Posts Tagged: Rob Bennaton
Farmers, financiers, people from government agencies and nonprofit organizations who work with UC Cooperative Extension advisors, as well as beginning farmers seeking to contact their local UCCE advisors visited the UC ANR exhibit at the EcoFarm Conference Jan. 24-27 at Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove.
Marketing assistant Tyler Ash apprised visitors perusing the racks of UC ANR publications of the resources available in their home counties and online.
Nearby, Alda Pires, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis, and Ph.D. candidate Laura Patterson had their own booth to meet people raising small livestock and discuss their research projects. Patterson is studying pigs raised outdoors and Pires studies farming systems using raw manure as fertilizer.
“Sow Good” was the theme of the 38th annual EcoFarm Conference, which focused on regenerative agriculture.
Outside the exhibit tent, breakout sessions enlightened participants on dozens of topics from soil health to organic production practices to marketing. Rachael Long, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Yolo County, was one of three panelists discussing the benefits of hedgerows. Because hedgerows provide habitat for beneficial insects, fewer insecticide sprays are needed for adjacent tomato fields, according to her study. Long said the hedgerows saved growers $260 per field per year.
For backyard gardeners and urban growers, Rob Bennaton, UC Cooperative Extension urban agriculture advisor in the Bay Area, gave a talk on improving soil quality for growing food in urban areas. Before planting food crops in an urban plot, Bennaton advised the audience members to test the soil for contaminants such as lead, arsenic, chromium and mercury and to map where they sample the soil.
After listening to participants in one session discuss the efficacy of cats for rodent control – orange tabby cats were deemed most effective – one attendee remarked that meeting new people at events such as EcoFarm helps reveal opportunities for UC ANR outreach.
Downtown Oakland was the site of the biannual UC President's Advisory Commission on Agriculture and Natural Resources (PAC) meeting on Aug. 9, which included a Q&A session with President Napolitano, program presentations from UC Cooperative Extension county directors Rob Bennaton and Igor Lacan, and updates from deans Helene Dillard (UC Davis), Keith Gilless (UC Berkeley) and Kathryn Uhrich (UC Riverside), as well as Executive Associate Dean John Pascoe (filling in for Dean Michael Lairmore, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine).
In her opening remarks, UC ANR Vice President Glenda Humiston introduced Mark Bell, the division's new vice provost for statewide programs and strategic initiatives. Bell spoke about the strength of the UC system, the diversity of programs offered by UC ANR statewide, and his plans to leverage the strong volunteer and staff base of programs like UC Master Gardeners and 4-H.
Humiston also offered updates on the division's strategic plan and the significant progress made in implementing its key goals. Associate Vice President Tu Tran then gave a presentation on the division's financial situation, which he titled “A Fiscal Plan for Success.” Tran addressed UC ANR's place in the state budget and its revenue projections through FY 2021-22, which includes significant growth in major gifts and fundraising.
Bennaton and Lacan both gave spirited and enthusiastic presentations that were received well. Bennaton, who serves as county director for Alameda and Contra Costa counties as well as UCCE urban agriculture advisor for the Bay Area, discussed the benefits of urban agriculture and the assortment of activities going on in community development, habitat restoration and youth programming.
Lacan, also a UCCE environmental horticulture advisor for the Bay Area and co-director in San Mateo and San Francisco counties, talked about the diverse and richly rewarding work he spearheads in urban forestry. His work currently focuses on sustainable management of urban trees and urban water.
During a Q&A period, the president engaged PAC members on various issues such as potential public-private partnerships that could involve UC ANR, targeted approaches to advocacy and deferred maintenance needs for UC writ large but also for UC ANR and its research and extension centers system, specifically.
The deans gave updates on research and activities occurring at their respective colleges and school.
The next PAC meeting is scheduled for December, also in Oakland.
Staff and academic people managers, are you ready for a leap in your management development? If yes, we encourage you to apply to the Management Skills Assessment Program (MSAP) by Wednesday, Jan. 18.
This program is designed to assess the management skills of high potential, early career supervisors and managers for future leadership opportunities at the University of California. The next MSAP will be April 17-20, 2017, at the UCLA Conference Center in Lake Arrowhead.
Two seats for the spring 2017 MSAP program are available for UC ANR employees.
Eligibility requirements include
- Full-time career status with a current, satisfactory (or better) performance evaluation
- Career Tracks job classification as a supervisor or manager
Participants will be selected based on an evaluation of the applicant's career goals in management, level of skills essential for performing management functions, and demonstrated career path and/or strong commitment to management skill development. The supervisor of the applicant is also required to complete a supporting statement as part of the application process and commit to participate in the required post-program activities.
The cost for the program is $1,095 (including all program materials and room and board for three days and two nights). This does not include transportation or other related travel costs. ANR will cover the cost of the program (including eligible travel expenses) for the successful applicants.
Participants can expect a demanding program of activities from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. each day, with no time in between to check email or attend to work responsibilities. Assessees also eat with other assessees and share small condos.
Application instructions and further information about the program are at http://msap.ucr.edu/. For affiliation, chooseUC ANR in the application. A UC ANR committee will review all applications and make the final selection. Completed applications must be submitted online at http://msap.ucr.edu by Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017. Supervisors also must complete a required section in the submission for application consideration.
For more information, contact Jodi Azulai, ANR learning and development coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comments from MSAP participants
Nutrition Education Program Manager, UCCE Sacramento
MSAP brought to awareness things right under the surface that I could not pinpoint. I received confirmation on things I already knew about myself and areas I was grappling and how to hone in on these areas to make modifications to get a better response. I found MSAP to be a unique experience that brings together its people and talents while creating a space for deeper reflection, awareness and collective synergy. I was reminded just how vast and wide our spectrum of experience and knowledge truly is. It was a wonderful experience.
County Director, UCCE Alameda
MSAP helped me with goal setting, prioritizing, communication skills and gradually increasing efficiency. It also provided a greater context of the Country Director's role from a leadership perspective in team building.
MSAP cannot take place without Assessors. A big THANK YOU to Tunyalee Martin, associate director for UC IPM Communications, who said:
Middle managers can become MSAP assessors
Assessors learn to observe and provide constructive feedback. They benefit in multiple ways:
- Receive intensive practice using a feedback method that promotes effective interaction with employees and sound management
- Contribute to the retention, growth, and development of University employees
- Expanded contact and collaboration with other University managers committed to professional excellence
- Develop greater self-awareness themselves
- Expand their own professional networks across UC beyond their individual location
- Learn better management practices from assessor training and from new colleague
Help UC ANR serve this systemwide initiative for upward mobility in the UC system. Academics may add the assessor service to their merit and promotion package. For information on how to become an assessor, contact Jodi Azulai at email@example.com.
The UC Cooperative Extension office in Alameda County has relocated from Harbor Bay Parkway in the city of Alameda to Hayward. The new UCCE Alameda County address is 224 West Winton Ave., Suite 134, Hayward, CA 94544. Rob Bennaton, UCCE director for Alameda and Contra Costa counties, can be reached at (510) 670-5621. Please consult the ANR directory for the new phone numbers of other UCCE employees in Alameda County.