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Posts Tagged: Stephanie Larson

Match.Graze matches livestock with land to reduce wildfire fuel

Cattle graze dry grass to reduce wildfire fuel. Photo by Roger Praplan.

UCCE Sonoma County is excited to announce a new tool to match grazers with landowners: Match.Graze. The free online service that allows users to find their perfect grazing match, is now live.

“It's like Tinder for livestock,” said Stephanie Larson, UCCE livestock and range management advisor and director for Sonoma County, who developed Match.Graze.

Match.Graze is an interactive database of California contract grazers and landowners. Property owners create profiles with information about land they have available for grazing while livestock owners enter specifics about their herds for hire. That information will be associated with a marker pinned on a map of California. Users will be able to search the markers to find a contract grazer or available acreage to suit their vegetation management needs. 

“Every property is different and requires thoughtful consideration of how it should best be grazed,” Larson said. “Put Match.Graze to work and let's prevent catastrophic fire while helping landowners and livestock owners.”

Larson would like your help getting the word out to livestock owners and landowners across the state who may want to participate.

To get started, they should go to https://matchgraze.com and create a pin.

“We recommend doing this on a computer rather than a phone,” said Karen Giovannini, UCCE agriculture ombudsman for Sonoma County.

To make it easy for you to share Match.Graze with your landowners and grazers, Giovannini has assembled a sample email message, videos that explain the program, sample social media posts, photos of grazing animals and more at http://ucanr.edu/MGpromo.

Posted on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 12:25 PM

Regent Stegura 'blown away' by UCCE Sonoma work

UC alumni regent-designate Debby Stegura met UCCE staff and stakeholders in Sonoma County to learn more about UC ANR serves Californians away from campuses..

Vice President Glenda Humiston introduced alumni regent-designate Debby Stegura to UC Cooperative Extension staff and their community partners and clientele in Sonoma County on Nov. 15.

After visiting Beretta Dairy, Bayer Farm Park and Gardens, Sheppard Elementary and Stuhlmuller Vineyards, Regent Stegura tweeted:  

“Blown away by @ucanr tour of @UCCESonoma work—Beretta dairy, @UCMasterGarden, @Stuhlmullerwine, @California4H. Saw #kincaidfire reach, how to prepare better for future fires. @ucanr work benefits all of CA. Thank you!”

The retired business litigator and UC Davis alumna was joined on the tour by Anne Shaw, secretary and chief of staff to the regents, and Michael Bedard, UC state government relations legislative director.

At Beretta Dairy, UCCE dairy advisor Randi Black, third from left, explains calves are physically separated to prevent disease, but they can see and socialize with other calves.

Stephanie Larson, UCCE director for Sonoma County, led the tour, which first visited Beretta Dairy.

“It's so nice to have a dairy advisor,” Sonoma County dairy farmer Doug Beretta said, crediting Randi Black, UC Cooperative Extension dairy advisor, with providing the technical assistance he needed to apply for a grant to reduce methane emissions. 

Black, who joined UC ANR in 2017, helped four local dairies obtain grants totaling $2.5 million and said the projects propose to reduce emissions by 9,327 metric tons of CO2 equivalent over the next 5 years, which is comparable to removing 2,028 passenger vehicles from the road for a year.

Beretta talked about the work he has done at the dairy, based on UC research, to improve water quality. David Lewis, UCCE director for Marin and Napa counties, noted that similar manure management and water-quality work is being implemented by UCCE clientele in his counties.

Discussing the hardships created by low milk prices in the dairy industry, Beretta said he appreciated UCCE's agricultural ombudsman Karen Giovannini guiding producers who want to sell value-added products through the permitting process.

From left, Regent Stegura and Michael Bedard talk with Glenda Humiston at Bayer Farm Park and Gardens.

From the dairy, Stegura and the group met with Mimi Enright, UC Master Gardener Program manager for Sonoma County, UC Master Gardener volunteers and Julia Van Soelen Kim, North Bay food systems advisor at Bayer Farm Park and Gardens.

Collaborating with Bayer Farm, the Master Gardeners have been expanding outreach to Spanish-speaking members of the community. In addition to all of the traditional Master Gardener outreach, the Master Gardeners in Sonoma County have been actively promoting firewise landscaping to help Sonoma County residents better prepare for wildfires. Using UC ANR materials is critical, Enright said, to assure people the recommendations are based on scientific research.

Julia Van Soelen Kim explains how she and Mimi Enright launched a citizen science project with community members to assess food safety of produce grown in gardens after urban wildfires.
After the wildfires in 2017, Van Soelen Kim and Enright launched a citizen science project with community partners to assess produce safety. Within days of the fire, volunteers collected 200 samples of leafy greens from school, backyard and community gardens. With funding from UC ANR and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, they expanded testing to soil and partnered with UC Davis researchers to test eggs laid by backyard poultry, and published guidance for produce safety after urban wildfire.

After the Kincade Fire, when growers and gardeners asked if produce grown outdoors was safe to eat, Enright said UCCE Sonoma County could tell them, based on local research, it was safe to eat if consumers removed outer leaves and washed the produce and that the health benefits of eating fresh produce outweigh any trace contamination.

UCCE has been leading a coalition of community partners and government organizations to educate the community on reducing food waste and increasing food recovery. When PG&E announces public safety power shutoffs, they promote composting food that can't be eaten so it doesn't end up in a landfill.

“This kind of service in communities is not as well-known about UC as the campuses,” Humiston commented to the regent.

After telling Regent Stegura, VP Humiston and others what they like about 4-H, the 4-H members exchanged high-fives with them.

Across the street from Bayer Farm, Diego Mariscal, 4-H program assistant, has been collaborating with Sheppard Elementary School. It is one of several schools in the county providing 4-H afterschool clubs and other 4-H programs designed to nurture the next generation of Latino leaders. Last spring, Mariscal worked with families to build a 4-H soccer league for elementary school children. Parents, college and high school students were trained by 4-H to teach children teamwork, soccer skills and healthy eating habits. More than 200 new underserved youth participated in 4-H programs in Sonoma County during the 2018-2019 year.

A few of the soccer players, proudly wearing their green 4-H soccer uniforms, told the group what they liked about 4-H. 4-H All Star Corrianna E., who participates in the 4-H teen program, shared her experience in 4-H and expressed gratitude to the program for helping her overcome her shyness to become a strong public speaker. Corrianna's mother, Naomi Edwards, also shared her experience as 4-H Council President for Sonoma County. 

John Gorman, fourth from right, pointed out where the Kincade Fire burned Stuhlmuller Vineyards property, forcing him to sell the cattle and take a total loss on the smoke-damaged wine grapes.

The tour's last stop was at Stuhlmuller Vineyards, where vineyard manager John Gorman told Stegura and the group that California's preeminent grape growing region relies on UCCE for sound advice to manage pests and emerging problems.

“You want to know what's a good cultural practice? Rhonda Smith has answers backed up by hard science,” Gorman said of the UCCE viticulture advisor.

Stephanie Larson says her new grazing database Match.Graze to connect ranchers with landowners who want to use grazing to reduce fire fuels is just one of the ways UCCE is helping the community prepare for wildfire.
When new landowners ask Gorman for advice, he refers them to Steven Swain, UCCE environmental horticulture advisor, who advises small parcel land managers in Sonoma County on managing the land for fire and wildlife. “Without UCCE, where would they turn?” Gorman asked, adding that people from private companies may have recommendations that may not be in best interest of the land. 

Larson introduced new UC IPM advisor Cindy Kron, who succeeds recent retiree Lucia Varela. Kron is launching an IR-4 project to study pesticides for olives, which isn't a big enough market to interest private investment in research. She's also monitoring pears for brown marmorated stink bug because early detection is key to controlling the pest. Spotted lanternfly isn't in California yet, but grapes are among its favorite hosts so Kron is working with UC Master Gardener volunteers and other community members to watch for the exotic pest. 

The Kincade Fire destroyed fences and scorched the rangeland at Stuhlmuller Vineyards, forcing Gorman to sell the cattle. He showed the group where the fire failed to advance at the fire break created by the lush vineyards. As a result of the Kincade Fire, Gorman wasn't able to sell his petite verdot, chardonnay and cabernet grapes to wineries. To prove to the insurance company that smoke damaged the crop, his crew picked 30 tons of grapes for testing.

During and after the devastating fires in the North Bay, Larson, who is also a UCCE livestock and range management advisor, assisted livestock owners to gain access to their burned properties; this ensured their animals got food and water. She also organized resource meetings for landowners affected by fires, helping them apply for funding from government agencies and insurance companies for animal, forage and facility losses.

From left, VP Humiston, Regent Stegura, VP Chief of Staff Kathy Eftekhari and Anne Shaw, secretary and chief of staff to the UC regents at Stuhlmuller Vineyards.

Larson also said her new grazing database Match.Graze has been well-received by ranchers and landowners in Sonoma and Marin counties who want to use grazing to reduce fire fuels. Land managers and grazers can sign up at ucanr.edu/matchgraze to hire sheep, goats, cattle and horses to manage fire fuels.

The regent tours in Sonoma Country and Fresno County were coordinated by Anne Megaro, government and community relations director. She is planning future tours for regents at UC South Coast Research and Extension Center and other locations in the spring.

Stuhlmuller left grapes on the vine after smoke from the Kincade Fire made them unmarketable.

 

Posted on Monday, December 2, 2019 at 12:37 PM

Livestock and poultry owners asked to take survey on fire impact

Sheep at Hopland Research and Extension Center were moved out of the line of the River Fire.

People raising cattle, sheep, goats, poultry, swine, horses, llamas, alpacas, aquaculture species or other production-oriented animals in California who have experienced at least one wildfire on their property within the last 10 years are being asked to participate in a Fire Impact and Risk Evaluation (FIRE) survey.

“We will aim to quantify the impact of wildfires in different livestock production systems,” said Beatriz Martinez Lopez, director of the Center for Animal Disease Modeling and Surveillance in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. “The idea is also to create a risk map showing areas more likely to experience wildfires with high economic impact in California.

“This economic and risk assessment, to the best of our knowledge, has not been done and we hope to identify potential actions that ranchers can take to reduce or mitigate their losses if their property is hit by wildfire.”

Martínez López, who is also an associate professor in the Department of Medicine & Epidemiology at UC Davis, is teaming up with UC Cooperative Extension livestock and natural resources advisors and wildfire specialists around the state to conduct the study.

The research team includes

  • Matthew Shapero, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Ventura County
  • Rebecca Ozeran, UCCE advisor in Fresno and Madera counties
  • Stephanie Larson, UCCE livestock range management advisor in Sonoma and Marin counties
  • Sheila Barry, UCCE livestock and natural resourcesadvisor, in Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Francisco, Alameda and Contra Costa counties
  • Josh Davy, UCCE livestock, range and natural resources advisor in Tehama, Colusa and Glenn counties
  • Max Moritz, UCCE wildfire specialist, UC Santa Barbara
  • Luke Macaulay, UCCE rangeland planning and policy specialist at UC Berkeley
  • Lenya Quinn-Davidson, UCCE wildfire advisor in Humboldt, Siskiyou, Trinity and Mendocino
  • counties
Wildfire in Tehama County. Photo by Josh Davy

“The idea came up in a conference in San Diego, just when we had several ongoing wildfires and we were discussing how poorly are some areas prepared for this and the need for better emergency planning, coordination and response when not only people, but also large animals are involved,” Martínez López said. “We hope this study will provide the foundation to advance in this direction.”

“Right now, we have no good estimate of the real cost of wildfire to livestock producers in California,” said Rebecca Ozeran, UC Cooperative Extension livestock and natural resources advisor for Fresno and Madera counties. “Existing UCCE forage loss worksheets cannot account for the many other ways that wildfire affects livestock farms and ranches. As such, we need producers' input to help us calculate the range of immediate and long-term costs of wildfire.”

Stephanie Larson, UC Cooperative Extension livestock and range management advisor for Sonoma and Marin counties, agreed, saying, “The more producers who participate, the more accurate and useful our results will be.”

“We hope the survey results will be used by producers across the state to prepare for wildfire,” said Matthew Shapero, UC Cooperative Extension livestock and natural resources advisor for Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, “And by federal and private agencies to better allocate funds for postfire programs available to livestock producers.”

The survey is online at http://bit.ly/FIREsurvey. It takes 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the number of properties the participant has that have been affected by wildfire.

“Survey answers are completely confidential and the results will be released only as summaries in which no individual's answers can be identified,” said Martínez López. “This survey will provide critical information to create the foundation for future fire economic assessments and management decisions.”

The team would like your help in encouraging livestock producers who have experienced wildfire to participate in the FIRE survey.

Budget update: State funding unchanged for ANR in 2018-19

On June 22, Governor Jerry Brown signed the state budget for fiscal year 2018-19, which contains a new line item for UC ANR within the UCOP budget. UC ANR will have the same amount of funding from the state for the upcoming year as we had this year. While we appreciate that ANR did not suffer additional cuts, we still need to deal with unfunded obligations of $4 million to $5 million. This results from the UC system getting an increase of 3 percent in the coming fiscal year, which will cause increases in salaries and benefits.

We are managing this $4 million to $5 million in unfunded obligations in three ways:

  • We are slowing down hiring of UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) advisors & specialists throughout the state.
  • Statewide programs are developing additional cuts to already reduced budgets.
  • UC ANR Research and Extension Centers (RECs) are reducing the subsidy that has been provided for research projects at the RECs.

Our priority during this process is to keep UCCE advisors in the field and minimize harm to program delivery. We are fortunate that recent work on administrative efficiencies has provided some savings that we can utilize for our programs and UCCE mission.

Glenda Humiston
Vice President

Posted on Monday, July 2, 2018 at 5:37 PM

Names in the News

Fulford joins UCCE as soil quality advisor

Anthony Fulford

Anthony Fulford joined UCCE on June 18 as an area nutrient management/soil quality advisor in Stanislaus, Merced and San Joaquin counties.

Prior to joining UCCE, he studied on soil health testing and nutrient management practices for corn, soybeans, and wheat grown in Ohio as a postdoctoral researcher at The Ohio State University. Fulford studied soil fertility of rice cropping systems at the University of Arkansas where he evaluated nitrogen soil testing, nitrogen use efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions in the mid-South. His research has been focused on identifying rapid and affordable soil health measurements to better predict organic nitrogen supply to plants. He has worked closely with growers and extension educators to conduct research on nutrient management and soil health and has led demonstrations and discussions at soil health workshops.

Fulford received a Ph.D. in soil fertility from University of Arkansas, a M.S. in soil science from Southern Illinois University, and a B.S. in forestry from Colorado State University.

Fulford is based in Modesto and can be reached at (209) 525-6800 and amfulford@ucanr.edu.

Megaro named interim director of Strategic Communications

Anne Megaro

Anne Megaro has been appointed to serve as interim director of Strategic Communications in addition to her current role as director of government and community relations. She will assume this role until the Strategic Communications position is filled.

During the transition, Liz Sizensky and Pam Kan-Rice will share project management responsibilities and Cynthia Kintigh will oversee content migration to the new website design. For assistance with publicizing the impact of your work, you are welcome, as always, to contact Jeannette Warnert, Ricardo Vela or Kan-Rice directly.

Megaro can be reached at (530) 750-1218 and ammegaro@ucanr.edu. Strategic Communications staff contact information is listed at http://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/Administration/Associate_Vice_President_for_Academic_Programs_and_Strategic_Initiatives/csit/staff.

Gerry and Haviland honored by ESA

From left, Alec Gerry, president of the Pacific Branch of the Entomological Society of America Brad Higbee and David Haviland.

Alec Gerry, UC Cooperative Extension Specialist and UC Riverside Professor of Veterinary Entomology, and David Haviland, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Kern County, recently received awards from the Pacific Branch of the Entomological Society of America. 

Gerry, who created a website https://www.veterinaryentomology.org to help producers identify pests and search lists of pesticides registered for veterinary pests, received the 2018 Medical, Urban and Veterinary Entomology Award.

One person nominating Gerry wrote, “From the beginning of his career, Alec has demonstrated a consistent ability to balance scholarly investigations with providing solutions to practical pest management problems. These two spheres of endeavors have infused each other, resulting in a prodigious contribution to our knowledge of pests of livestock and poultry and the diseases they carry to humans and animals.”

Another wrote, “Alec has heavily influenced our Pacific region through his many collaborations with UC extension personnel (specialists and farm advisors in animal agriculture at the county level or up at UC Davis) and his research projects and meaningful interaction with vector control districts.”

Haviland, who delivers presentations in Spanish as well as English, received the 2018 Excellence in Extension award.

One nomination letter said, “Haviland uses his research outputs to drive his prodigious extension program. This includes 430 presentations, primarily to farmer and pest control advisor audiences, to total attendances of over 32,000 people.”

Another wrote, “In our opinion, Mr. Haviland has proven to be more intuitive, approachable, and accessible to the local agricultural industry than most. His presentations to growers and PCAs on the issues and outcome of his research have always been timely and on target and he continues to provide valuable information for our newsletters and other industry periodicals. We have experienced evidence of his hard work in getting all important findings, whether from his work or his peers, delivered to growers and PCA's quickly so that the information can be put to use. He has always been open to our pest management concerns, very creative in developing management strategies, available to answer questions, and provides leadership and outreach for new information and research findings.”

Other UC colleagues also received awards from ESA's Pacific Branch:

  • Award for Excellence in Teaching- William Walton, UC Riverside 
  • Distinction in Student Mentoring- Jay Rosenheim, UC Davis
  • Student Leadership Award- Jessica Gillung, UC Davis 

The awards were presented June 12 at the Pacific Branch Entomological Society of America meeting in Reno. 

Zalom named new editor-in-chief of journal

Frank Zalom

Frank G. Zalom, distinguished professor in the Department of Entomology and Nematology at UC Davis, will be the next editor-in-chief of the Journal of Economic Entomology, the largest of the Entomological Society of America's family of scientific journals.

“Dr. Frank Zalom's career can be viewed as a model of applied entomology derived from an understanding of basic biology, and he is an ideal choice to be the new editor-in-chief of the Journal of Economic Entomology," said ESA President Michael Parrella. "His unparalleled and broad expertise will serve to continue the journal's growth as the publication of choice for applied entomological research and to build upon the legacy of Dr. John Trumble [professor of entomology at UC Riverside]."

Zalom brings the experience of a 40-year career at the intersection of entomological research, teaching, and application. He served for 16 years as director of the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program and is the only entomologist in the UC system to ever receive a simultaneous appointment in teaching, research, and extension. His primary research focus has been on integrated pest management of agricultural crops.

"My colleagues and I on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Economic Entomology are delighted to welcome Dr. Frank Zalom as the journal's next editor-in-chief. We could not have asked for a better candidate in terms of vision, dedication, reputation, experience, and integrity," says Xuguo Zhou, associate professor of entomology at the University of Kentucky and chair of the Journal of Economic Entomology Editorial Board

"And we also express our deep gratitude to Dr. John Trumble, whose tireless work ethic and unerring leadership have driven JEE to such great success for so long," said Zhou.

Zalom will take on a five-year term as editor-in-chief.

Posted on Monday, July 2, 2018 at 8:15 AM

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