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Posts Tagged: budget

Budget update and strategies

As you know, the University is experiencing severe fiscal challenges across all locations because of COVID-19 and its economic fallout. UC ANR is facing a possible 12.7% budget reduction for the 20-21 fiscal year. The University is hoping for a supplemental federal appropriation from Congress which may help to reduce the budget cut.

“Congress wanted to pass the fourth COVID supplemental package before August, but they weren't able to come to an agreement,” said Anne Megaro, director of governmental and community relations. “Many of them are still in D.C. working and it could take several more weeks of negotiation before the bill is finalized.”

Until we know more about our fiscal position for the coming year, we are implementing measures to ensure that we are able to continue to deliver the UC ANR mission. As these fiscal challenges become more apparent, many of you have expressed concerns about continued job security and what's next. 

Our Commitment 
UC ANR's strength lies squarely with its people. We have a strong commitment to our employees and seek to implement this by being proactive, transparent and innovative wherever possible. In addition to this ongoing commitment, we will prioritize protecting programmatic goals and current positions. Layoffs will be considered only as a tool of last resort to address the fiscal challenges. 

We will approach this situation as we have faced many other challenges - thoughtfully, strategically and with our employees and mission in mind. To do this effectively and equitably across UC ANR, we are implementing a series of strategies.

Our Strategies 
To achieve the above we initiated a hiring freeze effective July 1 and deferred funding requests for new staff positions and expenditures. Staffing requests will only be approved by exception based on compelling priorities. This hiring freeze will remain in effect for 12 months, unless the budgetary condition improves. Additionally, we are:

  • Ensuring a high level of flexibility to reassign current staff to critical positions using the current Redeployment program, wherever possible.
  • Approving reasonable use of the voluntary Employee Initiated Reduction in Time (ERIT).
  • Proactively considering other UC systemwide strategies for actions to reduce costs such as voluntary reduction in time and voluntary early retirement.
  • Working to grow and diversify the Division's revenue streams, prioritizing the development of contracts and grants, gifts, and other independent revenue sources.
  • Maintaining programmatic delivery and continuing to invest in key areas, including those identified in the strategic plan, to strengthen delivery of extension and operational efficiency to further our mission.

Our hope is that the hiring freeze and other cost-cutting measures will be short-lived and that Congress will provide the necessary funds to minimize cuts to the University. UC has initiated an advocacy campaign to encourage Congress to support state funding as well as supplemental research and cooperative extension funding.

Glenda Humiston 
Vice President

 

Posted on Monday, August 3, 2020 at 5:43 PM

Governor proposes UC budget cuts in May revise

As expected, California's response to the coronavirus pandemic and loss of tax revenues resulting from the disruption in business have dramatically changed the state's economic outlook.

Governor Gavin Newsom released his revised budget proposal for 2020-21 on Thursday, May 14.

The governor said California began the year with a projected budget surplus of $5.6 billion for 2020-21. The reduced revenue, combined with increased costs in health and human services programs and the added costs to address COVID-19, leads to a projected budget deficit of approximately $54 billion, he explained. 

To balance the budget, he called for a number of actions, including withdrawing the 5% budget increase for UC ANR and 5% increase for UC in general funds he proposed in January. He also proposed a 10% reduction in support for the UC system, UC Office of the President, UCPATH and UC ANR. The Legislature is required to approve a budget by June 15.

“Let me remind you that this is a proposal,” said Vice President Glenda Humiston. “This could all change if the federal government provides funding to bridge the gap or the economy recovers more quickly. We will continue to work with our partners to secure adequate funding to achieve our mission.”

On May 18, President Janet Napolitano announced

  • a systemwide freeze on salaries for policy-covered staff employees; 
  • a systemwide freeze on salary scales for policy-covered, non-student academic appointees. To ensure a stable faculty pipeline and to maintain our teaching and research enterprise, we will continue the regular academic peer-review merit advancement program;
  • a voluntary pay cut of 10% for current chancellors and herself.

See Napolitano's full statement and FAQs at https://ucnet.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/2020/05/president-napolitano-announces-systemwide-pay-freeze-for-policy-covered-employees.html.

During the May 28 ANR town hall, Humiston answered questions about the budget. A recording of the town hall will be posted at https://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/All_Hands.

“As we manage the budget situation, the top priority will be, as always, to take care of our people,” Humiston said. “Without you, the critical mission of ANR could not be delivered.”

In a public response to the governor's proposal, President Napolitano released a statement saying, “The University of California recognizes the unprecedented challenges California is facing in the wake of COVID-19 and regrets that Gov. Newsom was put into a position to steeply reduce the University's budget in response to the State's dramatically diminished revenues. Regardless, UC stands with the governor and the Legislature to help lift the State out of this economic crisis.”

Posted on Friday, May 22, 2020 at 1:13 PM

Governor proposes budget increase for ANR

Glenda Humiston
Governor Gavin Newsom has included a 5% increase for UC ANR in his proposed California 2020-21 State Budget, which was released Friday, Jan. 10.

"We welcome an increase of $3.6 million annually for UC ANR," said Vice President Glenda Humiston. 

She noted that more people are recognizing and giving credit to the research, public service and outreach UC ANR does to help Californians improve their lives and businesses.

The trade publication Growing Produce reported that Nick Davis, southern valley vineyard manager of The Wine Group, the second-largest U.S. wine company, said, “We don't really have an R&D arm, so we really rely on George [Zhuang] and Cooperative Extension to provide viticultural knowledge and methods to help us achieve our production goals.”

"I am grateful for Governor Newsom's support for UC in his initial proposed budget," Humiston said. "You all do fantastic work and I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish in the year ahead."

UC Board of Regents Chair John A. Pérez and UC President Napolitano issued a statement on governor's budget plan for UC as a whole, acknowledging that 'the governor's spending plan is an important step toward covering the funds necessary to meet UC's tripartite mission of delivering world-class education, conducting cutting-edge research and providing public service that benefits California and beyond.”

Posted on Thursday, January 23, 2020 at 12:37 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

New report reveals California’s working landscape is a major economic driver

California's working landscape and the industries associated with agriculture and natural resources are the sixth largest sector of the state's economy, according to a new study by the California Community Colleges Centers of Excellence for Labor Market Research, California Economic Summit and UC ANR.

“When people think of California's economy, they think of entertainment, information technology and other industries. They may not think of the working landscape,” said VP Glenda Humiston. “People may be surprised to learn that California's working landscape accounts for 6.4% of the state's economy, supports more than 1.5 million jobs and generates $333 billion in sales.”

“California's Working Landscape: A Key Contributor to the State's Economic Vitality” was released Nov. 7 by Humiston and Karen Ross, California Department of Food and Agriculture secretary, at the 2019 California Economic Summit in Fresno. More than 900 public, private and civic leaders from across California attended the summit which focused on workforce development, education, housing, infrastructure and ecosystem vitality, with an emphasis on lifting economic growth in all regions of the state.

“I'm excited about this report because it could have policy implications,” Humiston said. “We hope policymakers will understand they need to invest in working landscapes.”

To measure the economic impact of the working landscape, researchers analyzed federal data associated with employment, earnings and sales income of the nine segments that are essential to the working landscape: agricultural distribution, agricultural production, agricultural processing, agricultural support, fishing, forestry, mining, outdoor recreation and renewable energy.

Their analysis of 2018 data from the North American Industry Classification System showed the leading economic drivers were government (21.9%), manufacturing (10.2%), information (9.3%), professional, scientific and technical services (7.5%), and finance and insurance (6.4%).  Working landscape ranked a close sixth with 6.4%. 

Humiston noted that the estimate value for working landscape is conservative because it doesn't include veterinary services (because researchers couldn't separate livestock from pets) or any retail sales from food in California's 152,000+ supermarkets and convenience stores.  It also does not include value of ecosystem services from working landscapes that have indirect economic benefits such as sequestering carbon, capturing water, providing wildlife habitat and offering scenic venues for recreational activities.

The researchers found the nearly 70,000 businesses associated with the working landscape paid $85 billion to workers in 2018 and generated $333 billion in sales income. In terms of job numbers, earnings, sales income and number of establishments, four segments dominate: agricultural distribution, agricultural production, agricultural processing and agricultural support. 

In 2018, agricultural production provided the greatest number of jobs, more than 325,000, and generated the second highest sales income, $61 billion.

“I hope everyone reads the report,” Humiston said. “Too many people in this state take for granted where their food comes from and, I think, that has affected ANR funding and our ability to get the support that we need. They also take for granted the infrastructure that makes food safe, nutritious and available, and one of the most important parts of that infrastructure is UC Cooperative Extension because we keep the safety, productivity and other aspects of food production moving forward.”

To read the report “California's Working Landscape: A Key Contributor to the State's Economic Vitality,” visit http://ucanr.edu/WorkingLandscape. A one-page executive summary is available at http://bit.ly/2WTA7Vz.

 

Posted on Monday, December 2, 2019 at 12:26 PM

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