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UC ANR visits the Capitol

The first UC ANR Day at the Capitol was March 26, 2019.

UC ANR Day at the Capitol was held on March 26, 2019, to update California legislators and legislative staff on UC ANR's research and outreach projects. Vice President Glenda Humiston and a UC ANR delegation discussed a wide variety of topics during the legislative visits, including wildfire and forest health, water quality, youth development, nutrition and climate adaptation.

Every year, representatives from each UC campus gather in Sacramento for UC Day at the Capitol to educate lawmakers about the importance of research and higher education and their contributions to California's economy and progress. Although UC ANR participates in the annual Ag Day at the Capitol, this was the first UC ANR Day at the Capitol.

State Senator Jim Nielsen, fourth from left, who represents the Town of Paradise and the surrounding communities, thanked Tracy Schohr and Bailey Butler for helping Butte County residents evacuate their animals and keep them safe during the Camp Fire.

ANR's Global Food Initiative fellow Maci Mueller set up appointments with the policymakers and coordinated the UC ANR delegation to explain the value of investment in UC ANR research and outreach.

The UC ANR delegation consisted of two teams led by Humiston and Wendy Powers, associate vice president. The teams included Faith Kearns, California Institute for Water Resources academic coordinator; Ruth Dahlquist-Willard, UC Cooperative Extension small farms advisor for Fresno and Tulare counties; Tracy Schohr, UC Cooperative Extension livestock and natural resource advisor for Plumas, Sierra and Butte counties; Alena Pacheco, 4-H community education specialist in Fresno County; Bailey Butler, Oroville 4-H member; and El Dorado County 4-H Ambassadors Emily Ferrell, Josie Rothman and Isabella Veffredo, who were accompanied by El Dorado County 4-H program representatives Vera Bullard and Denise Veffredo. 

Alena Pacheco told Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman, standing fourth from left, how 4-H collaborates with UC Master Gardener Program and UC CalFresh Nutrition Education to engage at-risk children in Fresno County in gardening and other activities to teach them life and work skills.

“As a team, we were able to connect with every member or staffer that we met,” Powers wrote in her ANR Adventures blog. “Sometimes it was around the 4-H program, and what the program has done for our impressive team members, sometimes it was around fire or water, and other staffers or members were particularly interested in moringa. Either way, the goal was to make a connection so that each visit left an impression.”

“UC ANR Day was a terrific opportunity for 4-H members to practice their communication skills and get involved in advocacy at the state level,” Mueller said. 

Oroville 4-H member Bailey described for legislators and their staff how she worked from Nov. 8 when the Camp Fire broke out until after Christmas with UC Cooperative Extension advisor Tracy Schohr and UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine staff to care for 1,200 evacuated livestock and to train others to assist. Emily, a 4-H Ambassador in El Dorado County, said her 4-H experience with STEM activities and leadership training helped her get into the university of her choice – UC Santa Barbara.

Bailey and Emily told Assemblymember Laura Friedman, fifth from left, how they have benefited from their 4-H experiences and she is interested in learning more about UC Cooperative Extension activities in Los Angeles County.

The 2018-19 UC budget fact sheet can be downloaded at http://ucanr.edu/fy2018budgetbrief.
The teams visited a total of 17 offices including state senators Cathleen Galgiani (Senate Agriculture Committee chair), Hannah-Beth Jackson, Brian Jones, Connie Leyva, Mike McGuire, Holly J. Mitchell, Jim Nielsen and Scott Wilk and assemblymembers  Brian Dahle, Susan Talamantes Eggman (Assembly Agriculture Committee chair), Heath Flora, Laura Friedman, Monique Limon, Jose Medina, Jay Obernolte, Robert Rivas and Jim Wood.

Greeted warmly by each office, the teams shared examples of work being done by UC ANR in their districts, offered them assistance and thanked the legislators for their support. They left a copy of the UC ANR Snapshot, UC ANR map and overview, a 4-H fact sheet and UC at a Glance.

Legislators praised the 4-H members and UC ANR staff for the work they do for Californians.

“I look forward to making UC ANR Day at the Capitol an annual event,” Humiston said. “Telling people about the value of ANR's work is not only part of our mission, it is essential in educating others about all that we accomplish with the resources we have.”

A fact sheet showing the effects of shrinking public investment in the University of California and agricultural research can be downloaded at https://ucanr.edu/sites/Professional_Development/files/302896.pdf.

 

At Ag Day at the Capitol, UCCE Modoc County Director Laura Snell talks with Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry and Maci Mueller.
 
Senator Richard Pan discusses avocado production with VP Humiston.
 
State Senators Steven Bradford and Brian Jones talk with members of California 4-H about rabbits.
VP Humiston tells Assemblymember Steven Choi about the array of research projects conducted at South Coast Research & Extension Center in his district.
Mueller welcomed Karen Ross, secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, to the UC ANR booth at Ag Day at the Capitol.

Sean Hogan, IGIS academic coordinator, talks drones with Assemblymember Devon Mathis.
Sean Hogan, IGIS academic coordinator, talks drones with Assemblymember Devon Mathis.

Delivering hope in the midst of loss

During evacuation from the Camp Fire, Tracy Schohr tweeted information for people seeking refuge for large animals.

Between the Camp Fire in Butte County and the Woolsey Fire in Southern California in November, most ANR members have been affected in some way by the devastating wildfires. Several have experienced major personal losses that they are still dealing with.

While the Camp Fire was still raging on Nov. 14, Emily Symmes, director of UCCE in Butte County, wrote:

“As you can imagine, due to the destruction of nearly the entire town of Paradise and other ridge communities, all of our employees have numerous friends, family, and loved ones who have lost their homes and all of their belongings, as evacuations were so sudden and urgent that most left with only what they could grab in minutes. As such, all have been affected to varying degrees. We have two direct staff members, Alexandra Falk (nutrition education specialist) and John Klepps (Honey Bee Tech Transfer Team) who lived in Paradise. Both have received confirmation that their homes were among those destroyed. They and their families and pets are now safe and have found temporary housing. Many in our extended network of 4-H and Master Gardener program participants and volunteers resided in Paradise have also been heavily impacted, losing everything.”

Among the Master Gardener volunteers in Paradise who lost their houses is Bob DiPietro and his wife, parents of Damon DiPetro of ANR's IT team. Damon's sister and her family also lost their house.

Colleagues have asked how to help.

Emergency resources for UC employees

In response to queries, the Staff Assembly has posted information on their website about the impact of the Camp Fire on our ANR employees and their families at http://staffassembly.ucanr.edu/Resources_/Emergency_Resources_/. Earlier in the year, they posted similar information for those impacted by the Mendocino fires and have committed to maintain Emergency Services information on their website whenever any UC ANR employees are impacted. 

Emergency support is also available to UC employees from the university's benefit plans https://ucnet.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/2018/11/emergency-support-from-ucs-benefit-plans.html.

UCCE staff in Butte County and other counties have been reaching out to assist community members.

UC ANR assists Camp Fire survivors

In the midst of their own losses, UCCE staff in Butte County and neighboring counties have been reaching out to assist community members. For example, Ryan Cleland, 4-H representative, has been working with the 4-H community since Nov. 8, the day the Camp Fire erupted, to coordinate assistance and volunteerism. He is providing vetted and frequently updated information on where evacuated and displaced people can find help and how other community members can volunteer, donate and contribute.

The UCCE nutrition education team has been assisting with meal preparation at shelters, and also with volunteering at indoor youth activities available through the shelters and the local area recreation district.

Other UCCE staff and advisors have been volunteering where needed – helping gather and deliver supplies, volunteering at human shelters and animal shelters, helping out at the numerous meal centers that have popped up.

UC Master Gardener volunteers have been reaching out to fellow Master Gardeners who have lost their homes or remain evacuated to offer housing and other support.

Tracy Schohr, UCCE livestock and natural resource advisor in Plumas and Sierra counties, has been helping care for large animals in the evacuation zone.

The forestry, fire and natural resource advisors have ongoing fire safety research and education programs, coordinating with fire safe councils, and working with other agencies to assist in recovery and become better prepared for natural disasters.

Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2018 at 9:47 AM

Forty UCCE position proposals submitted as process enters phase 2

The 2018 UC Cooperative Extension call for positions process has entered phase 2. The UCCE county directors and REC directors have submitted 20 CE advisor position proposals and the executive associate deans, working with campus departments, have submitted 20 CE specialist position proposals. Both groups engaged program teams, statewide programs/institutes, and external stakeholders in the development of these proposals. All 40 phase 1 proposals are posted on the 2018 Call for Position web page: http://ucanr.edu/2018callforpositions.

Phase 2 is underway:

  • Program teams are reviewing the 40 phase 1 proposals to determine if there are any positions they feel are of higher priority.
  • If so, each program team can propose one additional CE advisor position and one additional CE specialist position by August 1-- remembering that the more proposals there are at the end, the lower the probability of being approved for recruitment.
  • The proposals that didn't make the phase 1 final 40 can be picked up by Program Teams. Proposed positions available for pick up can be found on the proposal ideas web page.

“We thank the ANR network for actively engaging in this participatory process to strengthen and rebuild CE positions statewide,” said Wendy Powers, associate vice president.

Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2018 at 8:58 AM

Lagrimini aims to invest in ANR for the future

Mark Lagrimini is based in Davis, but will be traveling throughout the state to ANR locations.

Mark Lagrimini, UC ANR's new vice provost of research and extension, moved into his office at 2801 Second Street in Davis on June 1.

As Vice Provost of Research and Extension, Lagrimini will oversee county-based Cooperative Extension personnel and employees at the nine UC Research and Extension Centers. His hiring was announced via ANR Update Feb. 21.

“State funding for public universities has been decreasing all across the county, including California. If UC ANR wishes to stay relevant, and continue to be a resource for Californians, then we will have to seek untapped sources of income. I will help our centers and county offices to become more entrepreneurial, and operate more as a business,” said Lagrimini, who was a professor in the Department of Agronomy & Horticulture at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln before joining ANR.

Lagrimini noted that ANR needs to recognize the true value for its services, and charge appropriately. Additional revenue-generating possibilities include the marketing of crops and livestock, creative uses for our facilities, and more aggressive philanthropy efforts.  

He is looking forward to traveling the state to familiarize himself with ANR people and facilities.

“I need to meet people face to face,” he said. “I need to see all the research and extension facilities and county extension offices and meet the directors and ANR team members. Each location is unique, and will require differing approaches to achieve financial stability.”

Broadly, ANR will work with grant writers at UC Office of the President as an effort to successfully obtain federal funding to support our programs.

“We must continuously make investments, even in periods of budget-cutting,” said Lagrimini, a former project leader for Syngenta Biotechnology Inc. in Research Triangle Park, NC. “We'll have to make strategic investments to stay relevant in the future. Capital investment in infrastructure will make our research facilities attractive to collaborators and position ourselves for the next 50 years. If we just tread water, we won't be able to help Californians reach their potential. We need to be on the cutting edge to be a leader.”

Lagrimini encourages invitations to events that will give him perspective on California agriculture and ANR's activities.

“We have people who are energetic, creative and passionate about what they're doing and we need to provide support for them,” he said.

Lagrimini can be reached at (530) 750-1369 in the office, cell (402) 304-0400 andmlagrimini@ucanr.edu.

To read more about Lagrimini's background, see //ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=26475.

 

Posted on Monday, June 4, 2018 at 5:56 PM

Names in the News

Ciricillo named California 4-H Foundation director

Mary Ciricillo

Mary Ciricillo, director of annual giving and individual gifts in ANR's Development Services, has accepted the position of California 4-H Foundation director. 

“Amongst a very talented and competitive pool of candidates, Mary's history of success in board development and donor cultivation made her the standout candidate for the position,” said Lorna Krkich, executive director of Development Services. “Her passion for and experience with the 4-H program was an added bonus! The California 4-H Foundation, while part of the UC ANR Development Services Unit, has a volunteer Board of Directors and is dedicated to raising funds for 4-H activities in California.” 

As annual giving director, Ciricillo has had a major impact: Giving Tuesday donations for UC ANR increased in 2017 by 49 percent over 2016, and general online gifts, not associated with Giving Tuesday have increased by almost 14 percent over the prior year.  

Ciricillo joined UC ANR in 2016 from the UC Davis Graduate School of Management, where she built new relationships and expanded existing partnerships, creating new revenue streams for the department. Prior to her career in not-for-profit development, she worked in the communications industry as an account executive building corporate branding and marketing solutions. Her clients included The Gap, Knight-Ridder Newspapers, San Francisco Ballet and Oracle. 

Ciricillo will transition into her new role, which becomes effective July 1, and will continue to be based in the ANR building at 2801 Second Street in Davis. Her contact information will remain (530) 750-1302 and mciricillo@ucanr.edu.

Cutler and Harrison elected to NAS

Sean Cutler

Sean Cutler, UC Riverside professor in the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, and Susan P. Harrison, UC Davis professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy, are among the 84 new members of the National Academy of Sciences announced May 1.

Cutler is known for pioneering the use of chemistry and genetics to define genes and manipulate the resiliency of plants to drought. His work to characterize the abscisic acid receptor could lead to the development of new tools to improve a crop's drought tolerance.

Susan Harrison
As an ecologist, Harrison studies the processes that shape and maintain plant species diversity at the landscape scale. Much of her recent work has focused on how climatic drying is affecting the biological diversity of California grassland communities.

NAS has 2,382 active members and 484 foreign associates.

NAS is a private, nonprofit society of distinguished scholars. Established by an Act of Congress, signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, the NAS is charged with providing independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology. Scientists are elected by their peers to membership in the NAS for outstanding contributions to research. The NAS is committed to furthering science in America, and its members are active contributors to the international scientific community.

Posted on Monday, June 4, 2018 at 4:31 PM
Focus Area Tags: 4-H, Agriculture
 
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