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Posts Tagged: February 2023

Names in the News

Gonzalves named UCCE director for Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties 

David Gonzalves

David Gonzalves joined UC ANR on Feb. 1 as the new director for UCCE in Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties.  

As director, Gonzalves is responsible for the coordination and overall operation of UCCE programs in the three counties. He will provide administrative oversight of educational and applied research programs, maintain effective communication within UC and county government, maintain positive working relationships with partnering public and private agencies and expand collaborations. 

Gonzalves brings experience working for county government and UC. Most recently, Gonzalves was a campus building official at UC Merced. He is well-versed in county government and the importance of following local requirements as a construction official.Beginning his career at the County of Merced as a fire inspector, Gonzalves worked his way up to supervising building inspector and eventually assistant development services director. Then, for the City of Merced, he filled the role of chief building official and ultimately director of development services, leading the city's Building, Planning and Engineering teams. For three years, he served as Tuolumne County's Community Resources Agency director.

The hiring of Gonzalves relieves former county directors Maria de la Fuente, Devii Rao and Mark Bolda of administrative duties so they may focus on their academic responsibilities.

Gonzalves is based at the UCCE Monterey County office in Salinas and can be reached at

Woodward to assist Meyer, Obrist 

Vanya Woodward

Vanya Woodward joined UC ANR on Feb. 1 as an executive assistant to Deanne Meyer, interim associate vice president for programs and strategic initiatives, and Daniel Obrist, vice provost for academic personnel.

Anyone who wants to get in touch with Meyer or Obrist should copy on emails, which may be seen more quickly by Woodward, who can help resolve issues or flag it for their attention. To set up meetings with Meyer or Obrist, contact Woodward. 

Before joining UC ANR, Woodward worked in the private sector for Tactical Marketing, Philips and SearcherMagnet. She earned a bachelor's degree in English with a focus on creative writing from American River College.

Woodward is located on the second floor of the ANR building at 2nd Street in Davis in cubicle 208b. She can be reached at and (530) 271-9296.

Baddorf joins SAREP 

Alicia Baddorf

Alicia Baddorf joined the UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program on Feb. 1 as the new sustainable supply chain coordinator. She succeeds Gwenael Engelskirchen, who is now SAREP's sustainable food and farming coordinator. 

Baddorf brings over 10 years of sustainable agriculture and regional food systems experience to UC SAREP. Her research broadly aims to support farmers and ranchers in adopting more sustainable agricultural practices and assist communities in building equitable and healthy regional food systems. 

She has experience with farms and food hubs, including educational program development, farming and the management of sales, community-supported agriculture programs, and marketing. With the Community Alliance with Family Farmers, she advised small-scale farmers finding right-fit technologies to expand their marketing opportunities.

She holds dual bachelor's degrees in sociology and French studies from the University of Delaware and is currently pursuing a master's degree in community development from UC Davis. 

Baddorf is based at the UC ANR 2nd Street building and can be reached at

Oker named soils and irrigation advisor for Kern County 

Tobias Oker

Tobias Oker joined UCCE on Jan. 3 as a soils and irrigation advisor for Kern County.

Prior to joining UC ANR, Oker was an irrigation research engineer at the University of Georgia, Tifton campus for close to four years. At UGA, he collaborated with the state Natural Resources Conservation Service to update the Georgia Irrigation Guide. He also worked on a research project to develop crop water-use curves for apples, peaches, pecans and a grapefruit variety called muscadine. 

Oker earned a Ph.D. from Kansas State University, where his doctoral research focused on Mobile Drip Irrigation, a novel technology with a demonstrated potential to improve irrigation efficiency in center pivot systems, the main irrigation method used in the Midwest.

Before attending K-State, he worked in Uganda at the National Agricultural Research Organization as a water management research and extension scientist for three years, and before that as a research assistant for two years.

He earned a M.S. in water science and engineering from IHE Delft, Institute for Water Education in the Netherlands and a B.S. in agricultural engineering from Makerere University in Uganda.

Oker is based at the UCCE office in Bakersfield and can be reached at and (661) 868-6218 and on Twitter @TobiasOker.

Andrews named specialty crops advisor 

Ellie Andrews

Ellie Andrews joined UCCE on Jan. 3 as a specialty crops advisor for Sonoma, Marin and Napa counties.

Andrews enjoys the interdisciplinary nature of applied agricultural sciences and is excited to assist specialty crop growers with nutrient management, irrigation and integrated pest management. She can provide support for growers who want to implement practices that build soil health, such as organic matter amendment application, cover cropping, and strategies for reducing soil disturbance. She also can assist with variety selection, diversification, crop planning, and climate adaptation strategies.

Originally from Ohio, Andrews earned her bachelor's degree in field ecology with a focus on plant biology. During and after college, she worked on several small-scale certified organic farms where she gained experience with specialty crops such as mixed vegetables, greens, cut flowers, herbs, microgreens and culinary mushrooms. 

While working directly with growers for Ohio State Extension, Andrews earned a master's degree in plant health management from Ohio State University, where the applied interdisciplinary degree taught her about integrated pest management, plant pathology and soil fertility.

She earned a Ph.D. in horticulture and agronomy at UC Davis. Her doctoral research focused on using organic matter amendments to improve nutrient cycling, soil-plant water dynamics, and soil microbial communities.

Andrews is based at the UCCE office in Santa Rosa and can be reached at

Benítez joins BFI, UC ANR as project scientist 

Francisco Benitez

Francisco Benítez Altuna joined UC ANR and Berkeley Food Institute on Jan. 3 as a project scientist. 

Benítez will work with a stakeholder advisory group and collaborate on research with BFI-associated faculty on agroecological research and extension programs.

During his academic career, Benítez has developed a strong multidisciplinary background in food value chains. He is interested in understanding the challenges farmers face and the complex interactions between socioeconomic and context characteristics that shape the transition towards sustainable food value chains.

Benítez earned a Ph.D. at Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands and master's degrees in agribusiness and rural development from the Georg-August University of Göttingen in Germany and the University of Talca in Chile.He earned an engineering degree in agro-industry from the National Polytechnic School in his hometown of Quito, Ecuador. 

Benítez is based at the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Parlier and can be reached at

Snell wins Young Range Professional Award 

Laura Snell

Laura Snell, UCCE director and livestock and natural resources advisor for Modoc County, received the Young Range Professional Award on Feb. 15 at the Society for Range Management conference in Boise.

“When Laura first came to California, she had not worked west of the Rocky Mountains, yet she swiftly gained and in-depth knowledge of the rangeland systems in Modoc County,” wrote David Lile, UCCE director and livestock and natural resources advisor for Lassen County in his nomination letter. 

“The programmatic issues that have confronted Laura in Modoc County are not easy, they are not simple to solve, and are not for the timid,” Lile wrote. “Questions relating to wild horses, post-wildfire grazing on public land, groundwater management/policy, drought mitigation, and predators are defined by widely divergent views which are often emotionally charged. Despite this Laura has not wavered in her work to bring a science-based perspective to these topics and has not been dissuaded by those who might criticize applied science to promote their own agenda. Most importantly the science-based information that she provides is locally relevant and based on local/regional information that she has often been involved in collecting.”

Lile added, “Although she is the youngest (substantially) among the County Directors of the 11 northern region counties, at our request, she was appointed to serve as our regional representative to the statewide County Director Executive Committee.”

He noted that Snell also promoted a culture of professional collaboration by organizing the lntermountain Workgroup meeting and co-chairing a joint meeting of Cooperative Extension advisors and agents from California and Nevada.

FFA honors UC Farm Smart 

Stacey Amparano

The State FFA Executive Committee for the California Association of Future Farmers of America recently voted UC Farm Smart as a recipient of its Distinguished Service Award. The award is reserved for those who provide assistance of an outstanding nature to FFA, thus distinguishing the recipient from others who provide routine assistance to the FFA. 

Farm Smart, an outreach program focused on agricultural literacy at UC ANR's Desert Research and Extension Center, has educated more than 168,000 people in the Imperial Valley and surrounding areas since its inception in 2001. Through the community-supported program, K-12 students and retirees who visit the desert in the winter are invited to tour Desert REC and learn about agriculture.

Stacey Amparano, Farm Smart program manager, will be presented the award at the 95th annual State FFA Leadership Conference on March 18 in Ontario. 

Posted on Monday, February 27, 2023 at 6:29 PM

UC ANR shares research highlights at World Ag Expo

UCCE Kern County advisors Tobias Oker and Mohammad Yaghmour, center, visit the UC ANR booths at World Ag Expo. On left, Terri White represents The VINE.

Along with over 1,200 exhibitors, UC ANR participated in the World Ag Expo held in Tulare on Feb. 14–16. This annual event attracts visitors from across the world to see the latest agricultural technology and advancements. This year's event had the highest attendance in 10 years, with 108,233 visitors coming to learn about the latest innovations in agriculture. This provided UC ANR with a unique opportunity to showcase work being done throughout our organization and share our research with a wider audience.

At the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture's Farm Bill Listening Session on Feb. 14, Kambree, a member of the Oakdale 4-H Club in Tulare County, led the Pledge of Allegiance. During the comment session, Vice President Glenda Humiston thanked House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and the other representatives for supporting agricultural research. She urged Congress to invest in agricultural research facilities and technology that would benefit both large and small farms, to redefine “rural” to improve resource allocation, and to provide equitable programs for farmers using leased land. 

4-H'er Kambree, right, poses with Vice President Glenda Humiston at the Farm Bill Listening Session.

World Ag Expo seminars provided opportunities for UC Cooperative Extension specialists to share their valuable research with other academics and industry professionals. Golden State Dairy Management hosted a series of three seminars throughout the expo: Animal Management & HealthFeeds & FeedingFocus on Management Practices and Tools for Antimicrobial Stewardship.

Speakers from UC ANR included Alec Gerry, UCCE veterinary entomology specialist based at UC Riverside; Betsy Karle, UCCE Glenn County director and dairy advisor; Noelia Silva Del Rio, UC Davis veterinary medicine extension specialist based in Tulare; Jackie Atim, UCCE abiotic stress specialist based at Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center; Nicholas Clark, UCCE farm advisor for Kings County; Jennifer Heguy, UCCE director and dairy farm advisor for Stanislaus County; Randi Black, UCCE dairy advisor for Sonoma, Marin and Mendocino counties; Emmanuel Okello, UCCE antimicrobial stewardship assistant specialist based at UC Davis; and Alda Pires, UCCE associate specialist and associate agronomist in AES at UC Davis.

Jackie Atim presented 2020 and 2021 data on sorghum variety trials. The drought-tolerant crop is increasingly important for forage as less water is available.
They shared their research findings on fly control, navel disease, group housing calves, sorghum silage options, weed management, byproduct feeding, and the use of antimicrobial drugs while maintaining livestock health.

At the exhibitor booths, visitors engaged with UC ANR professionals through various displays and informational handouts. The Lindcove Research and Extension Center provided attendees with Tango mandarins and displayed citrus varieties, including buddha's hand and lemons with pink flesh. Kearney REC-based researchers Andreas Westphal and Atim were available to answer questions about nematodes and sorghum, respectively. Brady Holder promoted the Nitrogen and Irrigation Initiative and demonstrated the use of tensiometers and flowmeters.

Additionally, UC Master Gardener volunteers gave away seeds and information for the diverse group of gardeners in attendance. Tapan Pathak, UCCE climate adaptation specialist based at UC Merced, promoted his risk-management program CalAgroClimate, encouraging growers to use its crop-specific weather data tools to help make decisions. 4-H members from Fresno County answered questions about the program and showcased their project samples. Terri White and Lucie Cahierre of The VINE exhibited their robot to promote the Farm Robotics Challenge.

The local UCCE nutrition education team also greeted booth visitors. Irene Padasas, UCCE community nutrition and health advisor for Tulare, Kings, Madera and Fresno counties; Mariana Lopez, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) nutrition educator for Tulare County; and Elia Escalante, Marina Aguilera and Alyssabeth Navarro – all CalFresh Healthy Living, UCCE nutrition educators for Tulare County – provided information about health and nutrition.

Terri Gonzalez, business manager, and Julie Pedraza, staff research associate, of Kearney REC coordinated logistics for the booth. 

Next year, the World Ag Expo will be held Feb. 13-15.


Posted on Monday, February 27, 2023 at 3:22 PM
  • Author: Kiera Heberlein, student intern

L&D - Food systems & climate, budget basics, unpacking oppression, accessible documents, project management

Landing page| Webinar Recordings| Learning Resources

Do you have a webinar to present in any of these four learning strategies? Let us know by filling out this interest form!

Extension Methods & Delivery
Building Support
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Office, Team, and Personal Management

Dynamic Discussions (Extension Foundation)
March 23
11 a.m. -12 p.m. PT

Details. Registration.
Each fourth Thursday of the month, the Impact Collaborative will host professionals from across Cooperative Extension and beyond to address hot topics of interest to Cooperative Extension. Each month, we will update the information for the Dynamic Discussion for the month!

Food Systems and the Climate Crisis Webinar Series (Extension Foundation)
March 2, 9 and 16 at 12-1 p.m. PT

Details & registration. Alternative Proteins, webinar 6
March 2
Details & Registration. Educational programs to reduce food waste, webinar 7
March 9
Details & Registration. Planning and sharing Extension programs, webinar 8
March 16

The Cornell Civic Ecology Lab and CCE are sponsoring a webinar discussion on food systems solutions to reduce climate emissions. The goal is to foster a learning community around food systems and climate solutions. This series has been planned to (1) promote learning and sharing among CCE educators interested in food solutions to climate emissions, including plant-rich diet, reducing food wastes, alt-proteins and reducing methane emissions on farms….and more.

Program Center Stage (Extension Foundation)
March 27, 2023
11 a.m.-noon Pacific time

Details & Registration.
The Program Center Stage will highlight programs from across the system including current and past New Technologies from Ag Extension projects, Impact Collaborative projects, National programs like EXCITE, and more on the fourth Monday of each month at 11 a.m. - noon. Each month, we will update the information below for which program we will be putting center stage! This series is open to anyone that would like to attend.

Image credit: UC Davis Food Systems Lab

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Budget Basics and Calculator (UC ANR, Virtual)

March 22, 2023
12:30 -1 p.m.

Learn how to develop a proposal budget. Topics covered include cost components that make up a budget, applicable cost principles, budgeting techniques and practices, calculating F&A costs, and budgeting tools and resources.

Password: 4Learning | +1 669 900 6833 | Webinar ID: 751 701 428

Using the new ANR Workflow Automation program to route C&G Forms “800“ and Advance Account Request
May 24
12:30-1 p.m.

Introduction and training on the new Workflow Automation system. We will go through the automated program and show how to use it for the C&G Form 800 and the C&G Form Advanced Account Request. 

Password: 4Learning | +1 669 900 6833 | Webinar ID: 751 701 428

Award Process (ANR-Virtual)
June 28
12:30-1 p.m.

Once a sponsor elects to fund a proposal, the review, negotiation and award acceptance process begins. This webinar walks you through what is happening in the Office of Contracts and Grants, and what to do when the accepted agreement arrives in your office.

Password: 4Learning | +1 669 900 6833 | Webinar ID: 751 701 428

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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Creating Accessible Documents Systemwide Training Program

Details and May cohort application closes April 7.

A six-session training program focused on how to evaluate and achieve accessibility in digital documents. Sessions will be one hour long, conducted via Zoom, occurring at a regular time every other week.

Additional support opportunities will be available to participants throughout the program so they can ask questions, confirm their understanding, engage in practice activities and explore specific areas relevant to their work. Accessibility fundamentals, creating accessible Word docs, evaluation, and improving PDF accessibility and more.

Unpacking Oppression (UC Davis Health, in-Person)
Wednesday, March 15
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Register here.
This course offers an opportunity for participants to explore their questions about race and ethnicity in a safe environment. Participants will explore the cultural barriers to dismantling racism. By understanding the realities of privilege and power, we can participate more fully in antiracism work and foster an equitable campus community for everyone. This session includes an exploration of how the pandemic has impacted this area of DEI.

Avoiding Bias in the Hiring Process (UC Davis, Virtual)
Thursday, April 20, 2023
8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Zoom
Details & Registration.

This session explores the power of impressions and its potential influence in the evaluation of job applicants. Using reflection exercises, participants will explore the relationship between impressions and bias and introduce learners to key research involving biases in hiring. Participants will leave the session having greater awareness and understanding of bias theory (coupled with case studies) and strategies in mitigating bias in the hiring process.

Image by mohamed_hassan from PixabayTop of page

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Programmatic Orientation (UC ANR, Virtual)
March 2, Part 2

Details & Registration.
Goal of this orientation is to provide ANR academics with the foundation to build on for success, where success is positively impacting the lives of all Californians. Open to all early career academics:

  • Cooperative Extension Advisors
  • Cooperative Extension Specialists
  • Academic Coordinators
  • Academic Administrators
  • Agricultural Experiment Station Faculty

2023 UC ANR Administrative Orientation for New Employees, in-Person
Wednesday, March 22
9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

Details & Registration.
Learn about ANR Administrative Units and Statewide Programs and Institutes!

Who should attend: All UC ANR Employees (academics, staff and affiliated staff on campuses, counties and RECs) who have not participated in an administrative orientation in the past. Priority will be given to those hired by ANR within the past year.

Image by Harish Sharma from Pixabay

Project Management Foundations: Integration (LinkedIn Learning 1 hr. 44 min.)

Learn the 12 steps to managing projects without creating a lot of extra overhead and shows how to use traditional project management tools—such as Gantt charts and network diagrams—to help you succeed. Learning objectives:

  • Describe a project and its constraints.
  • Interpret the appropriate level of granularity of tasks.
  • Determine the importance of a project's critical path.
  • Explain how to calculate and add contingency to a project.
  • Analyze the data within a risk chart.
  • Interpret the challenges of monitoring costs and identifying when to adjust the project plan.

Request your LinkedIn Learning account from ANR IT at

PowerPoint Data Visualization: High-Impact Charts and Graphs (LinkedIn Learning 1 hr. 44 min.)

Data visualization is a hot topic, and we all know charts should be as clear and effective as possible. But do you know what makes one chart more effective than another? In this course, PowerPoint MVP Echo Swinford shows how to build high-impact charts in Microsoft Office. Using PowerPoint and Excel, she demonstrates specific techniques to make your charts easier to read and understand quickly.

Request your LinkedIn Learning account from ANR IT at

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Posted on Monday, February 27, 2023 at 1:45 PM

Haviland ups his extension game

In the video game Ground, David Haviland and HelloIAmKate venture into a virtual backyard and encounter insects that are bigger than they are.

David Haviland, UC Cooperative Extension entomology advisor for Kern County, and Twitch streamer HelloIAmKate try to survive backyard bugs in the video game Grounded.

“This was a really neat opportunity to combine science and entertainment, while teaching the science of biological control to a lay audience far-removed from traditional agriculture,” said Haviland. “It was also great to be able to portray scientists as fun, passionate people.”

The video has been viewed thousands of times.

Watch as they compete at


Posted on Monday, February 27, 2023 at 11:39 AM
Tags: David Haviland (10), February 2023 (12)

Hansen REC to expand capacity in Camarillo

In December 2022, the UC acquired a 114-acre farm property in Camarillo to serve as Hansen REC's new home. Photo by Annemiek Schilder

UC Hansen Agricultural Research and Extension Center – the site of popular school field trips, 4-H programs, a UC Master Gardener demonstration garden, and numerous research trials on crops and landscape plants – is moving to a new location on the west side of Camarillo. The center was established through an endowment bequeathed to the UC by Saticoy farmer Thelma Hansen, who sought to support university research and extension activities benefiting Ventura County.

For the past 25 years, Hansen REC has been located on the historic Faulkner Farm in Santa Paula. At 27 acres, Hansen REC was the smallest of the nine RECs across the state operated by UC Agriculture and Natural Resources; in 2019, UC ANR leadership decided a larger property was needed to expand the center's capacity. The Faulkner Farm was sold in March 2021, but a portion was leased back to the UC to sustain its programs until a new location was identified.

The new Hansen REC site, located on the Oxnard Plain, is conducive to research on Ventura County's high-value crops, such as strawberries. Photo by Annemiek Schilder
In December 2022, the UC acquired a 114-acre farm property in Camarillo to serve as Hansen REC's new home. Moving structures and equipment from Faulkner Farm will take place over the next six months. Public programs at the new location are on hold until seismic retrofitting and other building upgrades are completed. A new research and educational facility also will be built, with an estimated opening date in 2027 or 2028.

“Our planning committee looked for a site on the Oxnard Plain that is representative of the coastal agriculture environment and conducive to research on Ventura County's high-value crops, such as strawberries,” said Annemiek Schilder, Hansen REC director. “We also sought a location with diverse soil types, access to sufficient irrigation water, and a low risk of flooding – and we're pleased that this Camarillo property meets most of our search criteria.”

Of the approximately 104 cultivable acres, 28 are certified organic, which will allow researchers to study organic as well as conventional crop production methods, Schilder noted. She said another bonus of the new location is its proximity to California State University, Channel Islands and the Rodale Institute California Organic Center, which are both potential partners for future research and a student organic farm on site.

Initial plans for the new Hansen REC facility include offices, conference rooms, laboratories, greenhouses, a demonstration kitchen, and indoor and outdoor education areas. The center will aim to be water-efficient and energy-neutral, relying on solar panels for much of its energy usage. The UC Cooperative Extension Office in Ventura is also slated to move to the new facility.

“We fully expect Hansen REC to become a vibrant research and education hub that provides science-based solutions and is responsive to the needs of agricultural, rural and urban communities and the environment in Ventura County,” said Glenda Humiston, UC vice president for agriculture and natural resources. “We're excited to expand current programming while bringing in new educational opportunities, such as the UC Master Food Preserver and Master Beekeeper programs.”

Posted on Monday, February 27, 2023 at 10:36 AM
  • Author: Mike Hsu

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