Posts Tagged: Glenda Humiston
Vice President Glenda Humiston visited San Diego County on Aug. 3. The day started with UC Cooperative Extension San Diego advisors and staff introducing themselves and County Director Oli Bachie briefing Humiston on San Diego County agriculture, current programs and new UCCE positions to be filled soon. Bachie also highlighted some of the constraints UCCE San Diego faces implementing research and extension programs, and voiced the need for expanded facilities.
Following Bachie's briefing, Humiston interacted with the advisors and staff. She spoke about current funding opportunities for UC ANR, employee salary equities, and the need to communicate with local elected officials and stakeholders about the role of UCCE and the value it provides to the community. Over a light lunch, Humiston entertained questions from advisors and staff – ranging from her vision for the future of UC ANR to the path she took to become VP. At the conclusion of lunch, Bachie and other UCCE advisors and staff led Humiston on a field tour so she could meet UCCE collaborators and see firsthand some of the agricultural production in San Diego County.
The tour started with a visit to an avocado grove in Escondido where Ali Montazar, a cross-county UCCE advisor for irrigation and water management, has an active research project. Montazar's project addresses water use and efficiency in avocado, one of the primary crops grown in San Diego County and much of Southern California. Although the steep and hilly terrain made accessing the site difficult, this stop provided an excellent opportunity to showcase the research and extension activities of the county and cross-county advisors.
At the next stop, Humiston had the chance to visit Ken Altman, the largest horticultural producer in the country, at the Center for Applied Horticultural Research in Vista. During the visit, Altman briefed Humiston about his nursery and the extent of his business. Altman grows a large variety of nursery crops for indoor and landscape purposes, and employs over 6,000 people all over the country. Altman also spoke about the facilities at CfAHR and his willingness to offer research and laboratory space for use by UCCE San Diego. A long-time collaborator with UCCE, Altman expressed his commitment to support UC ANR's research needs and described the benefits he sees from UCCE partnering with local producers. While the laboratory at CfAHR is currently unused, Altman reiterated his desire to share the space with any interested UCCE San Diego advisors. Humiston and Bachie thanked Altman for his generous offer of support and facilities.
At the San Diego County Farm Bureau headquarters in Escondido, Humiston met with its president, Mary Matava, and discussed the importance of Farm Bureau as both collaborator and clientele, and the importance of keeping good relationships with the local UCCE office. Both reiterated the mutual benefits that come from a strong working relationship between UCCE and Farm Bureau. They also discussed UCCE San Diego's office lease, and the need for facilities that satisfy the requirements of the UCCE office, such as storage, laboratory, greenhouse and commercial standard kitchen space.
“Regardless of whether UCCE San Diego continues to lease the Farm Bureau offices, UCCE San Diego will show its presence and visibility at the Farm Bureau building at least on a rotational basis and will continue to collaborate with the important partner that is Farm Bureau,” Bachie said.
The final stop was at Escondido City Hall for a brief tour guided by Jennifer Schoeneck, deputy director of economic development for the City of Escondido. Also in attendance were leaders from nearby community colleges. Schoeneck provided detailed information on a currently unused warehouse facility that the city intends to remodel and retrofit so it can be used as an agricultural hub. Various agricultural technology companies, universities and colleges would use the space together to conduct research, teach and support agriculture within San Diego County. Humiston expressed her appreciation for the potential of the center and said that UC ANR will look at opportunities to collaborate with the city to develop the facility into a broad-spectrum agricultural hub.
Throughout the field tour Humiston was accompanied by Eric Middleton, UCCE integrated pest management advisor; Chandra Richards, agricultural land acquisitions academic coordinator; Robert Padilla, digital media specialist; Jan Gonzales, project coordinator and community education supervisor; Shirley Salado, EFNEP community education supervisor; Lea Corkidi, staff research associate; and Sue Lake, administrative officer.
By the end of the visit, Humiston and the group had gained a deeper understanding of UCCE San Diego programs, projects, challenges and opportunities.
Many of your UC Agriculture and Natural Resources colleagues have already had the opportunity to chat – in an informal, online setting – with UC ANR leadership about a wide range of topics.
Friday, Sept. 9 (1 to 2 p.m.) is your next chance to take part in the series, “Open Conversations with UC ANR Senior Leadership” (submit interest form to participate).
Within this small group format, you can voice your questions, comments, suggestions – or whatever is on your mind – with Vice President Glenda Humiston, Associate Vice President-Business Operations Tu Tran and interim Associate Vice President-Programs Deanne Meyer.
Past participants, such as Ricardo Vela, manager of News & Information Outreach in Spanish, recommend these sessions as a forum for candid, meaningful engagement with leadership.
“I encourage every UC ANR staff member to participate,” Vela said. “Open Conversations with UC ANR Leadership were precisely that – a very casual, open conversation about topics I was interested in. The meeting was not one-sided, and senior leadership showed genuine interest in what I had to say; in the end, participating made me feel that I mattered at UC ANR.”
Organizers seek to limit enrollment to 20 participants to allow for more in-depth dialogue, so submit your interest form early. Attendees are expected to have microphone and camera on for the duration of the online session.
Contact the Program Support Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
A delegation of 12 UC ANR staff, academics, volunteers and stakeholders visited state legislators in Sacramento on April 19 for UC ANR Advocacy Day to share how UC ANR's work delivers local, place-based education, outreach and programming to serve communities throughout the state.
Anne Megaro, government and community relations director, and Christina Harrington, student assistant, UC Master Gardener and graduate of the UC California Naturalist Program, organized meetings with Assembly Member Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, Senator John Laird, Assembly Member Devon Mathis, and staff members in many legislative offices.
The delegation thanked them for investing in ongoing funding in last year's state budget and shared their stories of serving community members, farmers, ranchers, youth and natural resource managers in their regions.
Vice President Glenda Humiston and Mark Bell, Vice Provost of Strategic Initiatives and Statewide Programs, led two teams, which included Sarah-Mae Nelson, UC Climate Stewards initiative academic coordinator; Kamal Khaira, director of CalFresh Healthy Living, UC; UCCE advisors Igor Lacan, Mae Culumber and Dorina Espinoza; 4-H Youth State Ambassadors Megna Nayar and Sara Tibbets; and Clio Tarazi, UC Master Gardener volunteer.
The teams urged legislators to support several key budget requests as part of Governor Newsom's proposed FY 2022-23 state budget. These budget commitments would support UC's much-needed capital projects at Research and Extension Centers and Elkus Ranch to expand capacity for research and programming, as well as investments for UC climate action and resiliency projects that will advance climate research and workforce development programs for students and community members.
The UC ANR representatives invited the legislators to visit for tours and events to see UC ANR at work in their districts firsthand.
UC Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources Glenda Humiston led a delegation from California to meet with congressional members and staff on March 6-11 to discuss specific benefits of UC ANR in their districts and the importance of strong federal funding to support programs, including Cooperative Extension, 4-H youth development, nutrition education, and the research and extension centers.
The California delegation was part of the Association for Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) Council for Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching (CARET), which held their annual meeting and (virtually) visited Capitol Hill for the 40th year to jointly request agricultural appropriations that support the land-grant mission.
The UC delegation met with staff from 27 congressional offices via Zoom to discuss the many critical agriculture needs facing California and the nation. They explained how UC is at the forefront of conducting research to understand and solve problems facing the agricultural industry and encouraged Congress to provide the highest possible funding levels in FY 2022 and FY 2023.
“This year, our request included something new – $365 million for agricultural research infrastructure,” said Anne Megaro, UC ANR director of government and community relations. “We have been working with Congress to include significant infrastructure funding in President Biden's Build Back Better legislation, and we are continuing to make this request through annual appropriations.”
Bringing UC's facilities up to modern standards with necessities such as high-speed broadband would provide capacity for cutting-edge research such as precision agriculture, remote sensing and growing space for CRISPR-based research. It would also ensure that U.S. research can continue to meet the agricultural and natural resource needs of the nation.
Humiston was joined by emeritus UCCE advisor Bill Frost, rancher Dina Moore, nurseryman Mike Mellano, Ish Herrera of California Forward, and Alejandra Sanchez of Driscoll's who shared how UC ANR research and outreach have improved their businesses, lives and communities.
“Our local UCCE advisors have given so much to our communities up and down the state; this is just one way I like to give back in support of their efforts. Congress needs to know how valuable ag research and education is, and how much we trust and depend on UC,” said Herrera, California Forward director of regional stewardship.
Rounding out the group were several UC ANR leaders, including deans David Ackerly, Helene Dillard and Kathryn Uhrich.
Missy Gable, UC Master Gardener Program director; Ryan Tompkins, UCCE forestry and natural resources advisor for Plumas and Sierra counties; and Jairo Diaz, director of Desert Research and Extension Center shared examples of their work throughout the state to adapt to living with wildfire, climate change and drought, and to improve Californians' health and wellness.
“As an extension forester, wildfire not only drives our applied research, but also affects the communities we live in and serve,” said Tompkins. “CARET provides opportunities to share real-life experiences of how federal funding supports UC forest and wildfire research, outreach, and education that have meaningful benefit for communities throughout California.”
Vice President Glenda Humiston spoke to the California Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 1 on Education at a hearing to discuss the University of California's budget on Feb. 9.
The session was chaired by state Sen. John Laird, who championed augmentation of the 2021-22 budget for UC ANR.
Humiston gave a status report for UC ANR via Zoom due to COVID protocols.
“Thanks to the ongoing augmentation of the 2021-22 budget for UC ANR, we have acted quickly to rebuild the UC Cooperative Extension footprint,” Humiston told the committee. “While the positions identified in March 2021 are still the focal point of the hiring plan, we also implemented a separate process to ensure identification of the highest priority academic positions across all discipline areas for today and into the future. This involved communicating with community partners and other stakeholders to identify the most pressing needs and prioritize the next round of hiring.”
She noted that, for the first time, UC ANR opened requests for placement of UC Cooperative Extension specialists to all 10 campuses.
“To date, 11 Cooperative Extension advisors and specialists have been hired and are in the field, while 35 more are currently under recruitment and expected to be hired before June 2022,” Humiston said. “UC ANR will be announcing over 40 additional new advisor positions and up to 20 specialist positions later this spring. We've expanded recruiting capacity and enhanced hiring practices to meet the evolving demands of the job market and ensure success. UC ANR is committed to hiring a diverse and inclusive workforce that reflects the top talent necessary to solve societal problems. We will provide the committee with a budget and impact report later this spring.
Laird mentioned in the hearing that legislators aren't often thanked for their work, but after UC ANR received a budget augmentation, he returned from the summer recess to find a huge stack of thank-you cards on his desk.
Laird also noted that UC campuses get COLAs (cost of living adjustments) and he would like ANR's budget to be adjusted annually as well. The adjustment would apply to the overall state general fund budget, not salaries.
Discussion of UC ANR begins at 1:46:30 of the recording at https://www.senate.ca.gov/media/budget-fiscal-review-subcommittee-1-education-20220209/video.