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Posts Tagged: Gabe Youtsey

Celebration Corner

Editor's note: This new monthly feature provides an opportunity to recognize UC ANR colleagues and teams. Send your shout-outs to

From left, Morgan Doran, Supervisor Angel Barajas, Rachael Long, Margaret Lloyd and Susan Ellsworth. Top row from left, Supervisors Jim Provenza, Lucas Frerichs and Oscar Villegas.

Long honored by Yolo County supervisors

Yolo County Supervisor Angel Barajas presented Rachael Long, emeritus UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor, with a resolution recognizing the valuable research she has contributed to Yolo County farmers over her 37-year UC ANR career. Supervisors Jim Provenza, Lucas Frerichs and Oscar Villegas joined Barajas in thanking Long for her service. Susan Ellsworth, UCCE Capitol Corridor director, and UCCE advisors Morgan Doran and Margaret Lloyd attended the ceremony on Sept. 26.

Read about Long's career at

Humiston receives Excellence in Leadership Award

Glenda Humiston, center, received the Excellence in Leadership Award at the Ag Innovation Annual Conference.

Vice President Glenda Humiston was honored with the 2023 Experiment Station Section Excellence in Leadership Award for the Western Region. The award is presented to leaders who personify the highest level of excellence by enhancing the cause and performance of the regional associations and ESS in achieving their missions and the Land-Grant ideal. 

The award, which was announced in April, was presented to Humiston on Sept. 26 at the Ag Innovation Annual Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 

FIRA attracts more than 2,000 participants

UC ANR Chief Innovation Officer Gabe Youtsey and the team at The VINE did a phenomenal job partnering with Western Growers and Global Organization for Agricultural Robotics (GOFAR) to organize the second annual FIRA USA. More than 2,000 people attended the three-day event in Salinas. 

ANR celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

Kudos to the Latinos and Friends Affinity Group for organizing three fantastic virtual events for Hispanic Heritage Month. Ricardo Vela, Miguel Sanchez, Arianna Nava, Doralicia Garay, Angela Johnson, Adela Contreras and Lisa Rawleigh put together these wonderful learning opportunities that are recorded and available at

Bea Nobua-Behrmann
Nobua-Behrmann to discuss shothole borers on KLCS 

Bea Nobua-Behrmann, UC Cooperative Extension urban forestry and natural resources advisor for Los Angeles County, will be on an episode of Things Green with Nick Federoff. Nobua-Behrmann will talk about shothole borers and not moving firewood to prevent the spread of the pests. Her segment on the half-hour sustainable lifestyle show with a heavy emphasis on home, garden, ag, ranching and farming is scheduled to air on Oct. 21. You can watch it at 9 a.m. on Saturday on KLCS-TV 58 or see the simulcasts on Facebook and YouTube.  


Central Valley agrifood initiative F3 receives major boost

From left: Central Valley Community Foundation President & CEO Ashley Swearengin, UC Merced Chancellor Juan Sánchez Muñoz, UC Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources Glenda Humiston, and UC Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer Nathan Brostrom thank the Regents for approving the formation of F3 Innovate.

The Fresno-Merced Future of Food Innovation Initiative (F3) – of which UC ANR is an anchor institution – took a big step forward during the UC Regents meeting May 18.

The Regents unanimously approved the formation of F3 Innovate – a new 501(c)(3) nonprofit that will raise funds for the partnership initiative that also includes the Central Valley Community Foundation (CVCF), California Department of Food and Agriculture, UC Merced and CSU Fresno.

Largely funded by a $65 million Build Back Better grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, F3 aims to advance innovation and entrepreneurship in agrifood technology, strengthen food systems, bolster local and regional economies, and bring greater prosperity to the San Joaquin Valley and beyond.

The new F3 Innovate nonprofit will focus on agrifood systems research and commercialization, services for micro-enterprises and small businesses in under-resourced communities, ag-tech innovation seed funding, and building a talent pipeline to sustain these efforts.

“This 501(c)(3) is critical to all of that, because it really lets us bring together the public and private partners, and ensures that broader stakeholder participation and benefit,” said Glenda Humiston, UC vice president for agriculture and natural resources, during her presentation to the Regents (view recording of the meeting).

UC Merced Chancellor Juan Sánchez Muñoz and CVCF President and CEO Ashley Swearengin also spoke passionately during the meeting about the need to form the nonprofit as a key connector and catalyst for the F3 initiative.

F3 – and the new F3 Innovate – will continue to take shape through the work of Gabe Youtsey, UC ANR chief innovation officer; Josh Viers, associate dean for research of UC Merced's School of Engineering; and many other academics and staff across UC ANR and UC.

"Establishing F3 Innovate as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization is a strategic move designed to unlock and accelerate agriculture technology from lab to market. It will pave the way for a wider range of collaboration opportunities between the UC and industry, and ensure the inclusion and representation of all our stakeholders, from small and socially disadvantaged farmers to startups and corporates," said Youtsey, who is also founder of The VINE, UC ANR's Innovation & Entrepreneurship program that is co-leading F3.

"The UC Regents were enthusiastic about this partnership as it aligns perfectly with our mission of transforming cutting-edge agricultural research into practical, market-ready solutions while doing the hard work of engaging our local workers, communities and farmers to adopt these new technologies," Youtsey added. "It enables us to foster deep and meaningful collaborative relationships with industry partners, advancing technology commercialization that is inclusive and truly beneficial to all involved."

Posted on Thursday, June 1, 2023 at 10:42 AM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture, Economic Development, Food, Innovation

Growing food movement discussed at Food Tank Summit in San Diego

Sarah Mesnick of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, left, and Gabe Youtsey discuss the role of technology in the food movement at the Food Tank Summit in San Diego.

“There's a massive interest in young people who want to be part of these issues about how one should think about food,” said Rachel Surls, discussing farming for a better food system on a panel with Jenny Ramirez of California Harvesters Inc., and Neil Nagata, president of the San Diego Farm Bureau.

Surls, a UC Cooperative Extension sustainable food systems advisor in Los Angeles County, and Gabriele Youtsey, UC ANR chief innovation officer, joined more than 30 speakers and panelists from the food and agriculture world to discuss “Growing the Food Movement,” at Food Tank's inaugural summit in San Diego on Nov. 14. The event was co-sponsored by the Berry Good Food Foundation, UC ANR and the San Diego Bay Food and Wine Festival.

“We need to reintroduce this type of farming to them [young people]. Storytelling really makes a difference. A lot of them are disengaged and not a part of the conversation,” said Ramirez, who works to improve working conditions for farm workers.

Stressing importance of hearing farmers' voices, Nagata said, "If we don't have farmers, we don't have agriculture."

"I'm excited to be on the 'Farming for a Better Food System' panel, and hope to share how urban farms are strengthening local food systems,” Surls had said before the event. “They are often managed by nonprofit organizations with varied missions, from food justice to job training to youth development. It's exciting to see how these emerging projects around California and the U.S. get everyday Americans in cities and suburbs engaged with farming and food systems."

On the Science, Agriculture and Technology panel, Youtsey discussed how UC ANR and The VINE are working with entrepreneurs to accelerate innovation in rural communities.

Rose Hayden-Smith, UCCE advisor in Ventura County, who encouraged Food Tank to hold a summit in Southern California, live-tweeted the event for UC Food Observer.

The event was live-streamed and the video is archived on Food Tank's YouTube Channel.

FoodTank 2018 Summit
FoodTank 2018 Summit

Posted on Thursday, November 29, 2018 at 11:03 AM

The VINE launches website, co-sponsors tech events

Gabe Youtsey announces The VINE website at FOOD IT.

Farmers, food entrepreneurs, researchers and technology professionals can now find the resources they need to build, launch and grow agricultural innovations at the VINE's new website at

UC ANR created the Verde Innovation Network for Entrepreneurship, or the VINE, to accelerate the development and adoption of technologies that advance food, agriculture and natural resources in California. 

The new website features links to accelerators, educational resources and places to test products and services. It also lists upcoming events for innovators to meet and network with people who can help advance their businesses.

The VINE recently co-sponsored FOOD IT, attended by more than 300 people at UC San Francisco. Panelists discussed the “digital full stack solution” – the physical layer, data, application and user interface/user experience. In 15 small groups, participants took a deeper dive into topics, ranging from financing alternatives for food/ag tech to bio-informatics and gene editing tech. Read more in the VINE blog at

Workers at Kearney raise a tower to blanket the 330-acre research center with high-speed wireless internet. Photo by Julie Sievert

On July 9, the VINE invited technology companies and farmers to the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Parlier to learn how the installation of a wifi tower will enable researchers to collect real-time data with access to high-speed wireless internet in the fields.

“The VINE brings together academia across UC, the Cal-State University system, and community colleges with innovators in technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, indoor agriculture and others,” said Gabe Youtsey, UC ANR chief innovation officer. “We want to create rural testbeds to develop technology. UC ANR's research and extension centers are well set up to do that.”

The project grew from the partnership with the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) that brought ultra-fast (100Gbps) broadband capability to Kearney offices and laboratories two years ago. UC ANR collaborated with Orange Silicon Valley and BlueTown to extend the connectivity via wireless transmission to every corner of the research fields. Read more about the broadband expansion at

Youtsey and the VINE partner John Selep, president of AgTech Innovation Alliance, are seeking more partners with expertise across the business spectrum.

For more information about the VINE, visit its website

The VINE partner John Selep, left, joined Gabe Youtsey at a recent Grape Day at Oakville.
Posted on Friday, July 27, 2018 at 3:26 PM

President Napolitano analyzes options for ANR in UCOP structure

Dear Colleagues,

In my ANR Update message on Feb. 8, I shared a report released in January by the Huron Consulting Group on the UC Office of the President's (UCOP) organizational structure. President Napolitano's goal in commissioning that review was to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of UCOP, while aligning its work to best support the university's core mission.

As I mentioned last month, Huron offered options that we believe would harm ANR's ability to deliver our mission of research and extension and to bring UC to local communities in every part of California. We identified several issues with both options, chief among those were adding layers of administration between ANR and the UC president as well as between ANR and the public we serve. Those additional layers would likely increase administrative costs and reduce funding for program delivery. At the president's request, we have developed an alternative proposal that would strengthen ANR's ability to deliver our mission while also serving the needs of UCOP for better financial management and administrative efficiency.

A challenge we have faced for years is that about half of our budget flows through UCOP while we manage the remainder directly. ANR is the only major operating division at UCOP that directly conducts research and program delivery, with hundreds of employees throughout California deploying over $200 million in resources. This has caused a great deal of confusion for auditors and often led to budget cuts during calls to reduce UC administrative overhead. Our recommendation places the entire ANR budget into one operating unit/location within the UC Chart of Accounts and allows for more transparency to the public. It also improves ANR's opportunities to stabilize our funding, rebuild our academic footprint and enhance program delivery.

Unlike the institutions used as examples in Huron's report, there is no one flagship campus serving as California's land-grant institution; instead, the entire UC system is responsible for the land-grant mission. To effectively deliver that mission, ANR is structured as a large statewide operating unit administering over 300 Memoranda of Understanding with a wide array of public and private sector partners, including deployment of resources on multiple campuses across the UC system and in close partnership with local governments in every county. The Huron report recognized that housing ANR within one campus was suboptimal and could create perceptions of favoritism and inequities between the campuses. Our proposal calls for a collaborative relationship; injecting competition and administrative layers would not serve the UC system nor our stakeholders well.

Separating ANR's budget and FTE from UCOP offers many advantages to both entities. Under the proposal we have offered, the ANR vice president continues to report directly to the president, the ANR governance structure does not change and no people or infrastructure would be moved. The proposal does agree with the Huron recommendation that ANR funding should be changed to state appropriations and that reconnecting the UC Natural Reserve System to ANR offers improved research opportunities for both entities. We believe these changes would best achieve the president's objectives to better align UCOP support functions to campuses while enhancing the systemwide and statewide functions of a vital outreach and engagement arm of the university.

The president continues to analyze the different options before her to ensure UCOP is best serving the UC system as well as all Californians for the long term. We are excited to work closely with President Napolitano to strengthen UC as a premiere research and extension institute by giving these vital programs room to grow and better serve the critical needs of California's economy and communities. I will continue to keep you apprised as our discussions unfold.

Glenda Humiston
Vice President


Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2018 at 8:02 AM
  • Author: Glenda Humiston
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture, Innovation, Natural Resources

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