ANR Employees
University of California
ANR Employees

Posts Tagged: March 2022

Names in the News

Armstrong joins 4-H as program representative for Tuolumne County

Erika Armstrong

Erika Armstrong has joined the UCCE Central Sierra team as 4-H Program Representative for Tuolumne County.

Armstrong, who has spent her career working with nonprofit agencies and managing volunteer programs, worked with United Way Monterey County and the Alliance on Aging. She also was a campaign manager for a candidate for the Board of Supervisors of Monterey County. Her most recent job was stay-at-home mother for herdaughters. 

She holds a bachelor's degree in collaborative health and human communication from California State University Monterey Bay.

Armstrong is based at the Tuolumne office and can be reached at (209) 533-6990 and

Hsieh Wojan named chief information security officer 

Jaki Hsieh Wojan

Jacqueline (Jaki) Hsieh Wojan joined ANR as chief information security officer (CISO) on March 28. As CISO, she will be responsible for cybersecurity functions, policies and procedures, including statewide management and protection of ANR's institutional information and information technology resources.

Hsieh Wojan brings over 10 years of experience in computer operations and cybersecurity risk management. She is a certified Project Manager, a Certified Scrum Master, and an experienced CISO. In her previous position as CISO at Matica Corp., a computer software design and development company, she oversaw the IT infrastructure, deployed complex systems, vetted third-party vendors, and most recently, relocated their on-premises IT server room to a data center.

She earned an M.S. in computer information systems from Boston University and a B.A. in East Asian Studies (Cum Laude) from Union College in Schenectady, New York.

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

UC scientists dominate entomology society awards 

Mark Hoddle
The Pacific Branch of the Entomological Society of America gave out 10 professional awards for 2022. UC scientists took home six of the awards – five went to Riverside and one to Davis.

Mark Hoddle, UC Cooperative Extension specialist and UC Riverside Center for Invasive Species research director, won the C.W. Woodworth Award for outstanding accomplishments in the field over the last 10 years. He develops biological controls for invasive pests including Asian citrus psyllid, spotted lantern fly and glassy-winged sharpshooter. 

Jessica Purcell
Jessica Purcell, UCR assistant professor of entomology, won the Distinction in Student Mentoring Award. Purcell studies social behaviors in insects including ants, invasive wasps and spiders.

Dong-Hwan Choe
Dong-Hwan Choe, UC Cooperative Extension specialist and a UCR associate professor of entomology, won the Distinguished Achievement in Extension Award. He is developing new management programs for ants and bed bugs.

Erin Wilson-Rankin
Erin Wilson-Rankin, a UCR associate professor, won the Distinguished Achievement in Teaching Award. Her research focuses on food webs, understanding which insects and animals are predators, which ones are prey, and how these roles affect the environment around them.

Kerry Mauck
Kerry Mauck, UCR assistant professor of entomology, won the Plant-Insect Ecosystems Award.  She studies plant viruses, vectors such as aphids and psyllids, and the biochemical mechanisms that allow them to function.

Geoffrey Attardo
Geoffrey Attardo, UC Davis medical entomologist-geneticist, won the Medical, Urban, and Veterinary Entomology Award. Attardo monitors the dynamics of vector insects at the levels of physiology, population genetics and environmental interactions and is renowned for his groundbreaking work on tsetse flies. Read more about Attardo's work at

Read more about the UCR award recipients at

EcoFarm honors Smith with ‘Sustie' award

Richard Smith
The Ecological Farming Association (EcoFarm) awarded Richard Smith, UCCE vegetable crops and weed science farm advisor for Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties, the Steward of Sustainable Agriculture award, or “Sustie.”

EcoFarm developed the Sustie to honor people who have been actively and critically involved in ecologically sustainable agriculture and have demonstrated their long-term, significant contributions to the well-being of agriculture and the planet.

Smith has enthusiastically researched nutrient and pest management in organic crop production. He worked tirelessly to assist growers, from small- to large-scale farmers, in solving production problems and developing practices to improve crop and soil quality. Smith has been actively involved with EcoFarm and, starting in 1990, he served for many years as a co-facilitator of the annual Bus Tour.

He has been an unflagging advocate for increasing the use of cover crops and worked with growers on evaluating varieties and novel ways of including them in production systems. He was editor of the UC ANR publication “Cover Crops for Vegetable Production.”



Ag Day at the Capitol returns

Senators Anna Caballero and Maria Elena Durazo observed the citrus and avocado varieties.

After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the California Department of Food and Agriculture hosted Ag Day at the Capitol in Sacramento on March 23.

“It was incredibly energizing to reconnect with so many legislators, partners, supporters and friends to share in the joy and promise of our work,” said Vice President Glenda Humiston. “Things almost felt ‘normal' again!” 

Anne Megaro, government and community relations director, organized ANR's displays and representation, which included Humiston, UCCE farm advisors Sarah Light and Rachael Long, Sheldon 4-H youth and UC Master Gardeners of Sacramento County. 

One booth displayed myriad citrus varieties grown at Lindcove Research and Extension Center and avocado varieties grown at South Coast Research and Extension Center. 

Senator John Laird poses with 4-H volunteer Liz McWhorter, Rachael Long and Sarah Light

Among the many legislators who visited the ANR booths was Senator John Laird, who championed the historic increase to ANR's budget.

“No other event that occurs here, of the hundreds every year, draws crowds like Ag Day, and a lot of the legislators who have no concept or association with agriculture come by, plus their staff,” said Senator Jim Nielsen. “It's really a special day because it affirms the importance of agriculture to California and the world.”

Senator Jim Nielsen and Glenda Humiston.

The day before Ag Day at the Capitol, ANR's Global Food Initiative Fellow Conor McCabe, Pam Kan-Rice of Strategic Communications, and Megaro visited legislators' offices to hand out Tango mandarins grown at Lindcove REC and personally invite legislators and their staff to Ag Day. Tango mandarins are a small, seedless, easy-to-peel fruit bred by UC Riverside genetics professor Mikeal Roose and often sold under the brand names Cutie or Halo. 

The following are some photos of the Ag Day event. To see more photos, check out #AgDay2022 on Twitter.

Assemblymember Megan Dahle, center, with Anne Megaro and Conor McCabe on the day before Ag Day.
Assemblymember Megan Dahle, center, with Anne Megaro and Conor McCabe on the day before Ag Day.

The three are standing in front of a U.S. flag in Dahle's office.

Assemblymember Carlos Villapudua and Anne Megaro.
Assemblymember Carlos Villapudua and Anne Megaro.

Anne, left, and the assemblyman are holding small bags of mandarins. The bags are decorated with orange and blue buttons and postcards.

Doralicia Garay and Anne Megaro set up the UC ANR booth.
Doralicia Garay and Anne Megaro set up the UC ANR booth.

Dora, left, wearing a facemask, arranges avocados in a bowl on a table. Anne writes the name of the variety on an avocado. Behind them, banners read "Learning about Agriculture" and Eating Healthy."

From left, Glenda Humiston, Senator Brian Dahle, Anne Megaro and Senator Steven Bradford.
From left, Glenda Humiston, Senator Brian Dahle, Anne Megaro and Senator Steven Bradford.

Standing in front of the UC ANR booth, Dahle holds an avocado the size of a small football, Bradford holds a cloth ANR bag that reads "Grow California Together."

Glenda Humiston with Assemblymember James Gallagher.
Glenda Humiston with Assemblymember James Gallagher.

Humiston and Gallagher face each other in conversation, surrounded by Ag Day visitors.

Assemblymember Rudy Salas and a 4-H Sheldon club member.
Assemblymember Rudy Salas and a 4-H Sheldon club member.

The 4-Her holds a small goat as a goat in a pen in the foreground looks at them.

Glenda Humiston and Assemblymember Akilah Weber.
Glenda Humiston and Assemblymember Akilah Weber.

The Master Gardener display of flower photos is visible over Humiston's shoulder. Weber stands beside citrus varieties.

Anne Megaro and Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer.
Anne Megaro and Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer.

They are standing in front of the ANR citrus display. Anne is holding a large avocado and the assemblyman is holding a dark oblong avocado and two oranges.

Pam Kan-Rice and Assemblymember Janet Nguyen.
Pam Kan-Rice and Assemblymember Janet Nguyen.

Nguyen holds a cloth ANR bag that reads Grow Agriculture Together.

Mike Hsu, left, and Conor McCabe greet an Ag Day visitor.
Mike Hsu, left, and Conor McCabe greet an Ag Day visitor.

Mike gestures toward avocado varieties that a woman is looking at.

Senator Susan Rubio tweeted her thanks to California 4-H.
Senator Susan Rubio tweeted her thanks to California 4-H.

Rubio holds a black bird. Tweet reads, "Loved visiting. Thank you for all you do our young people. California 4-H.

Posted on Thursday, March 31, 2022 at 4:06 PM

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

Lindcove REC calls for proposals

Lindcove Research and Extension Center is accepting research proposals until May 27.

Located in the foothills of Tulare County, LREC has land, labor and facilities available for 2022-2023 research projects. The Research Advisory Committee reviews proposals, and projects are evaluated based on scientific merit and regional need. While LREC is primarily a citrus research center, avocado and walnut trees are also grown there, and other crops are welcome. 

Open ground available for planting

  • Field 81E, 0.45 acres

Citrus orchards available for research

  • Cutter Valencia on C35 rootstock (Field 21) 4.10 acres, planted 1992
  • Parent navel on C-35 rootstock (Field 22) 4.10 acres, planted 1992
  • Washington navel on Troyer rootstock (Field 93) 4.5 acres, planted 1983
  • Valencia strains on mixed rootstock (Field 11S), 1.94 acres, planted 1993
  • Tango mandarin on Carrizo rootstock (Field 42W) 2.15 acres, planted 2019
  • Mixed citrus, (Field 53E) .50 acres
  • Mixed citrus, (Field 64C) .71 acres
  • Mixed clementines on Carrizo rootstock (Field 73N) 1.72 acres, planted 2004
  • Lemons on unknown rootstock (Field 82E) 1.15 acres

Facilities and support staff

The electronic fruit grading system in the packline provides individual fruit data including weight, size, volume, number, scarring, texture, Brix and color. The packline also has a high-pressure fruit washer, waxer and dryer. Three cold storage rooms that hold 60 fruit bins each, walk-in cold boxes, and de-greening rooms have the capability for ethylene gassing.

The Fruit Quality Evaluation Laboratory is capable of evaluating rind thickness, granulation, texture, puff and crease, juice weights, Brix, sugar/acid ratio and the California standard. A staff research associate located at the center is available to collect field and laboratory data.

Proposal process

Proposals are due May 27, 2022. To submit a proposal, go to the UC LREC website, click on the “Research” tab, then the “Submitting a proposal” tab, then the “Proposal management” tab. Detailed instructions of how to submit a proposal can be downloaded using the “User Guide” link on the RAC project management page. 

If you have any questions regarding research, contact Ashraf El-Kereamy, director, at (559) 592-2408 Ext 1154 or  

For questions regarding land, labor or facilities, contact Kurt Schmidt, superintendent, at (559) 592-2408 Ext 1153 or

For information on submission of proposals, contact Jasmin Del Toro, business officer, at (559) 592-2408 Ext 1151 or

Posted on Wednesday, March 30, 2022 at 2:16 PM
  • Author: Jasmin Del Toro

Sierra Foothill REC calls for proposals

The UC Sierra Foothill Research and Extension Center is soliciting proposals to support new and continuing research on rangeland and oak woodland ecology and management, beef cattle health, production and management, as well as related agricultural and natural resource themes important to California.

Basic resources and facilities to support research include 5,000 acres of northern Sierra foothill oak woodland–annual grass rangeland as well as irrigated pastures, riparian areas and access to the Yuba River. An approximately 160 head cow-calf herd and access to up to 300 head of steers/heifers to support animal production, animal health and grazing research is also available. SFREC maintains a dry lab for sample processing and a dormitory as well as large and small conference rooms.

The center's Research Advisory Committee will evaluate proposed research for scientific merit and regional need. Approved projects will be eligible for center-provided support, which includes land, labor, technical assistance, equipment and facilities.

Proposals may be submitted through the REC Manage System via the SFREC website: For full consideration, please submit your proposal by May 9, 2022.

Posted on Wednesday, March 30, 2022 at 2:10 PM
  • Author: Michele Flavell

Read more

Webmaster Email: