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Posts Tagged: Hardeep Singh

Names in the News

Goncalves named UCCE diversified agriculture advisor for Lake and Mendocino counties 

Clebson Goncalves

Clebson Goncalves joined UC Cooperative Extension on July 1 as a diversified agriculture advisor serving Lake and Mendocino counties.

Prior to moving to Cailfornia, Goncalves was a postdoctoral researcher working on the management of turfgrass and ornamental crops for a USDA-SCRI project at the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech. 

He has a bachelor's degree in agronomy (focused on plant pathology) and a master's degree and Ph.D. in agronomy sciences (plant production/ weed science) from Brazil as well as an additional master's degree in crop and soil science (turfgrass/weed science) from Auburn University. He led field, greenhouse and lab research with a broad focus on plant production, crop protection and weed sciences.

Goncalves' current research centers around diversified agricultural farms, including vegetables, fruit and nut crops. He is also interested in integrated weed management practices exploring chemical and organic options, improving pesticide application technology, drone use for data collection, pesticide application and pollinator-serving plant communities.

Goncalves is based in Lakeport and can be reached at (707) 263-6838 and Follow him on Twitter @clebson_g and on Linkedin   

Satink Wolfson hired as newest fire advisor 

Barb Satink Wolfson

Barb Satink Wolfson began in her role as UC Cooperative Extension fire advisor for Monterey, San Benito, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties on June 30. 

Her primary responsibilities include wildland fire-related research and outreach for the Central Coast region, while building trust, strong partnerships and collaborative relationships within both professional and non-professional communities. 

Satink Wolfson earned her B.S. and M.S. in forestry from Northern Arizona University, and brings to UC ANR more than 20 years of fire-research and outreach experience in Arizona. Her favorite job, though, was working as a backcountry ranger in Yosemite National Park during her undergraduate years.

In her new role, Satink Wolfson hopes to address some of the questions behind the use of prescribed fire in a variety of ecosystems (such as coastal prairies and oak woodlands), and help all Central Coast communities build resilience to wildland fire so residents can live safely within fire-adapted landscapes. 

Satink Wolfson, who will be based at the UCCE office in Hollister in San Benito County starting Aug. 1, can be reached at

Beneficial ‘Bug Ninja' Middleton joins IPM 

Eric Middleton

Eric Middleton, known as the “Bug Ninja” to fans of the television show “American Ninja Warrior,” began his new role as an integrated pest management advisor at UC Cooperative Extension in San Diego County on June 6.

As an advisor, Middleton is focused on increasing knowledge and diversifying tools to discourage pesticide use for conventional agricultural practices. As an entomologist, however, Middleton is eager to challenge the way humans perceive and interact with insects by identifying pest management practices that are beneficial for the ecosystem overall.

Now that he is living in San Diego, an area with diverse agriculture and floriculture, Middleton said that he is excited for the opportunity to work with different plant types and farms on a regular basis.

Before joining UC ANR, Middleton worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Florida's Citrus Research and Education Center, developing management options for the Lebbeck mealybug in Florida citrus.

Middleton earned a bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Utah and a doctorate in entomology from the University of Minnesota-.

Middleton is based at the UC Cooperative Extension office in San Diego and can be reached at

Zuber named UCCE orchard crops advisor 

Cameron Zuber

Cameron Zuber has been named UC Cooperative Extension orchard crops advisor for Merced and Madera counties as of June 6. For Merced County, he will cover orchard crops such as stone fruit, walnuts and almonds, not including pistachios and figs. For Madera County, he will work with walnuts.

Zuber joined UC Cooperative Extension in 2016 as a staff researcher in Merced County. In his education and professional career, he has worked in understanding environmental and agricultural systems and their interactions with people, society and governance. Specifically with orchard crops, he has worked on fumigants and other soil pest controls, rootstocks and scion varietals, cultural practices relating to tree spacing and whole orchard recycling. He also has studied flood irrigation for groundwater recharge, irrigation and water management and soil, water and air interactions. 

He earned his bachelor's degree in environmental biology and management from UC Davis and a master's degree in environmental systems from UC Merced.

Zuber is based at the UC Cooperative Extension office located in Merced and can be reached at and (209) 385-7403.

Shogren named UCCE environmental horticulture advisor 

Chris Shogren

Chris Shogren joined UC ANR on June 5 as the environmental horticulture advisor for UC Cooperative Extension in Los Angeles County.

Shogren described his new role as “giving back to the community.” While he has more experience “growing plants than playing with insects,” Shogren's expertise includes all aspects of horticulture such as entomology, pathology, water use and more.

He earned a bachelor's degree in horticulture and agricultural business from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and a doctorate in entomology from UC Riverside. 

Much of what he knows not only comes from his formal academic training, but what he learned from his parents. Shogren grew up in Hemet, 25 miles outside of Palm Springs, and spent his childhood working at his parents' wholesale nursery. Building rapport with nurseries comes naturally to Shogren and he has been advising them since his days as a Ph.D. student.

Early in his career, Shogren worked on horticulture for Disneyland before joining the Citrus Research Board, where he focused on biocontrol rearing. Prior to joining UC ANR, Shogren mass reared fruit flies for U.S. Department of Agriculture research.

As an advisor, Shogren's top priority is to develop his program by first understanding the local issues and the key players that are addressing them such as advisors, researchers and industry groups. He believes that doing so will paint a clear picture of where and how he can be the most effective.

Shogren is based out of the UC Cooperative Extension office in Los Angeles County and can be reached at

Singh joins UCCE Central Sierra as local food systems advisor 

Hardeep Singh

Hardeep Singh joined UCCE Central Sierra as a local food systems advisor on June 1.

He transferred from the UCCE Fresno office where he worked as an assistant specialist in small farms and specialty crops. Singh, who is from Punjab, India, worked closely with Southeast Asian small farmers, African American farmers, Latino farmers and Punjabi farmers on healthy soil practices, the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program, Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, and UCSF COVID-19 Equity Project since 2020. He also worked as a vineyard operations intern with UCCE Fresno in the summer of 2019.

Singh holds a master's degree in plant science from California State University, Fresno with a distinction as Dean's Graduate Medalist. He also holds a bachelor's degree in agriculture from Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana, Punjab, India.

His research background includes crops such as moringa, cover crops, wine grapes, almonds, pistachios and citrus. He also has research experience in irrigation scheduling and nutrition management in moringa, wine grapes, almonds and citrus. 

Singh is interested in developing crop coefficients, studying nitrogen dynamics in specialty crops, and reducing production costs for small farms, which aligns with his goal of reducing poverty by engaging with socially disadvantaged communities and moving agriculture toward greater self-sustainability.

Singh is based in San Andreas and can be reached at and (559) 579-6065.

Mukherjee named urban and small farms advisor 

Amrita Mukherjee

Amrita Mukherjee joined UC ANR on April 1 as an urban agriculture and small farms advisor serving Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange counties.

Mukherjee's priority is to understand small farms' practices and needs, and to identify opportunities for improvement and/or collaboration. One challenge that Mukherjee is eager to overcome is getting information to farmers in a timely and organized manner.

“There's so much information out there and it's hard to know who is doing what,” she said. By implementing a communication system, Mukherjee believes that supporting small farms will become more efficient. 

Originally from Bangladesh, Mukherjee grew up in a family of farmers and understands the struggles farmers encounter as laborers and as a business. Her upbringing inspired her to not only pursue a career in agriculture, but to alleviate the hardships that often burden farmers.

Previously, Mukherjee worked for the International Rice Research Institute where she examined flash flood risk-management in her homeland. She also worked for the Horticulture Innovation Lab management team at UC Davis as an assistant specialist in Bangladesh, focused on nutrition impacts of horticultural innovations.  

Mukherjee earned a bachelor's degree in agriculture from Khulna University, a master's degree in biotechnology from Bangladesh Agricultural University, and a master's degree in horticulture, plant biology and post-harvest physiology from Kansas State University.

While she has dedicated the first few months of her role to networking, Mukherjee feels that building rapport with small-scale farmers is an ongoing process that is crucial to her role as an advisor.

When asked what she is most excited about, Mukherjee said that she wants to help farmers grow. Not just their crops, but their business strategy and network. “I don't want to be a supervisor, I want to be a connector,” explained Mukherjee. 

Mukherjee is based out of the UC Cooperative Extension office in San Bernardino County and can be reached at

Warne named 4-H Foundation director 

Carolyn Warne

Carolyn Warne has joined UC ANR as California 4-H Foundation director, succeeding Mary Ciricillo, who was promoted in October to UC ANR director of development, managing UC ANR's major gifts team including the foundation director.

Warne brings more than 20 years of fundraising and communications experience in education, sports and arts. She recently moved back to California from England, where she was most recently grants manager for Petersfield Cricket Club. She was responsible for sourcing funding for club projects, which ranged from building renovation to purchasing equipment to providing coaching costs to introduce sports activities in schools. 

Earlier in her career, Warne was responsible for internal and external communications, marketing and fundraising at four different schools, developing multi-channel approaches to student and staff recruitment, brand awareness and fundraising. She also worked for a government-funded organization, assisting local community groups with funding and organizational needs and providing training and grant-writing support. 

Before moving to the U.K., she worked in the development offices of several higher education institutions, including Cornell, Iowa State and San Diego State, recruiting and working with volunteers and raising funds.  

Warne is based at the UC ANR building in Davis and can be reached at

Sope joins Strategic Communications 

Saoi Sope

Saoimanu “Saoi” Sope joined UC ANR Strategic Communications as a communications specialist on June 7.

Prior to joining UC ANR, Sope worked in tobacco control policy for the state of California and focused on how to generate effective messaging when targeting elected officials and priority populations. As a project coordinator, Sope launched a podcast as a new communication platform and produced episodes featuring John Mirisch, the former mayor of Beverly Hills, and other representatives of cities that successfully phased out the sale of commercial tobacco products.

Early in her career, Sope worked as a communications specialist for Driscoll's in Watsonville. While her background involves four years of professional experience in communications, it was at Driscoll's that Sope developed a passion for environmental health and desire to merge her creative talent and professional interests. 

Sope earned a bachelor's degree in film and digital media and community studies from UC Santa Cruz and a Master of Public Health degree in environmental health science and certificate in toxicology from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

Using her background in film production and public health, Sope is eager to take UC ANR's storytelling to the next level. Her goal as a member of the Strategic Communications team is to not only make UC ANR a household name, but to engage underserved communities.

Based at UC South Coast Research and Extension Center in Irvine, Sope can be reached at (424) 366-0897 and Follow her on Twitter @saoimanu. 

Farrar joins UC SAREP 

Kristen Farrar

Kristen Farrar has joined the UC Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Program (SAREP) as communications and proposal coordinator.

Farrar will be responsible for coordinating SAREP's communications for stakeholder education, outreach and engagement. She will also prepare grant proposals and coordinate SAREP's small grants program.

Before joining UC ANR, she was assistant director at Foundation Plant Services at UC Davis, where she worked to promote the use of virus-tested planting stock in specialty crops such as grapes and fruit trees. At FPS, she also served as National Clean Plant Network coordinator for NCPN-Grapes and co-chair of the NCPN Education & Outreach committee. She has held positions at several universities conducting research in plant pathology and teaching. 

Farrar earned a bachelor's degree in environmental policy analysis and planning from UC Davis and a master's degree in plant pathology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Farrar is based at the ANR building in Davis and can be reached at

Renteria joins BOC 

Rosemary Renteria

Rosemary Renteria has joined the Business Operations Center as a financial services supervisor, supervising and supporting BOC Partner Teams 3 and 4.   

In this position, Renteria will provide support and leadership for the daily business operations of the BOC and UCCE locations. She will provide guidance and oversight of all financial services, account management, work processes and business efficiencies. Also, she is currently serving as interim fiscal officer for BOC Partner Team 3 until this vacancy is filled.

Renteria, who earned a bachelor's degree in Radio/TV Broadcasting at CSU Fresno, is a native of Yolo County and grew up on the outskirts of Woodland, surrounded by tomato and corn fields.   

Before joining ANR, she was the administrative manager for the California History-Social Science Project at UC Davis. On Aug. 1, she will celebrate 33 years of UC service.  

Renteria is based at the ANR Building in Davis and can be reached at and (530) 447-0801 ext. 1466. 

Crestmore named BOC assistant 

Cynthia Crestmore

Cynthia Crestmore joined UC ANR July 25 as an administrative assistant for the Business Operations Center July 25. Crestmore will be working on many cross-BOC activities such as customer service, website updates, administrative procedures, meeting arrangements and a host of other critical needs.  

Crestmore brings a wealth of experience from UC Davis and UC Merced - working in a shared services environment as well as different administrative and academic units – and is familiar with quite a few UC systems. 

On a personal note, she is very interested in safety and earned a safety certificate at UC Davis. The Marin County native is a self-published writer and enthusiastic about environmental conservation and aims to be “waste-free by 2023.”

Crestmore is based at the ANR Building in Davis and can be reached at

CASI Workgroup wins Conservation Innovation Award 

Jeff Mitchell

Conservation Agriculture Systems Innovation Workgroup is receiving the 2022 Conservation Innovation Award from the Soil and Water Conservation Society.

CASI was formed in 1998 under the leadership of Jeffrey P. Mitchell, UC Cooperative Extension specialist based at Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center. This group – comprising farmers, scientists, and representatives of public agencies, private industry and environmental groups – develops knowledge and exchanges information about the benefits of reducing tillage in agricultural lands.

In the last 25 years, the no-till and low-till systems being explored by CASI have been widely adopted in much of the United States and in South America. But, in California's Central Valley, less than 1% of production acreage is farmed using conservation tillage. That's “largely because producers lack information, and successful examples of CT systems are only now being developed here,” CASI reported.

With more than 1,500 active members and affiliates, CASI conducts annual conferences to share research and the results of demonstration projects. 

“Our soon-to-be-published long-term research in the San Joaquin Valley provides very strong evidence that the combined use of fundamental soil health principles improves soil health compared to conventional practices for an annual crop rotation common to the region,” Mitchell said. “Our data suggest that farmers stand to gain multiple benefits for the coupled use of these practices by increasing soil structural stability, water infiltration and storage, and agroecosystem biodiversity, while improving the efficiencies of the carbon, nitrogen and water cycles in their production systems.”

The award will be presented at the 2022 Awards Luncheon on Aug. 2 during the society's 77th International Annual Conference in Denver.

Read more about CASI at 

Kisekka honored for advancements in microirrigation 

Isaya Kisekka

Isaya Kisekka, associate professor in the departments of Land, Air and Water Resources and Biological and Agricultural Engineering at UC Davis, received the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers' 2022 Netafim Award for Advancements in Microirrigation. The award recognizes excellence in research, development, extension, education or industry. 

Kisekka's research focuses on developing management strategies and technologies to help farmers optimize productivity and net profitability under limited water while exerting minimum negative impacts on the environment.

Kisekka, who is an Agricultural Experiment Station scientist, accepted the award during the society's 2022 international meeting in Houston on July 20. 

UC IPM wins two gold ACE awards 

"Diagnosing Herbicide Injury" includes several interactive features to make it more engaging and entertaining.

UC Integrated Pest Management Program won two 2022 Gold Awards from the Association for Communication Excellence. 

One award was in the Information Technology 5: Instructional Design category for the animated online course “Diagnosing Herbicide Injury,” created by Tunyalee Martin, UC IPM associate director for communications; Petr Kosina, content development supervisor; Cheryl Reynolds, interactive learning developer; Kimberly Steinman, former UC IPM editor; and UC Cooperative Extension weed specialists Brad Hanson and Kassim Al-Khatib, both in the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences.

The other award was in in the category of Information Technology 3: Website for WeedCUT, a new online tool to manage invasive weeds without pesticides in wildlands. The website was designed by Martin; Jutta Burger and Doug Johnson of Cal IPC; Chinh Lam, UC IPM IT supervisor and lead programmer; and Cheryl Wilen, UC IPM advisor emeritus.   

Read more about Diagnosing Herbicide Injury at

PAC meets virtually, thanks President Napolitano for her service

President Napolitano met with the PAC via Zoom to thank the members for time and advice during her seven years as UC president. She plans to step down from the office Aug. 1.

The President's Advisory Commission on Agriculture and Natural Resources met via Zoom April 9 as everyone was sheltering in place during the coronavirus pandemic. Jean-Mari Peltier, PAC chair, welcomed the PAC members for their last meeting with President Janet Napolitano. Last September, Napolitano announced that she will step down as UC's leader Aug. 1.

President Napolitano commended ANR for its flexibility in response to the COVID-19 crisis. ANR is “the University of California for large parts of the state and we're proud that you are,” she told VP Glenda Humiston, adding that ANR is performing well under her leadership.

Napolitano thanked the PAC members for contributing their time and advice during her seven years at the UC helm, calling ANR “essential to UC identity as land grant university.” The commissioners thanked the president for her support for ANR. In response to questions about building support for ANR with her successor, Napolitano recommended taking the new president out of Oakland for site visits to learn about ANR. She described her visits to Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Humboldt County and other ANR sites as “eye opening.”

In her update about ANR, Humiston reported that despite the coronavirus pandemic's disruption to public gatherings, all ANR programs are still serving communities. “I'm really impressed with the innovative ways they are finding to deliver outreach,” she said, adding that advisors are adapting, for example, doing ranch visits via phone. Humiston also described the UC ANR Governing Council's tour of the South Coast Research and Extension Center in February to see how ANR engages urban Californians. She noted that a regents tour of South Coast REC planned for April 23 has been postponed until after the pandemic passes.

Karen Ross, secretary of California Department of Food and Agriculture, joined the group to discuss how CDFA is responding to food system disruption resulting from the COVID-19 crisis. “I am optimistic about agriculture; we are so innovative and resilient,” Ross said, adding that she is concerned about funding for UC ANR and UCCE. She recommended seizing the moment while consumers are thinking about the food system to educate people about UC ANR's role.

Building on their December meeting, the PAC members continued their discussion of the future of the commission. They discussed recommendations to ensure the success and sustainability of ANR as well as the PAC. 

They recommended the role of PAC members include

  • Communication & advocacy
  • Engaging as a strategic tool for problem solving
  • Being a connector to industry leaders
  • Supporting fund development
  • Advising on strategy and mission priorities

To make their membership meaningful, the commissioners said they would like

  • Greater active involvement
  • Knowing they add value
  • Feeling connected with ANR and other PAC members
  • Sharing critical information

Although the PAC usually meets twice a year – in the spring and fall – the PAC agreed to meet again via videoconference in May or June to discuss and approve the new PAC charter.


Posted on Friday, May 1, 2020 at 1:36 PM

Names in the News

Soule named assistant vice provost for CE

Katherine Soule

Katherine Soule will serve as ANR's new Assistant Vice Provost for Cooperative Extension. She will start her new duties on July 1, 2020, and continue to serve as UCCE director for San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties and as UCCE youth, families and communities advisor. The role was previously held by Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty until she assumed the role of Statewide 4-H Youth Development Program director.

“We are excited to have Katherine on the Cooperative Extension administrative team! She brings a breadth of Cooperative Extension experiences and leadership skills,” said Mark Lagrimini, vice provost for research and extension. “Katherine is known for her innovative, collaborative, and strengths-based leadership. She cares deeply about improving lives and working environments for her unit, her community and ANR.”

Soule earned her Ph.D. from the University of Georgia, Athens in 2013 and became the UCCE youth, families and communities advisor for San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. In 2017, she accepted an additional appointment as UCCE director for these counties. She was elected as UC ANR's Academic Assembly Council president for a two-year term ending in June 2020.

"As the assistant vice provost of Cooperative Extension, I look forward to supporting the development and successes of new and existing county directors,” Soule said. “I hope to promote collaborative, cross-county communication, while focusing on identifying and meeting the needs of county directors across the division. We are all most effective when we learn from and support one another, so I look forward to connecting with academics, county directors, ANR leadership and other UC ANR personnel in this new role."

Choe, Dara and IPM team honored by Pacific Branch of ESA

Dong-Hwan Choe
UC ANR scientists Dong-Hwan Choe, Surendra Dara, David Haviland and Jhalendra Rijal received awards for their exemplary work from the Pacific Branch of the Entomological Society of America. The PBESA presented its annual awards on April 20, at a virtual ceremony due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Choe, UCCE specialist in the UC Riverside Department of Entomology, won the Medical, Urban, and Veterinary Entomology Award.

“Since joining the faculty at UC Riverside in 2011, [Choe] has developed an outstanding research and extension program dealing with the major urban structural pests and related issues in the western United States,” wrote Mike Rust, UC Riverside entomology professor, in his nomination letter.

His research includes exploiting the role of semiochemicals and behavior to control social insects and developing novel ant baits.

“Dr. Choe has been at the forefront of developing hydrogels as carriers of baits to control ants and yellowjackets. Developing cost-effective and environmentally safe delivery strategies has always been a major problem facing the use of ant baits in agriculture and urban setting. His pioneering biodegradable alginate beads promise to be a major advancement,” Rust wrote.

Surendra Dara
Choe also participates in workshops for agricultural pest control advisers, UC Master Gardeners and urban pest control operators.

Dara, UC Cooperative Extension entomology and biologicals advisor for San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties, won the Award for Excellence in Integrated Pest Management.

This annual award recognizes individuals who made outstanding contributions in research and outreach in the area of IPM. Dara's new IPM model has been well-received and its impact has been documented in a UC Delivers story. Dara is the first UC ANR scientist to receive this award and fourth from UC since the Pacific Branch began offering awards in this category in 2009.

The UC IPM Almond Pest Management Alliance Team won the Entomology Team Work Award. The team consists of UC IPM advisors David Haviland and Jhalendra Rijal, former UCCE advisor Emily Symmes, UCCE Kern County staff research associate Stephanie Rill, industry researcher Bradly Higbee of Trécé, USDA scientist Charles Burkes and Bob Curtis of the Almond Board of California.

The team encouraged the adoption of mating disruption for managing navel orangeworm, a major pest in almond orchards, especially in the San Joaquin Valley. After they began demonstrating that mating disruption proved to be an economical pest control method in orchards, they saw a rapid rise in growers adopting the technology. Based on a survey of pest control advisers and growers conducted in the early 2019, the anticipated use of navel orangeworm mating disruption for the 2019 season in San Joaquin Valley was 32%, as opposed to the 7% adoption in 2017. Kern County data showed a 26% countywide increase in the adoption of mating disruption from 2017-2018.

The UC IPM Almond Pest Management Alliance Team. From left, DPR Director Val Dolcini, Brad Higbee, Chuck Burkes, Jhalendra Rijal, David Haviland, UCCE staff research assistant Stephanie Rill, and the Almond Board’s Jesse Rosemond, Bob Curtis, Rebecca Bailey and Jenny Nicolau.

For more than a decade, the team conducted research on navel orangeworm, spider mites, leaffooted bug and ants that laid the groundwork for IPM adoption. For the past three years, the team put these IPM practices on display using nine demonstration orchards across the San Joaquin Valley as part of CDPR Pest Management Alliance and Almond Board of California grants.

The UC IPM Almond Pest Management Alliance Team received an award in February from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation and California Environmental Protection Agency

Three UC Davis faculty members were also selected for prestigious awards: Lynn Kimsey, Walter Leal and Robert Kimsey.

The Pacific Branch covers provinces/states in Canada, U.S. and Mexico on the Pacific Coast. 

Posted on Thursday, April 30, 2020 at 12:47 PM

Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network applications due June 23

USDA NIFA requests applications to the 2020 Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network funding opportunity.

The purpose of the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) Program is to establish a network that connects individuals who are engaged in farming, ranching and other agriculture-related occupations to stress assistance programs. The establishment of a network that assists farmers and ranchers in time of stress can offer a conduit to improving behavioral health awareness, literacy and outcomes for agricultural producers, workers and their families.

The FRSAN program will accept applications for Regional Networks. In FY20, NIFA is seeking applications from regional partnerships and collaborations that are led by or include nongovernmental organizations (NGO), state departments of agriculture (SDA), Cooperative Extension Services (CES), and Indian tribes with expertise in providing professional agricultural behavioral health awareness, counseling as appropriate, education, training and referral for other forms of assistance as necessary. NIFA is soliciting applications that align with, build upon, and/or complement the projects funded in FY19. In 2019, the FRSAN program launched with four awards corresponding to U.S. regions in the Northeast, North Central, South and West. In 2020, funding has increased fivefold to support regional frameworks offering stress assistance programs, training, services, and referral.

The long-term goal of the FRSAN projects is to establish a Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network that provides stress assistance programs to individuals who are engaged in farming, ranching, and other agriculture-related occupations on a regional basis. Network members must initiate, expand or sustain programs that provide professional agricultural behavioral health counseling and referral for other forms of assistance as necessary through the following:

  • Farm telephone helplines and websites
  • Training, including training programs and workshops, for the following:
  • Advocates for individuals who are engaged in farming, ranching, and other occupations relating to agriculture
  • Other individuals and entities that may assist individuals who-
  • are engaged in farming, ranching, and other occupations relating to agriculture
  • are in crisis
  • Support groups
  • Outreach services and activities, including the dissemination of information and materials

Applicant organizations must have demonstrable prior experience working in the agricultural stress assistance space. For purposes of implementing FRSAN, a network is an organizational arrangement among three or more separately operated domestic public or private entities, including the applicant organization, with established working histories in the targeted region. Regional lead entities must have the capacity to make state-level sub-awards, to include monitoring the performance of specific projects and active participation within the larger regional network. Providing training and/or offering direct services in every state/territory in the targeted region is not required in FY 2020. However, the applicant must clearly articulate where and why training and services are being offered, as well as any rationale for areas not served and how all states (and territories, as appropriate), will be added to the network in FYs 2021 and 2022, if the project intends to seek continuation funding in those years. If possible, a national, regionwide or subregional helpline and/or website that is available to all states should be implemented and publicized beginning in FY 2021.

Funds may be used to map resources in each region, provide a framework for how those resources can be/are connected, and train state-level people working with agricultural producers (train-the-trainer model) about how to identify farmers under stress, about the existence of a given regional network, availability of specific resources and how to access them, as well as how to make referrals to programs that are equipped to provide direct behavioral care assistance. Such maps must link with USDA programs such as Agriculture Mediation Program and Crop Insurance Mediation and state and county-level USDA field offices with which producers may engage if and when appropriate.

It is NIFA's intention to fund four grants to four separate FRSAN regional leads as a result of this FY 2020 competition: one each in the Northeast Region, North Central Region, Southern Region, and the Western Region. The maximum award for a standard grant is $7,187,000 for a three-year project.

For more information about the FRSAN program and to apply, please visit:

To request a copy of the 2019 FRSAN webinar slide deck, please email

Applications are due Tuesday, June 23, 2020.


Posted on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 at 11:24 AM
  • Author: Kathy Nolan

SI Brief: Want video in your toolkit?

video screenshot
Now more than ever, the video format can help us expand our educational outreach.

Want to produce Oscar-winning videos?

Well, we can't quite promise that, but we can help you develop your own videos and video skills - producing something you can be proud of and something that can help the people of California.

So where are we in the series?

Part 3 is a self-learning step about Editing Video and Audio. Access and complete the editing tutorial here. This step builds on how you have planned your project with a storyboard or script (Part 1) and captured the video and audio (Part 2). Now, your next step is editing the project. This clinic gives you hands-on experience in both video and audio editing.

But what if I missed Parts 1 and 2?

No problem! The recording of the Part 2 webinar “How-to of How to videos” is available here.

And don't forget Part 1 – a self-learning opportunity where you prepare a rough draft video production storyboard.

  1. Start by reading this factsheet about creating a storyboard and script for a video production by Petr Kosina from UC IPM 
  2. Then capture and organize your ideas for a video project you have in mind

Training resources for continued learning and to support your video projects

For more on the SIs and their activities, contact

Jim Farrar: Pests EIPD

David Lile: Natural Ecosystems SNE

David Lewis: Water

Deanne Meyer: Food Systems SFS

Lynn Schmitt McQuitty: Families and Communities HFC

Mark Bell: Vice Provost SIs & SWPs

Posted on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 at 11:32 PM

Read more

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