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Majority of ANR employees feel “satisfied,” according to ANR@Work Survey

UC ANR employees made their voices heard through the 2020 ANR@Work survey. The survey received a 73% response rate with over 74% of respondents stating that they are a “satisfied” or an “extremely satisfied” UC ANR employee.

The inaugural ANR@Work survey was distributed to academics, staff and county-paid employees between March 17 and April 3, 2020. The goal of the anonymous survey was to obtain feedback about the work environment at UC ANR.

“Your responses tell us the top strengths of UC ANR include feeling valued by your department, feeling welcomed in your workplace, and feeling your department supports your work-life balance,” said John Fox, executive director of Human Resources.

Two of the top-scoring issues (4.4 out of 5 on the scale) show that respondents feel their supervisors treat them with respect and that their supervisors are supportive of their personal issues.

We hear you.

“Overall, while scores were not low, employees shared opportunities for improvement, which included wanting to have more of a voice on how to improve UC ANR, and wanting to hear more from senior leaders about long-range goals and strategic direction,” Fox said. “Another opportunity to improve was in the area of feeling more valued by the organization.”

Fox will review the overall ANR@Work survey results during the Town Hall Zoom meeting on Thursday, Aug. 20, at 1:30 p.m.

“We plan to repeat the survey annually for at least five years,” Fox said. “The 2020 survey results establish a baseline for continually assessing UC ANR's work environment.”

See more about ANR@Work Survey results at https://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/Diversity/ANR@Work_Survey_741. Questions or comments about the survey? Contact satsurvey@ucanr.edu.

Posted on Thursday, July 30, 2020 at 4:16 PM

Recording of ANR town hall posted

During the ANR town hall Thursday, Nov. 21, VP Glenda Humiston shared encouraging news, including new sources of funding, response to the UC regents tours and the new report “California's Working Landscape: A Key Contributor to the State's Economic Vitality,” which shows working landscape accounts for 6.4% of the state's economy. She also answered questions from town hall participants about the budget and other issues.

John Fox, Human Resources executive director, and Nikolai Schweitzer, Staff Assembly chair, announced ANR's results of the recent UC Staff Engagement Survey of non-represented staff. Of the 222 ANR employees responding, Schweitzer said most thought we made progress in wellness, performance management and supervision. Satisfaction declined for image/brand, career development and sustainable engagement. He said Staff Assembly plans to discuss opportunities for improvement in those areas, then meet with ANR senior leadership to suggest solutions.

The results and executive summary of the survey are posted at http://staffassembly.ucanr.edu/Council_of_University_of_California_Staff_Assemblies/2019_Staff_Engagement_Survey.

Fox announced that in the spring ANR will conduct a survey to gather similar information from all ANR employees, including academics.

To view the town hall recording, visit https://youtu.be/5IAjzIylhw0.

 

Posted on Wednesday, November 27, 2019 at 3:23 PM

ANR exchanges ideas, creates new collaborations in Ontario

“I don't know about you, but I'm really excited to have this gathering,” VP Glenda Humiston said, as she greeted the people attending the 2018 ANR Statewide Conference in Ontario. More than 650 people participated in the conference held April 9-12 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Ontario Airport. Humiston noted it was the first time since 2013 that all ANR employees had been invited to meet with their colleagues in person and discuss their work. 

Discussing innovation, panel member Wendell Brase of UC Irvine said ANR is a resource with UC because it is “connected with the public. You’re trusted in your community.”

There were keynote presentations, science sessions, trainings, program team and workgroup meetings, numerous breakout sessions to attend, puzzles to solve in the resource room, a pop-up studio for News and Information Outreach in Spanish interviews and dozens of research posters to read. ANR leaders discussed how to chart a sustainable future for ANR. Wendell Brase, UC Irvine associate chancellor for sustainability; Sam Traina, UC Merced vice chancellor of research and economic development; and Kathryn Uhrich, UC Riverside dean of the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, whose research has spawned start-up companies, discussed opportunities for innovation. Wendy Powers, associate vice president, announced the winners of the Distinguished Service Awards

And in between, there was time to network with colleagues over meals and in the hallways.

ANR partners also joined the event, including members of the UC President's Advisory Commission on Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Great partnerships

“Think about what California's agriculture would be like without Cooperative Extension,” said California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross, ex-officio PAC member and keynote speaker for the first day. “It doesn't just happen because of great farmers. It happens because of great partnerships. ANR is in every county.”

“I cannot tell you enough, what an asset you are to this state and to the industry that I love, agriculture, and to every consumer who has the joy of imbibing in our beverages and foods that come from these marvelous lands.”

Unique role in UC

On Tuesday afternoon, UC President Janet Napolitano joined the group. She called out ANR's work in climate change adaptation, agricultural innovation, food systems, food security, and nutrition education and noted the unique role it serves in advancing UC's Global Food, Carbon Neutrality, UC-Mexico initiatives.

Serving the Latino community requires more than translating words into Spanish, explained Lilia O'Hara, editor of San Diego Hoy, and Ricardo Vela.

She lauded 4-H for achieving parity in Latino youth participation in its programs, saying, “I think that says a lot about ANR's values and the impact it can have.”

Praising UCCE's outreach to economically disadvantaged Californians, the president said, “I'm going to continue to fight hard for funding for these programs at the federal level.”

Napolitano said she was pleased with the overall federal budget, noting that Congress increased funding for the National Institutes for Health and the National Science Foundation. “The University of California gets more NIH and NSF funding than any other university in the country. Almost 10 percent of the NIH research budget comes to the University of California so we have a lot at stake in those federal funds.” 

For updates on UC's state and federal budgets, Napolitano urged everyone to sign up at https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/support-uc/ucan.

From left, Ramiro Lobo and Loren Oki talk with Mike Mellano, PAC member and one of California's delegates to the APLU Council on Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching.

On the Huron report recommendations for moving ANR out of the Office of the President's structure, Napolitano said she has appointed a committee to review the options and offer its own recommendations before the November regents meeting.

Building pathways

The crowd was inspired by Antwi Akom, UC San Francisco and San Francisco State University professor and founding director of Social Innovation and Urban Opportunity Lab (SOUL) and co-founder and CEO of Streetwyze. In his presentation “Race, Space, Place and Waste: How Innovation, Education, and Inspiration Can Fearlessly Catalyze California Towards Becoming the World's Leader in Agriculture and Natural Resources Management,” Akom spoke passionately about building more pathways for a more diverse array of Californians to participate in ANR programs.

Keynote speaker Antwi Akom (center back in hat) was followed into the hall by ANR members who wanted to know more about Streetwyze.

“That's the first time I've seen members of the audience follow a keynote speaker out of the room,” Mark Bell, vice provost for Strategic Initiatives and Statewide Programs, later commented on the rock star treatment Akom received after his talk.

No layoffs

In her closing comments of the conference, Humiston said, “It was heartwarming to hear so many people tell legislators that ANR programs are important to them,” at the California Farm Bill hearing April 11 in Sacramento. If approved, the bill introduced by Assemblymember Anna Caballero (D-Salinas) would enable ANR to hire 45 more UCCE advisors and would offer incentives to adopt agricultural technology.

Concerning UC's budget challenges, Humiston said ANR is facing reductions in funding that will be absorbed through a slowdown in hiring and other means. 

“There will be no layoffs. I took this job to grow ANR not shrink it,” she said emphatically. “The more the people of California understand what ANR does, the more they want us to thrive and be in place to better serve their needs.”

Doug Parker talks with PAC member Steve Sinton and his wife Jane Sinton.

Humiston declared the conference productive and successful and thanked the Strategic Initiative leaders and conference and steering committee for planning the event and the Program Support Unit and volunteers for their hard work.

Doug Parker, Water SI, and Keith Nathaniel, Healthy Families and Communities SI, were the executive co-chairs and David Doll, Sustainable Food Systems; John Harper, Sustainable Natural Ecosystems; and Cheryl Wilen, Endemic and Invasive Pests and Diseases, were co-chairs.

The steering committee was composed of Michael Anderson, College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, UC Riverside; Mark Bell, Strategic Initiatives and Statewide Programs/Institutes; Sherry Cooper, Program Support Unit; John Fox, Human Resources; Chris Greer, UCCE San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties; Brad Hanson, Department of Plant Sciences, UC Davis; Darren Haver, South Coast Research and Extension Center and UCCE Orange County; Mike Janes, Strategic Communications; Maggi Kelly, Informatics and Geographic Information Systems and UC Berkeley; Neil McRoberts, Department of Plant Pathology, UC Davis; Katie Panarella, Nutrition, Family and Consumer Sciences Program and Policy; Maurice Pitesky, School of Veterinary Medicine, UC Davis; Joni Rippee, Program Planning and Evaluation; Rachel Surls, UCCE Los Angeles County; and Patti Wooten-Swanson, UCCE San Diego County.

ANR leadership plans to host the next ANR Statewide Conference in 2021.

Continue the conversations

To see snapshots from the conference on Twitter, search for the hashtag #UCANRconf2018.

If you missed the poster sessions, most of the project posters can be seen by clicking on the title links at http://ucanr.edu/sites/statewideconference2018/Posters_and_Displays.

“I've heard great things about a number of the sessions and have been discussing some follow-up ideas to build on concepts covered during some of those sessions,” Wendy Powers wrote in her ANR Adventures blog. “It would be a disappointment if we all left the meeting, got caught up in our obligations and programs, and didn't continue the conversations.”

Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2018 at 1:44 PM

Names in the News

Hawau Bojuwon
Bojuwon named NFCS advisor for Kern County

Hawau Bojuwon joined UC ANR on March 26, 2018, as a UCCE area nutrition, family and consumer sciences advisor in Kern County.

Prior to joiningUCCE,Bojuwon was working as a regional nutrition and health education specialist and county program director at University of Missouri Extension from 2016 to 2018. In Missouri, she planned, implemented and evaluated educational programs in nutrition, health, food safety, food resources management, and physical activity promotion education to low-income audiences. From 2015 to 2016,Bojuwon was a research assistant in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at University of Mississippi.

In addition to her dietetic and health promotion internships, Bojuwon worked as a clinical and outpatient dietitian where she was responsible for helping people make health-conscious decisions by selecting healthy food options, reading nutrition facts on food labels, reducing fat intake and increasing physical activity. Her work experience includes assessing clients, planning, developing and directing nutritional care activities for them, interviewing and advising clients about their diets, menu planning and development of meaningful health reports in addition to providing nutrition education.

Bojuwon earned two M.S. degrees, one in food and nutrition services and the second in health promotion, and a B.A. in biochemistry from University of Mississippi. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist.

Bojuwon is based in Bakersfield and can be reached at (661) 868-6217 and hebojuwon@ucanr.edu.

Del Pozo-Valdivia named IPM advisor for Central Coast

Alejandro Del Pozo-Valdivia

Alejandro Del Pozo-Valdivia joined UCCE on March 23, 2018, as an area integrated pest management (IPM) advisor in Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties.

Prior to joining UCCE, Del Pozo-Valdivia was a post-doctoral research scholar (from August 2016 to March 2018) at North Carolina State University, where he designed, analyzed and reported research on elucidating how Bt resistance influences flight capacity in cotton bollworm and timing of insecticides in Bt cotton to control bollworm. Del Pozo-Valdivia held graduate research assistant positions at North Carolina State University (2012-July 2016) and Washington State University (2009-2011) where he planned, designed, set up and analyzed various experiments managing an invasive Hemipteran and two Noctuid species. From July 2004 to 2008, Del Pozo-Valdivia, who is fluent in Spanish, was chief of pest management at Camposol S.A. in Trujillo, Peru, where he managed weeds, diseases and arthropod pests in commercial and GAP-certified asparagus.

Del Pozo-Valdivia completed a Ph.D. in entomology from North Carolina State University, a M.S. in entomology from Washington State University, and a B.S. in agronomy from La Molina National Agrarian University, Lima, Peru.

Del Pozo-Valdivia is based in Salinas and be reached at (831) 759-7359 and adelpozo@ucanr.edu.

Michael Rethwisch
Rethwisch returns as crop advisor for Riverside County

Michael Rethwisch rejoined UCCE on Nov. 13, 2017, as a crop production and entomology advisor for Palo Verde Valley in Riverside County. From 1999 to 2007, Rethwisch served in Palo Verde Valley as UCCE crop production advisor.

In 2007, Rethwisch moved to University of Nebraska – Lincoln to become a Cooperative Extension educator in crops and water for Butler and Polk counties. He conducted research on a wide variety of local crops, evaluating biostimulants and pesticide efficacy and resulting crop yields. He advised growers on pesticide safety, nitrogen management and water use. His applied research poster was chosen as the 2017 national champion by the National Association of County Agricultural Agents.  He also coached the 2017 4-H horticulture contest national championship team.

From 1994 to 1999, Rethwisch was an extension agent for University of Arizona Cooperative Extension at the Colorado River Indian Tribes Reservation, where he assisted with 4-H events, trained 4-H members in horticulture and conducted pest-control research and field trials on cotton and alfalfa. From 1987 to 1992, Rethwisch was an IPM specialist at University of Arizona Cooperative Extension.

Rethwisch earned an M.S. in entomology and a B.S. in entomology and agronomy from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.

Rethwisch is based in Blythe and be reached at (760) 921-5064 and mdrethwisch@ucanr.edu

Farzaneh Khorsandi

Khorsandi named ASABE 'New Face of Engineering'

Farzaneh Khorsandi, UC Cooperative Extension specialist for agricultural safety and health at UC Davis, was selected as the “New Face of Engineering” by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.

ASABE named 13 young members to its class of 2018 "New Faces of ASABE – Professionals." From the 13 "New Faces,” Khorsandi was chosen the top honoree and represented ASABE at Engineers Week activities in Washington, D.C., in February.

Through their professional and extracurricular pursuits, New Faces of ASABE, all 35 years of age or younger, represent the best of a profession that endeavors throughout the world to improve quality of life and make sustainable use of precious natural resources. 

Nominated by engineering colleagues and fellow ASABE members, the 2018 Class of New Faces of ASABE was announced Feb. 14 at the 2018 Agricultural Equipment Technology Conference in Louisville.

Larson, Barry win gold for outstanding educational material

Signs in regional parks tell visitors why beef cattle are grazing in local parks.

Sheila Barry, UCCE livestock and natural resources advisor in the Bay Area, and Stephanie Larson, UCCE livestock and range management advisor in Sonoma County, won the Gold Award for Outstanding Educational Material in the Promotional Materials category from the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals.

Decisionmakers and the public have little knowledge of animal agriculture production or the ecosystems services provided by livestock grazing on western open space lands, according to Larson and Barry. To address the issue, they created an information campaign promoting the value of cattle grazing and ecosystem services on open space through curriculum and interpretive trail signage.

The advisors collaborated with the California Rangelands Conservation Coalition and three park districts (East Bay Regional Park Districts, Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space District, and Sonoma County Regional Parks) to produce signage, factsheets and videos describing ecosystem services and how they relate to California rangelands. The print materials are linked at http://ucanr.edu/sites/BayAreaRangeland

The three videos are posted on UC ANR's YouTube channel:

Susie Kocher, UCCE forestry and natural resources advisor in the Central Sierra area, will accept the award on behalf of Larson and Barry during the awards ceremony May 2 at the ANREP conference in Biloxi, Miss.

APS honors Judelson, Subbarao and Vidalakis

Howard Judelson
The American Phytopathological Society will present awards to Howard Judelson, Georgios Vidalakis and Krishna Subbarao at the 2018 International Congress of Plant Pathology meeting in Boston, scheduled for July 29-Aug. 3.

Howard Judelson, professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at UC Riverside, will be named an APS fellow.

“Over his professional life of more than three decades, Judelson has made significant fundamental contributions to studies of oomycete plant pathogens, and has advanced the discipline and mission of APS,” according to the APS website.

“Judelson is recognized for his contributions towards understanding the basic biology and evolution of oomycete plant pathogens. He established the first techniques for manipulating genes in P. infestans and relatives, created genome resources, and studied cellular pathways involved in pathogenesis. Overall, Judelson made significant contribution and achievements in original research, teaching, and professional and public service.”

Georgios Vidalakis
Georgios Vidalakis, professor and UC Cooperative Extension plant pathology specialist and director of the Citrus Clonal Protection Program, will receive the APS Excellence in Regulatory Affairs and Crop Security Award.

“Vidalakis has made outstanding contributions to regulatory plant pathology and crop security by playing a leading role in the development and implementation of regional, state, national, and international citrus regulatory protocols in collaboration with industry, scientists, research institutions and regulatory agencies. He has played a key role in the transitioning of the Central California Tristeza Eradication Agency towards the more comprehensive Citrus Pest Detection Program with emphasis on huanglongbing (HLB) diagnostics. The rapid detection and eradication of HLB infected trees in major citrus producing areas of California, such as the San Joaquin Valley, is recognized as one of the most important elements in the battle against the deadly HLB. 

“Vidalakis serves on multiple statewide citrus regulatory committees and provides expertise at the highest levels of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). One of his major regulatory contributions to California's citrus was his leading role in the development and implementation of the mandatory (SB 140) Citrus Nursery Stock Pest Cleanliness Program that protected the citrus nurseries in advance of the spread of Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) and the discovery of HLB-diseased trees in California.”

Krishna Subbarao
Krishna Subbarao, professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at UC Davis, will receive the Ruth Allen Award, which recognizes outstanding, innovative research that has changed, or has the potential to change, the direction of research in any field of plant pathology.

“Subbarao's seminal research contributions focus on soilborne fungal diseases affecting lettuce and other cool-season vegetable crops. His recent research has provided crucial novel insights into the biology and management of Verticillium and Sclerotinia pathogens. His work presented convincing evidence that V. dahliae strains pathogenic to lettuce were introduced into the production system via infested spinach seeds. 

“Subbarao led the development of the online platform, VertShield, built to share data and diagnostic tools so that others around the world can reliably identify Verticillium pathogens and monitor their movement. Subbarao was also a co-leader in sequencing the first Verticillium genomes, which facilitated subsequent studies on genome evolution and pathogenicity mechanisms.”

Read more about the contributions of Judelson, Subbarao and Vidalakis to the science of plant pathology at https://www.apsnet.org/members/awards/Pages/2018AwardeesAnnounced.aspx

Mary Blackburn
Blackburn wins wellness award

Mary Blackburn, UCCE nutrition, family and consumer sciences advisor in Alameda County, was honored for her Alameda County Nutrition Action Partnership (CNAP) by the Harkin Institute March 21 at the Harkin on Wellness Symposium in Des Moines.

Blackburn's Alameda County Nutrition Action Partnership is one of 11 wellness programs from across the country that the Harkin Institute selected to exemplify best practices for how communities and organizations can invest in health.

The 11 wellness programs are highlighted in the first of what is planned to be an annual Harkin On Wellness (HOW) publication.

CNAP draws on the strengths of established community resources that joined together to coordinate work between USDA-funded partners and unfunded organizations in their community.

Through the partnership, CNAP is able to help implement and work with programs including Safe Routes to School, Alameda County Community Food Bank nutrition education and training, brown bag recovery for low-income seniors, Project EAT (Educate, Act, Thrive), Fresh Approach, Oakland Unified School District Health & Wellness and Nutrition Services, and Get Fresh Stay Healthy Campaign.

Fox named interim Affirmative Action Compliance and Title IX officer

John Fox
John Sims, Affirmative Action Compliance and Title IX officer, has accepted a position with the Office of the President. Effective May 7, John Fox, executive director of Human Resources, will serve as the interim Discrimination, Affirmative Action Compliance and Title IX Officer for UC Agriculture and Natural Resources. 

In this role, Fox will be responsible for receiving reports of discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment or sexual violence. Fox can be reached at (530) 750-1343 and jsafox@ucanr.edu.

Electronic reports of misconduct, including sexual harassment and discrimination, can also be submitted through the Office of the President's confidential hotline at (800) 403-4744, or the EthicsPoint online reporting system.

More information about prevention and reporting of discrimination, sexual violence and sexual harassment is at http://ucanr.edu/sites/DiscriminationSexual_Violence/Reporting.

 

Telling our story through UC ANR’s public value statements

Wendy Powers
UC ANR's final, revised public value statements are now posted. These short and compelling statements articulate the value of our work. They can be used by everyone in UC ANR to help others understand our work, garner support for our work, and help us focus our work on impact.

The public value statements are brief descriptions that include the issues, how we address them, and the value of our work to program participants and the public in general. The recently identified condition changes are referenced, but not all listed given these are intended to be brief. As a reminder, condition changes represent the broad societal benefits (environmental, health, and economic) to which our work contributes, while recognizing that UC ANR may be only one contributor towards these long-term outcomes.

On June 21, there will be a lunchtime WebANR to help all of us think about how our work connects to our public value via condition changes. The webinar will be led by Nancy Franz, a professor emeritus nationally renowned for her work on extension public value. She will talk more about how other states are using public value statements and share success stories about using them to garner support and/or focus our work.

A volunteer team of Program Team Leaders, Statewide Program/Institute Directors, and Strategic Initiative Leaders reviewed and revised the initial draft public value statements, which were developed by a programmatically diverse group of academics last May. For their efforts in this last round to finalize the public value statements, I want to thank the following people: Theresa Becchetti, Jim Farrar, Tunyalee Martin, Missy Gable, Ted Grantham, Michelle Leinfelder-Miles, Ramiro Lobo, Deanne Meyer, Katie Panarella, Lorrene Ritchie, Suzanne Rauzon, Katherine Soule, Andrew Sutherland, Tom Tomich, Lorna Krkich, Anne Megaro, Mark Bell, Katherine Webb-Martinez, and Nilofar Gardezi.

The development of these public value statements is part of our ANR's Strategic Plan Goal 5 effort to align programs and services with the 2025 Strategic Vision.  The purpose of this overall effort is to assess both current and future needs as well as the strengths and impacts of our work, and then align our efforts such that we are positioned to achieve the 2025 Strategic Vision.

Sincerely,

Wendy Powers
UC ANR Associate Vice President

 

 

Posted on Monday, April 30, 2018 at 3:31 PM
 
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