrasco, a 4-H advisor in Riverside County, wrote on social media after receiving this recognition. "Since 2015, I have been given the opportunity to learn by doing, and I am working to make this world a better place by helping train the next generation." – Norma De la Vega

Read the full story at

Nader ranch wins California Leopold Award

From right, Glenn and Marie Nader and their son, Alan, are dedicated to promoting water conservation and soil health on their working cattle ranch in Modoc County. Photo courtesy of Glenn Nader

Marie and Glenn Nader's Witcher Creek Ranch in Modoc County has been selected as the recipient of the 2021 California Leopold Conservation Award.

“I was a livestock farm advisor and used much of my experiences and education on our ranch,” Glenn Nader said. “That is one of the many reasons we were selected for the 2021 California Leopold Award.” 

Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the award recognizes farmers, ranchers and forestland owners who inspire others with their dedication to water quality, soil health and wildlife habitat management on private, working land.

In California, the prestigious award is presented annually by Sand County FoundationAmerican Farmland TrustSustainable Conservation and the California Farm Bureau Federation.

The Naders were revealed as this year's recipient during the California Farm Bureau Federation's Annual Meeting in Garden Grove on Dec. 6. The Naders, who own ranchland near Canby and Penn Valley, will receive $10,000 and a crystal award for being selected.

“A big thanks to UCCE for giving the working relationship with ranchers and researchers that was key to the knowledge base that we implemented on the ranch,” Nader said. 


A sweet reunion for the PAC

UC President Michael Drake, left, gets a tour from Ashraf El-kereamy of Lindcove Research and Extension Center citrus.

On Dec. 10, the President's Advisory Commission on Agriculture and Natural Resources met in the San Joaquin Valley, gathering in person for the first time since December 2019. The group followed strict COVID-19 safety protocols, but that did not interfere with the energy and excitement of the discussions and activities.

Commissioners, UC President Michael Drake and local dignitaries began the day-long event at Lindcove Research and Extension Center (LREC) in Exeter to learn about the latest citrus research, see the packline in action and sample many of the varieties of citrus made available during Lindcove's public citrus tasting on Dec. 11.

Lindcove's greenhouses, orchard and packline are used by researchers for a variety of studies, including developing new citrus rootstocks and scions, evaluating environmental effects on rootstock and scion combinations, screening seedless varieties of mandarins, detecting freeze damage of fruit, and analyzing chemical treatments for pests and postharvest diseases.

President's Advisory Commission members Eric Holst and Corinne Martinez viewed Buddha's hand and many other citrus varieties.

Lindcove REC director Ashraf El-kereamy gave an overview of the facilities and discussed research and breeding highlights, including LREC housing the first structure in California to grow Citrus Under Protective Screen (CUPS). UC Cooperative Extension Specialist and Director of the Citrus Clonal Protection Program Georgios Vidalakis discussed LREC research in huanglongbing disease, which is a major threat to citrus worldwide. Curator 4 and Givaudan Citrus Variety Collection Endowed Chair Tracy Kahn showed some of the many varieties that participants would be tasting and invited people to explore the orchard.

The outdoor tasting tables offered a feast of color, smell and taste with 180 varieties to choose from, and commissioners and other attendees were given boxes of produce as parting gifts.

The group next explored Woodlake Botanical Gardens with UC Master Gardener volunteers who care for the three-acre rose garden. They also met with emeritus UC Cooperative Extension Small Farms Advisor Manuel Jimenez and his wife Olga, who oversee the Botanical Gardens and engage youth volunteers in gardening. They founded a program to help keep young people out of gangs and to teach skills and habits that prepare them for college or jobs. Attendees were impressed by the youth volunteers who spoke about the positive impact the garden and the Jimenez family have had in their lives.

Glenda Humiston tasted citrus at Lindcove Research and Extension Center.

At the Tulare County Cooperative Extension office, participants enjoyed a farm-to-table lunch showcasing local produce, heard remarks from VP Glenda Humiston and President Drake, and participated in interactive displays by researchers and programmatic staff:

  • 4-H staff members Rochelle Mederos and Tyler Beck presented a slime making booth
  • Citrus advisor Greg Douhan had microscopes to show a variety of citrus pest damage
  • Farm advisor Elizabeth Fichtner offered olive oil tasting with three different oils and showed a video on the pomology program
  • Nutrition educators prepared a low-calorie oatmeal cookie tasting with an option to vote on the best one
  • Cristina Barrick-Murillo, agricultural land acquisition academic coordinator, showed maps of the north and south valley for all to pin a location of their choosing
  • Farm advisor Ruth Dahlquist-Willard and Michael Yang, small farms and specialty crops Hmong agricultural assistant, displayed an array of specialty produce grown in the San Joaquin Valley
  • Nutrient management and soil quality advisor Joy Hollingsworth showcased soil samples
  • Farm advisor Nicholas Clark showed drone footage of agronomy field work 
  • Karl Lund, area viticulture advisor, offered wine tasting from UC viticulture research
  • Farm advisor Konrad Mathesius offered a tasting of beer made with California-grown barley

After so many months of interacting on Zoom, it was a delight to get together to learn about and experience the amazing work that's being done in Tulare County to improve the lives of Californians. President Drake even joked about talking for too long during lunch because it was his first appearance at a lectern in a long time.

County Director Karmjot Randhawa and county and LREC staff – as well as Sherry Cooper and the Program Support team – worked tirelessly to make the event a huge success. We just cannot thank them enough!

Posted on Monday, December 20, 2021 at 10:16 AM
  • Author: Linda Forbes

Strategic Initiative Brief: Resources to help you be successful


The UC ANR Strategic Initiatives offer a home for strategic thought - drawing on members of the wider UC ANR community and beyond to 1) help people connect and 2) to help them identify and address issues of current and emerging importance. 

What's cooking - new resources to help you be successful

How to be successful in working across large areas (online presentation) Fact Sheet

What a good program looks like (online presentation) Fact sheet 

Feedback and suggestions welcome.

For more on the SIs and their activities, contact:

Jim Farrar: Pests (EIPD)

David Lewis: Natural Ecosystems (SNE)

OPEN: (Water) Want to apply? Fill out the brief application.

Deanne Meyer: Food Systems (SFS)

Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty: Families and Communities (HFC)

Mark Bell: Vice Provost (Strategic Initiatives and Statewide Programs)

Posted on Monday, December 20, 2021 at 9:06 AM

GivingTuesday donations push UC ANR gifts over $1.5 million

As of 11:59 p.m. on GivingTuesday 2021 (Nov. 30), UC ANR employees and generous donors helped raise $124,310 for UC Cooperative Extension and the statewide programs, institutes and research centers that make up UC ANR.

An additional $40,000 was made available to incentivize giving to our programmatic and research initiatives at the state and local levels. This included $20,000 in matching funds provided by the California 4-H Foundation and donations from 4-H Foundation Board members designated for the 4-H program.

It also included $20,000 in funds raised throughout the year for our ANR Incentive Fund, used to encourage donor engagement and increased giving to all ANR programs.

This show of support demonstrates the impact ANR is having in communities and the value that donors place on our work, said Emily Delk, director of annual giving and donor stewardship.

“The recent success of GivingTuesday kicked off the giving season, pushing total giving past $1.5 million for the year,” she said. “It was wonderful to see a number of our staff support the event and 255 brand new donors.”

Forever 4-H Endowments were created in Kern County and Merced County – each with $50,000.

Below are the counties and programs that received the most donations, winners of the prize challenges and shout-outs for best use of social media for their GivingTuesday campaigns. 

Top earning counties:

  1. San Mateo/San Francisco counties
  2. Stanislaus County
  3. Monterey County
  4. Glenn County
  5. Sonoma County

Top earning statewide groups:

  1. California 4-H
  2. UC Master Gardeners
  3. UC ANR
  4. UC Cooperative Extension
  5. Research and Extension Centers
Sacramento County 4-H Facebook campaign

Prize Challenges

Donor challenge: $500 prize to the 20 funds that have the greatest number of unique donors on GivingTuesday.

  1. Los Angeles County Master Gardeners
  2. Ventura County Master Gardeners
  3. Riverside County Master Gardeners
  4. Orange County Master Gardeners
  5. Central Sierra Sherwood Demo Garden
  6. Sonoma County Master Gardeners
  7. San Mateo/San Francisco Master Gardeners
  8. Stanislaus County Master Gardeners
  9. San Luis Obispo County Master Gardeners
  10. Sacramento County 4-H
  11. San Mateo County MG Greenhouse
  12. San Mateo County 4-H
  13. Santa Clara County Master Gardeners
  14. San Diego County Master Gardeners
  15. Sonoma County Master Gardener Endowment
  16. Alameda County Master Gardener Endowment
  17. Alameda County 4-H
  18. IPM - Statewide
  19. Elkus Ranch
  20. 4-H Statewide
Master Food Preservers of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties Facebook campaign.

Donation challenge: $500 prize to the first 10 funds that secure an individual $500+ donation on GivingTuesday.

  1. Alameda County 4-H
  2. Monterey County 4-H
  3. Sacramento County 4-H
  4. Siskiyou County 4-H Grows
  5. Placer County 4-H Robotics
  6. Monterey County 4-H
  7. Glenn County 4-H
  8. San Luis Obispo County Master Gardeners
  9. Monterey County 4-H
  10. Stanislaus County 4-H

In-it-to-win-it challenge: $500 prize to the 10 funds that raise the most on GivingTuesday.

  1. Stanislaus County 4-H
  2. Monterey County 4-H
  3. Glenn County 4-H
  4. San Mateo/San Francisco County Master Gardeners
  5. Sonoma County Master Gardeners
  6. San Luis Obispo County Master Gardeners
  7. Sacramento County 4-H
  8. Riverside County Master Gardeners
  9. Elkus Ranch
  10. Central Sierra Master Gardeners

Shout Out Awards (in no particular order) 

Master Gardeners of Ventura County Facebook campaign

Social media stars:

Glenn County 4-H

San Mateo/San Francisco County 4-H

Master Gardeners of Stanislaus County

Master Gardeners of Sonoma County

Master Gardeners of San Mateo/San Francisco counties


Best original social media content:

Sacramento County 4-H

Master Food Preservers of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties

Master Gardeners of Ventura County


In a Facebook live video, Gerry Hernandez, UC Master Gardener coordinator in Colusa County, explains that all GivingTuesday donations will be designated for the Donna Critchfield Memorial Demonstration Garden in Williams, then gives a tour of the garden.

Best use of video:

Master Gardeners of Colusa County

Master Gardeners of San Luis Obispo County

Master Gardeners of Ventura County

Posted on Monday, December 20, 2021 at 8:57 AM

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