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Posts Tagged: Jairo Diaz

UC asks Congress to fund agricultural research and infrastructure

Jim Costa and Glenda Humiston met while Humiston was in Washington D.C. to testify before the House Committee on Agriculture for the 2022 Farm Bill review.

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.”

Posted on Thursday, March 31, 2022 at 3:39 PM

Names in the News

Jairo Diaz-Ramirez
Diaz-Ramirez joins ANR as Desert REC director

Jairo Diaz-Ramirez joined ANR on Oct. 1 as the director of the Desert Research and Extension Center.

Prior to joining ANR, Diaz-Ramirez was an assistant professor at Alcorn State University and director of the Mississippi River Research Center – Center for Ecology and Natural Resources. He oversaw the creation and execution of the center's strategic plan for research, education, public outreach and potential industrial activities. Diaz-Ramirez was program leader for the Environmental Science program and taught undergraduate and graduate courses. From 2009 to 2012, Diaz-Ramirez was assistant research professor at Mississippi State University's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, where he served as co-principal investigator, co-developed the Low Impact Development Implementation Assessment Tool – LIDIA, and taught undergraduate and graduate courses.

Diaz-Ramirez earned his Ph.D. at Mississippi State University and M.S. at University of Puerto Rico, both in civil engineering with specialization in water resources. He earned his B.S. in agricultural engineering, with a focus in soil and water conservation, from National University of Colombia and is fluent in Spanish.

Based in Holtville, Diaz-Ramirez can be reached at (760) 356-3065 and

Mark Lundy
Lundy named UCCE specialist

Mark Lundy has become a UC ANR Cooperative Extension specialist for grain cropping systems as of Oct. 1. He joined UCCE in 2013 as the agronomy advisor in Colusa, Sutter and Yuba counties and focused his research and extension on forage crops, wheat, safflower, processing tomatoes, dry beans, corn and hybrid seed crops. Before joining ANR, he served as an extension educator for the HortCRSP Trellis Program, working with fresh market tomato growers in southern Malawi.

Lundy earned a B.A. in English from the University of Arizona. He has an M.S. in international agricultural development and Ph.D. in agronomy from UC Davis.

Based in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, Lundy can be reached at (530) 458-0575 and

Clark named cropping systems advisor

Nicholas Clark
Nicholas Clark has become a UCCE area agronomic cropping systems/nutrient management advisor as of Oct. 26. He will be serving Kings, Tulare and Fresno counties.Clark joined UCCE in 2014 as a laboratory assistant in Tulare County, then was appointed staff research associate on March 13, 2015, in Tulare County. 

As an ANR staff research associate, Clark assisted in a breeding program for fusarium wilt-resistant cotton. He worked with local growers, USDA-Agricultural Research Service and international stakeholders on field trials in Shafter, Bakersfield, Tipton and Parlier over two growing seasons. He organized and conducted full greenhouse operations, including seed-to-seed production of novel Pima, Upland and interspecific cotton germplasms and breeding families.

Prior to joining ANR, Clark was a biological science technician for USDA-ARS from 2012 to 2014, where he designed a greenhouse, plant growth chamber, bacteriological and DNA sequence experiments; statistically analyzed research results; and maintained greenhouse tomato nutrition, pest control and irrigation.

Clark completed an M.S. in plant science from California State University, Fresno, and a B.A. in cultural anthropology from UC Santa Cruz. He speaks Spanish.

Based in Hanford, Clark can be reached at (559) 852-2788 and

Lang joins Central Sierra as NFCS advisor

Kara Lang joined UC ANR on Sept. 8 as a UCCE nutrition, family and consumer sciences advisor serving the Central Sierra Multi-County Partnership.

Prior to joining UCCE, Lang was serving in concurrent positions. For Fresno State University's Department of Food Science and Nutrition, she was an adjunct professor educating undergraduate, graduate students and dietetic interns developing nutrition and food science research projects.  For UC Davis California Institute for Rural Studies, Lang coordinated research activities for a USDA Agricultural Marketing Service Local Food Promotion Program in Merced County, where she designed and implemented clinical and community-based nutrition research projects, secured funding to support research initiatives, and managed research teams. For the Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program, Lang was a program evaluation specialist serving as lead evaluator of nutrition education, community nutrition and food systems projects. She has experience working on state-level food policy issues as a member of the California Food Policy Council and with the California Farmers Market Consortium.

Lang completed a Ph.D. in nutritional biology and a M.S. in nutrition at UC Davis, where she conducted clinical research at the USDA Western Human Nutrition Research Center. Lang earned a B.S. in nutritional physiology and metabolism from UC Berkeley. She is currently working towards certification as a registered dietitian with an anticipated completion date of 2016.

Based in San Andreas, Lang can be reached at (209) 754-6476 and

Ira joins California Naturalist

Greg Ira
Greg Ira joined ANR on Oct. 1 as an academic coordinator for the California Naturalist statewide program.Ira is involved in the planning, management and operations of the program and its many partnerships.

Ira completed a M.A. in Asian studies from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a B.A. in environmental studies from Prescott College in Arizona.

Prior to joining ANR, Ira worked for the State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection from 2000 to 2015. His initial focus was on environmental education and he established three statewide programs: Learning in Florida's Environment Program, Florida Green School Network and Awards, and the Science, Technology and Environment teacher professional development program. In 2014, when the Sustainable Initiatives program merged with environmental education, Ira assumed oversight of three additional statewide programs: Florida Green Lodging Program, Florida Clean Vessel Act Grants, and Florida Clean Marina Program. From 1992 to 1998, he worked for the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction in the Philippines as an environmental specialist, program manager and program director for the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture program. This work involved training, the production of extension materials, and collaborative field projects with local non-governmental organizations in Asia and parts of East Africa.

Based at the ANR Building in Davis, Ira can be reached at (530) 750-1265 and

Posted on Monday, November 2, 2015 at 3:00 PM

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