Posts Tagged: advocacy
UC ANR thanks legislators for supporting UC ANR research and extension
Representatives of UCANR visited the legislative building in Sacramento for UCANR Advocacy Day on April 18 and engaged with members of the Legislature and staff to advocate for UC's budget priorities. Attendees included Glenda Humiston, vice president; Deanne Meyer, interim associate vice president; Anne Megaro, director of government and community relations;Sheron Violini, associate director of government and community relations; and Lara Schröder, graduate student assistant. They were joined by UC Cooperative Extension advisors, statewide program representatives and two 4-H youth State Ambassadors .
The UC ANR team visited 16 legislative offices and were honored to meet directly with Assemblymember Vince Fong and Senator John Laird.
UC ANR representatives provided insights into how UC ANR delivers applicable research tools and knowledge and adds value to local communities. Zheng Wang, UCCE vegetable crops advisor, shared how farmers in Stanislaus County have been able to increase their profits by growing grafted watermelons using the same amount of water for a greater yield, while Susie Kocher, forestry and natural resources advisor, talked about her workshops for small forest landowners to prevent catastrophic wildfires and to help recover after a wildfire. 4-H State Ambassadors Megna and Sruthi told their stories of how the youth development leadership program has improved their personal skills and also how they engage with low-income schools and introduce STEM and agriculture to elementary school students.
Amira Resnick, statewide director of community nutrition and health, Stephanie Mar, associate organic waste management advisor, and Hanif Houston, associate director of communications and marketing for The VINE, also shared success stories and how UC ANR has made significant progress within the past year.
Resnick and Mar explained how UC ANR's nutrition and organic waste management programs teach Californians about nutrient dense foods, food preservation and composting. Houston highlighted how robots and drones play an important role in agriculture production. The UC ANR representatives also invited the legislators and staff to visit UC ANR's Elkus Ranch Environmental Education Center and UC ANR Research and Extension Centers in members' districts.
This valuable work is achieved through supportive state funding. These visits underlined the importance of the 5% base budget increase as currently proposed by Gov. Gavin Newsom for the upcoming fiscal year and asked staffers and members to support the proposal.
A special highlight of the day was a short tour of the State Capitol. Thanks to Sheron Violini, the group viewed the governors' portraits, peeked into the Senate Floor and learned the history of the Reagan statue.
Several follow-up opportunities stemmed from these meetings, and Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris is already planning to visit South Coast REC, and Assemblymember Vince Fong doesn't want to wait for the December citrus tasting to visit Lindcove REC. The government and community relations team is looking forward to extending future invitations for members to visit UC facilities, and especially to a forest management and prescribed burning tour at the Blodgett Forest Research Station.
The UC ANR representatives also met with legislative staff for Senators Josh Becker, Nancy Skinner, Dave Min, Marie Alvarado-Gil, Anna Caballero, Melissa Hurtado and Steve Padilla, and Assemblymembers Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, Reginald Jones-Sawyer, Carlos Villapudua, Robert Rivas, Luz Rivas and Juan Alanis.
CARET delegation discusses Farm Bill in nation’s capitol
UC ANR leaders and supporters met with congressional members and staff in Washington, D.C. during the CARET (Council for Agricultural Extension, Research and Teaching) meetings, March 12–15. They discussed the benefits of investing in research and extension for agriculture, natural resources and nutrition.
The CARET meetings centered on global food, agriculture and resource challenges.
UC ANR's CARET delegation included Deanne Meyer, interim associate vice president; Karmjot Randhawa, director of UC Cooperative Extension in Madera Fresno, Kings and Tulare counties; Missy Gable, UC Master Gardener Program director; and Ryan Tompkins, forester and natural resources advisor for Plumas, Sierra and Lassen counties; as well as Ish Herrera and Mike Mellano of the President's Advisory Commission.
Dean DavidAckerly of UC Berkeley, Divisional DeanIsgouhiKaloshian of UC Riverside, Kathy Eiler ofUCR Government Relations, andLoressa Uson of UC Santa Cruz Government Relations, Brandon Minto of UC Davis Government Relations, and Gina Daly of UCB Government Relations joined the delegation, demonstrating UC's unified support for UC ANR's work.
The delegates visited congressional offices to underscore UC's priorities for FY24 agricultural appropriations and the 2023 Farm Bill, which is renewed by Congress every five years. The CARET representatives gave examples of how UC ANR's work is improving people's lives and businesses across California.
CARET also presented a moving tribute to the late Jean-Mari Peltier, who served as a UC ANR CARET representative and on the UC President's Advisory Commission on Agriculture and Natural Resources (PAC) until her death in 2021. At the CARET gathering, Peltier was honored with a lifetime achievement award for her contributions to agriculture. The PAC has created the Jean-Mari Peltier Endowment in support of UC ANR Strategic Priorities to carry on her commitment to UC ANR, science and solving problems.
“We visited 24 offices including the Senate and House Ag Committees,” wrote Meyer in her ANR Adventures blog. “We shared our priorities for this year's appropriations as well as Farm Bill items. The conversations were filled with how valuable ANR is to communities. We discussed impacts from trained citizen scientists to identify spotted lanternfly and the importance of prescribed burn associations.”
Read more about the CARET visits at https://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=56478.
Ag Day enthusiasm not dampened by rain
Despite a steady downpour, legislators and other state government employees expressed their support for agriculture at Ag Day at the Capitol on March 21. UC ANR showcased its people, programs and research.
Vice President Glenda Humiston; Deanne Meyer, interim associate vice president; Sarah Light, UC Cooperative Extension agronomy advisor; and several UC ANR colleagues thanked legislators and officials for their support and told them about current research and outreach activities.
Anne Megaro, government and community relations director, organized activities at the event and greeted legislators.
UC Master Gardener coordinator Judy McClure and volunteers answered gardening questions. Representatives from The Vine demonstrated a robot that performs some farm tasks. 4-H members showed visitors their goats and rabbits. Strategic Communications staff described some of the UC ANR research associated with the display of citrus varieties grown at Lindcove Research and Extension Center and avocado varieties from South Coast REC.
See video and photos below. For more coverage, search social media for #AgDay23, #CAagday23 and #AgDay2023.
UC ANR meets with county government officials
Representatives from UC ANR joined county government officials on Nov. 14-18 for the California State Association of Counties' 128th Annual Meeting held in Orange County. CSAC provides advocacy, educational and financial services to California's 58 counties.
Vice President Glenda Humiston; Anne Megaro, government and community relations director; and Rita Clemons, UC Cooperative Extension director for Riverside, San Bernardino and Orange counties; Susan Ellsworth, UC Cooperative Extension director for the Capitol Corridor; and Darren Haver, associate director for the Research and Extension Center System and South Coast REC director, discussed opportunities for collaboration with county supervisors and other county officials.
UC Cooperative Extension personnel often work with county leaders to help their communities with the pandemic, wildfires, economic development and other challenges and opportunities.
UC ANR participates in California Economic Summit
UC ANR was well-represented at the California Economic Summit in Bakersfield on Oct. 27-28 to find new ideas and partners for economic development projects. The annual event is held to identify economic opportunities, improve state and regional competitiveness and generate jobs.
“This year's California Economic Summit really highlighted the need to invest in our working landscapes and harvest the huge opportunities for jobs and economic growth throughout the state if we do,” said Glenda Humiston, vice president. “I'm really excited to see state and regional leaders recognizing the critical role that UC ANR and UC Cooperative Extension can play in supporting those initiatives.”
Humiston was joined at the event by Anne Megaro, director of government and community relations; Keith Taylor, UC Cooperative Extension community economic development specialist; Julia Van Soelen Kim, UCCE food systems advisor; Olivia Henry, UCCE food systems advisor; Cindy Chen, UCCE woody biomass and forest products advisor; Ashley Hooper, UCCE urban community resiliency advisor; Alec Dompka, UCCE rural community and economic development advisor; and Rita Clemons, director of UCCE for San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange counties.
“We have too many people that are working every single day and they're not making it,” said Antonio Villaraigosa, infrastructure advisor to Governor Gavin Newsom, told attendees on the first day.
Another speaker, Dolores Huerta, co-founder of United Farm Workers, called for equitable pay for farmworkers.
On the second day of the summit, Governor Newsom joined the event. He chatted on stage with Ashley Swearengin, former mayor of Fresno, noting that California is now the fourth largest economy in the world, surpassing Germany. He complimented the San Joaquin Valley for its economic development efforts.
The 2023 California Economic Summit Summit will be held in the Coachella and Imperial valleys.