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Posts Tagged: Marvin Flores

ANR GROWS bears fruit

Michael Zwahlen's family really digs gardening. One of many ANR staff members who participated in ANR GROW, Zwahlen planted vegetables.

ANR Staff Assembly's ANR GROWS program was so successful in 2020, they plan to offer it again this year, according to Marvin Flores, Staff Assembly chair for 2020-21.

“The ANR Grows program was birthed out of an NPR radio program discussing Victory Gardens during WWII and food insecurity in California,” Flores said. “During the time of Covid-19, many folks were working from home and needed projects to invest their energy into.”

Staff Assembly members curtailed travel due to COVID-19 restrictions and decided to allocate a portion of their unused travel funds to the UCANR Grows Program.

ANR employees can get reimbursed up to $50 for soil, seeds, transplants, compost and gardening supplies. To participate, fill out the form at ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/files/346146.pdf. ANR Staff Assembly is accepting receipts from Jan. 15 to May 15.

Jessica Conde-Rebholtz, Sue Lake,Jasmin DeToro and Kathryn Stein collaborated with Flores to structure and implement the program.

“I am overjoyed that the 2020 ANR Grows program was able to reach 114 recipients; astonishingly, such a small investment helped so many during this difficult time,” Flores said.

A few ANR staff members who got growing with the seed money from ANR Staff Assembly shared some of their thoughts and photos of their gardens with Flores.

“I was so inspired by reading the testimonials from the ANR Grows program. Especially those that discussed getting their whole family involved in the garden, how their garden provided clean, great-tasting veggies, a quiet space to think, and some therapeutic healing. 

"I was also impressed by how many first-time gardeners were inspired by the ANR Grows Program to get out and try out their green thumbs.” 

Some of the comments and photos sent to Flores are shared below.

Jenel Vincze had to compete with bugs for her vegetables.

Jenel Vincze, program administrative assistant in Santa Clara County: “I received a reimbursement this past year for some veggies to plant in a garden, but had a heck of a time with something that kept eating the leaves off of all of the plants. I really appreciate UC ANR for giving me the opportunity to try my hand at gardening during this strange year.” 

Shulamit Shroder and her partner planted tomatoes, peppers, beans and zucchini.

Shulamit Shroder, UCCE community education specialist 2 in Kern County: My partner and I planted tomatoes, peppers, beans and zucchini. This was his first time having a backyard garden and he was blown away by the taste of freshly picked, homegrown tomatoes.” 

Michael Zwahlen, safety and facilities assistant: “My kids and I really got busy last spring and planted lots of vegetables in both our front yard and backyard. The pumpkins were the most successful as well as string beans and sunflowers. I got my kids out there weekly with me preparing the soil, planting the seeds, pulling weeds and watering frequently. We also grew tomatoes, squash and corn.”

Ryan Keiffer harvested a bounty of shishito peppers.

Ryan Keiffer, agricultural technician for UCCE Mendocino County: “I was a recipient of ANR Grows and had great success in my shishito peppers this year. Sun Gold tomatoes graced many salads, pastas, and on top of cottage cheese all summer.” 

With advice from the UC Master Food Preservers, Katie Churchill stored some okra that she grew in her garden.

Katie Churchill, administrative officer and financial manager for UCCE Capitol Corridor: “I really appreciate the ANR Grows project! It allowed me to begin a project I probably would not have started on my own, and I enjoyed having something ‘new' to do at home while getting rewarded with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. Additionally, my favorite was working with the UC Master Food Preservers of Solano and Yolo Counties for advice on how to safely pickle okra. With their instruction, I made four jars of pickled okra, which my family loves and we've already devoured three of the jars!” 

Minerva Gonzalez added plants to attract butterflies and hummingbirds to her garden.

Minerva Gonzalez, lab assistant III in Kern County: “Our garden this year provided us with plenty of vegetables and fruits. For the first time, we added a butterfly and hummingbird habitat.”

Emily Dimond grew her own tomatoes and basil for fresh caprese salad.

Emily Dimond, community education specialist II for the CalFresh Healthy Living Program in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties: “Thanks to the ANR Grows award, I was able to purchase tomato and basil seedlings and a bit of fertilizer to work on my garden. I made a tasty, fresh caprese salad with our harvest to share with my family. Thank you for helping me jump-start my garden and share delicious meals!”  

Elaine Silver's dog helped her grow cabbage.

Elaine Silver, CalFresh Healthy Living, UC nutrition educator for San Mateo-San Francisco counties: Because of the funds I received from UCANR, I was able to grow beautiful heads of cabbage! These pictures show how big they got! My dog loved being in the garden with me too!

Stephanie Rill and her daughter tended the garden together.

Stephanie Rill, UCCE entomology research associate in Kern County: “My daughter and I spent many hours in the garden planting, tending and harvesting. We have continued now with a fall garden and are still harvesting bell peppers from the spring. The funds helped us develop a drip system for the garden that helped so much this year.”

Dana Brady, climate-smart agriculture community education specialist in Glenn County: “I received a GROWS reimbursement this past spring and it helped kick start our garden – we went to the local Ace and bought some starter plants, tomato cages and some compost. From there we caught the gardening bug and kept expanding our garden into two raised troughs and 4 beds on the ground!”

Nicole Vital credits gardening with helping keep her mind and body healthy while pregnant during the pandemic.

Nicole Vital of the Nutrition Policy Institute: “I can't express how thankful I was this year to have the luxury of being able to supplement my meals with homegrown veggies. The ANR GROWS program encouraged me to broaden my garden to include much more than herbs. My family enjoyed a bountiful harvest of eggplants, beans, daikon, celery, tomatoes, tomatillos, cucumber, squash, and bell peppers. Working in the garden provided me with an outlet for stress from being pregnant during a pandemic in addition to moderate exercise, helping keep both my mind and body healthy during a difficult time. “

Gwen Conville has new respect for farmers after growing vegetables.

Gwen Conville, illustrator at Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center: “Very gratifying to get food from essentially nothing and know exactly where it came from and watch veggies mature. It wasn't all success, but gave me such an increased appreciation of farmers, especially small organic farmers. Anyone who eats should experience the same; there'd be less food waste if we realized how difficult it is to make food. Vegetables are a bargain. I don't know how growers make a profit on their products.  

Tammy Majcherek, community education specialist II for Orange County at South Coast Research & Extension Center: “Being able to create this small garden was a really nice diversion during this unusual time period with the added benefit of some fresh food.”

Yolanda Silva, UCCE nutrition educator for Alameda County, grew flowers as well as vegetables.

 

Posted on Friday, February 12, 2021 at 6:05 PM

AVP Powers announces 51 proposals invited for competitive and high-reward grants

AVP Wendy Powers announced the letters of intent (LOIs) for which principal investigators have been invited to submit full proposals to ANR's Competitive Grants Program and High-Risk/High-Reward Grants Program. The list of 51 approved projects can be found at http://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/files/261626.pdf.

This year ANR received a total of 108 letters of intent — 97 for the Competitive Grants Program and 11 for the High-Risk/High-Reward Grants Program. Strategic Initiative leaders and their respective panels reviewed all letters of intent thoroughly to address the appropriateness of the proposals in addressing the goals and criteria outlined by each funding opportunity.

ANR Competitive Grants Program

The purpose of the ANR competitive grants program is to address high-priority issue areas identified by at least one of the strategic initiatives: Endemic and Invasive Pests and Diseases (EIPD), Healthy Families and Communities (HFC), Sustainable Food Systems (SFS), Sustainable Natural Ecosystems (SNE), and Water Quality, Quantity and Security (Water).

ANR Competitive Grants Program 2017 Cycle:

  • Full proposals due June 19
  • Technical peer review: mid-June – early September 2017
  • Strategic Initiative review and recommendations: end of September 2017
  • Program Council review and recommendations: October/November 2017
  • Announcement of funded grants: November/December 2017

High-Risk/High-Reward Grants Program

Given the complexity of societal problems, high-risk research is necessary to achieve gains for real progress in addressing present and emerging challenges. This program will provide funds to initiate and complete research and proof-of-concept efforts that serve as the basis for larger funding opportunities. These projects must be of a high-risk/high-reward nature that are best conducted in a controlled, research setting and, if successful, lend themselves to subsequent larger funding opportunities and/or intellectual property development.

Proposed projects must be within the scope of the ANR Strategic Vision. All ANR academics with PI status are eligible to apply. Proposals will be accepted using the same timeline as outlined for the traditional competitive grants program, but reviewed separately due to the nature of the proposal.

For questions about ANR's competitive grants program or high-risk/high-reward grants program, please contact Melanie Caruso at mmcaruso@ucanr.edu.

Nutrition Policy Institute launches Research to Action news brief

The Nutrition Policy Institute has launched a news brief called Research to Action. The publication will provide information on research, policy, news, announcements, events, articles and action items focused on nutrition and healthy communities. 

The first issue looks at the work of the National Drinking Water Alliance (NDWA). NPI is the “hub” for NDWA, which engages in and coordinates evidence-based efforts going on all over the country to improve tap water safety and access, especially for children, and to provide drinking water education and promotion. The NDWA website is a “go-to” resource for information on drinking water. 
 
Future editions of Research to Action will be sent several times per year. Please sign up for the Research to Action mailing list, and please share Research to Action with colleagues who would be interested in receiving it.

4-H calls alumni and friends to join its new network

If 4-H has touched your life, raise your hand. Visit http://4-H.org/raiseyourhand to voice your support for the California 4-H youth development program, help it win a national competition and connect with a network of 4-H alumni and friends.

You are considered alumni if you were in a 4-H Club, took part in a 4-H after-school program, served as a volunteer leader or taught a project. Friends of 4-H are also invited to raise their hands.

“Having experienced our programs first-hand, our alumni know about the positive impact of 4-H,” said Glenda Humiston, vice president of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources and a 4-H alumna.

As part of the new 4-H network being built in the 4-H Raise Your Hand campaign, members will get news about 4-H programs in California and stay in touch with a program that made a difference in their lives.

“I've raised my hand,” said Humiston, who credits 4-H with helping her become the first in her family to attend college. She later served in the Peace Corps, received a federal appointment from President Obama and now leads the statewide research and outreach arm of UC.

The National 4-H program, which currently empowers nearly 6 million youth across the country, aims to extend its reach to 10 million by 2025. It has launched a competition among states to see which ones can add the most alumni and friends to the network by June 30, 2017. A map showing the current front runners is on the registration page.

Posted on Monday, May 1, 2017 at 10:00 AM
  • Author: Jeannette Warnert

Educating policymakers about UC ANR

From left, Pia Van Benthem, outreach program coordinator for UC Davis Center for Spatial Technologies and Remote Sensing (CSTARS) and the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, Congressman Ami Bera, Hogan and Susan Ustin, CSTARS director.

Hogan visits Capitol Hill

In early April, Sean Hogan, academic coordinator II for Informatics and Geographic Information Systems, presented at the AmericaView Winter Business Meeting, in Reston, Va., as representative of the CaliforniaView section of the consortium of remote sensing scientists. Hogan spoke about some of the ways that UC ANR is using drones to advance environmental and agricultural research. While he was near Washington D.C., Hogan went to Capitol Hill to meet with Congressman Ami Bera, Congressman Paul Cook and staffers for Senator Diane Feinstein.

Read more in the IGIS blog //ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=23768.

Congressman Jim Costa blends a salad for students at La Vina Elementary School in Madera County as UCCE nutrition educator Angelica Perez observes.

Congressman Costa visits UC CalFresh class in Madera

When United States Congressman Jim Costa learned about the federally funded nutrition education programs being offered in his district, he made plans to visit.

He wanted a first-hand experience with UC CalFresh, in which UC Cooperative Extension educators visit classrooms to share new foods, teach healthy eating strategies and demonstrate physical activity to children and low-income families.

Read more in the Food blog http://ucanr.edu/?blogpost=23767&blogasset=91109

Posted on Sunday, April 30, 2017 at 5:37 PM

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