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Position Details

093 Range/Livestock/Natural Resource

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Associated Documents

Status

This proposal has been formally submitted for the 2012 cycle.

Comments

27 Comments

1
Filing the vacant livestock advisor position is a local priority and deserves a commitment of resources for several reasons.
The Advisor would provide animal science expertise not currently filled by other existing organizations, thus filling a gap.
The Advisor would make available support for the unique needs of the Humboldt County dairy and cattle industry including but not limited to natural grass fed beef and organic husbandry issues.
The Advisor would provide support for the 4-H programs associated with animal science.
Thank you for considering my comments.

Posted May 14, 2012 9:20 AM by Virginia Bass, Chair Board of Supervisors
2
Intense interest exists in the North Coast Region in augmenting sustainable pasture- and rangeland-based agriculture, including dairy and meat production. Lack of animal science and nutrition expertise is acute in our counties. Humboldt State University (HSU)offers the only undergraduate degree in California and would welcome the addition of local expertise through U.C. Cooperative Extension. Proximity to tribal lands in the region offers the opportunity to enhance agricultural development efforts already underway. Our counties are remote, underserved and would benefit greatly by the hands-on and in-person advising that a new Livestock and Natural Resources Advisor could provide. As a 4-H parent in the oldest 4-H Club in California (Arcata Bottom 4-H), and as a Range Management/Wildland Soils faculty member, I can attest that animal science expertise would be very much appreciated by youth and industry alike.
Posted May 14, 2012 12:52 PM by Susan Edinger Marshall
3
I support a livestock position in the Humboldt/Del Norte counties as we have need of expert advice and research on animal production, forage systems, water quality from manure management and other issues as they arise. With the construction of a new farm, there have been many challenges. Having additional resources to help navigate current and pending legislation, is key.
There are four other goat herds that we buy milk from and the UC ANR would provide a vital resource, as there are no advisors in the state who know goats, and the issues surrounding this species and their management. The livestock advisor, I would assume, support the cow dairies as well and succession planning for some 80 family dairies is essential for continuing this industry in the north state.

Thank you,
Posted May 15, 2012 10:12 AM by Sonny Simonian
4
The Humboldt County Resource Conservation District (RCD) enjoys a close, cooperative working relationship with our UCCE and depends on the professional expertise of their staff to serve our consituents. Our RCD has an active Dairy Program that is dependent on grant funds to support specific activities and initiatives that help our local dairy producers comply with changing regulations and improve practices and upgrade facilities. Recent Water Board regulations for dairy producers are requiring the development of Nutrient Managment Plans. The Livestock Advisor position would provide the needed reseach on pasture productivity to inform the development of these plans and work with producers to implement them effectively. Our RCD also works with many ranches and cow-calf operations that would benefit from the professional expertise of a Livestock Advisor.The lack of a Livestock Advisor the past few years has greatly diminished the level of technical advice and assistance avaialable.Having this position filled will greatly enhance our ability to serve local producers and provide needed animal science expertise. We strongly encourage that this position be filled.

Posted May 15, 2012 11:13 AM by Donna Chambers
5
As a fourth generation steward of the land, I am increasingly at odds with unnecessary regulations imposed by State Agencies, Federal Agencies, and Environmental Interest groups. We need a local farm advisor who understands farming and ranching practices in general but also can comprehend local issues to give an unbiased opinion to the agencies and environmentalists. A person who can assist Ranchers in educating our agency personnel in livestock production and grazing. Our land is our livelihood, if we abuse it, we perish – but yet it feels we’re treated as if we are the primary cause of water pollution and erosion in the County.
Humboldt County produces many specialty food products that have international renown. Grassfed beef is a growing industry; in Humboldt County we have a perfect climate for raising and finishing beef. With additional support these established local business have the potential to add value to their product.
Humboldt County is unique area with a demographic unlike anywhere else in the state; we need our own advisor here to navigate the intricacies of our region.
Posted May 15, 2012 4:39 PM by Peter Bussman
6
I am in full support of filling the position of Livestock Advisor for Humboldt-Del Norte Counties, and beyond. When I was a range management student at Humboldt State College, my professors worked closely with the Livestock Advisor for both the professors research interest and, more importantly, as a teaching resource when taking students out on laboratory field trips to ranches and other areas of this county. These field trips were enormously important to me in providing real-world working landscape level learning opportunities. In 1978, I returned to (now) Humboldt State University as a new assistant professor of rangeland management. I quickly made contact with Gary Markegard, the then Humboldt-Del Norte Livestock Advisor. He was very helpful in working with me for the duration of his career in areas, research opportunities and providing learning opportunities for my students when I took them out with Gary to a local ranch environment. Since Gary retired, the position has either not been filled or chaotically filled, much to the detriment of the local livestock producers and for the educational opportunities for the rangeland resources students at HSU.
I have reviewed the advertisement information as given in the position description provided by the local County Director, so there is no need for me to reiterate that information in my comments as I am in total agreement. It is also interesting that the 1st University of California Extension Service county office was in Humboldt County in 1913 with the placement of Andrew H. Christiansen as the 1st California Farm Advisor. Thus, the placement of a new Livestock Advisor in Humboldt-Del Norte Counties is not only historical but also extremely necessary for the local livestock producers and the rangeland resources & wildland soils students at HSU. This Northcoast Regional area is remote and far from the assistance infrequently provided by the Shasta County Farm Advisor (3 hour drive) or by the Mendocino County Farm Advisor (4 hour drive). A local Farm Advisor is absolutely needed and this should be the highest priority in filling such positions in other regions of the state.
Posted May 16, 2012 10:40 AM by Kenneth Fulgham, PhD, Rangeland Resources & Wildland Soils, HSU
7
From:
Mark Neely
North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board
Santa Rosa, CA

We wish to express our unequivocal support for filling the vacant livestock advisor position in UC Humboldt-Del Norte.

During the last year, we have developed, and the Board adopted, a Dairy and CAFO regulatory program. A crucial component of this effort has been the assistance of UC advisors in training and assisting dairy owners to meet the new requirements. They are also assisting our efforts to understand and control water quality impacts from grazing. The advisors provide a service that nobody else can, and are an important component of our efforts. Their role in education and outreach is significant in addressing changes in water quality management issues. We realize in these times of limited resources that there are many programs and positions to support, but we believe that UC should invest some of those limited resources into this valuable position.
Posted May 17, 2012 11:25 AM by Yana Valachovic
8
Please approve the request for a livestock advisor position for the Humboldt County Office of the University of California Cooperative Extension. In my role as the Agricultural Commissioner, I have on innumerable occasions been made keenly aware that the lack of a livestock advisor in Humboldt County disadvantages the livestock and dairy producers that would benefit from the knowledge and expertise that a livestock advisor provides.

Beef cattle and dairy production are currently two of the strongest segments of the Humboldt County agricultural economy. Humboldt County, its animal industries and residents need a livestock advisor to assist producers with finding solutions to the wide range of problems and challenges faced by agricultural producers. This livestock advisor position will help ensure that these industries can grow and thrive long into the future here.

Posted May 17, 2012 3:33 PM by Jeff M. Dolf, Humboldt County Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer of Weights & Measures
9
To Whom it may concern:
I operate a business in Humboldt County that is solely based on grazing. Humboldt County leads the western United States in number of growing days. However, we have no local agricultural/science based instruction or research specific to our unique region. Because of this general lack of knowledge about our region, we a watching our inventory of coastal agricultural land shrink as restoration groups and agencies purchase and convert to habitat. This situation could be countered by education of the public as to the broad value of our agricultural lands.

Humboldt County has all of the essential elements for sustainable resource(agriculture)production: temperature range, water, soils. We need local leadership and knowledge of our resources. The regulatory community would also benefit from this knowledge and our regulatory burden should be lessened.

Please help Humboldt County field a position of Livestock adviser in order to further the education of us producers and the general public.

Posted May 17, 2012 4:30 PM by Jay Russ
10
The Humboldt County Farm Bureau would like to encourage U C Extension to provide a Livestock Farm Adviser for Humboldt County. Our organization does not provide technical information or assistance to the Livestock community and this service is extremely important. Our members are faced with a variety of issues include the Water Quality and other regulations that are effecting everyone in agriculture. It is so important to have a knowledgeable person with the water quality regulations to help producers meet these requirements. The expertise this person would bring to our community is so important for our future economic success. Thank you, Katherine Ziemer, Executive Director Humboldt Co. Farm Bureau
Posted May 17, 2012 4:49 PM by Katherine Ziemer
11
[This comment was deleted]
Posted May 17, 2012 5:10 PM by [Deleted]
12
We have unique challenges and opportunities living behind the Redwood Curtain in a pasture-based livestock producing area. An example of these opportunities is Organic Valley's launch of 100% grass-fed milk from cows in Humboldt County. With a farm advisor, he/she could assist us in advancing our pasture management and animal husbandry.
Sincerely yours,
Jim Regli
Owner of Regli Jerseys
and Reas Creek Dairy Farm
Posted May 17, 2012 9:59 PM by Jim Regli
13
We ask that serious consideration be given to providing a Farm Adivser for Humboldt County. Our families have been in the dairy business for four generations. The business today is facing regulations from every direction by the likes that have never been seen in our history before - whether it be water regulations, air quality, herd management, health regulations, just to name a few. To further complicate our businesses, we are facing record high expenses with record low pricing for our milk. Because of the new regulation, we NEED THE HELP OF A LIVESTOCK FARM ADVISER to help us get through the processes that all dairymen are having to go through now. We in Humboldt are unique to the industry in that we are pasture orientated and not feed lots like you see in the southern parts of the State. Having a Farm Adviser would be a great benefit to help our dairymen work through the compliance regulations that don't always fit our type of management and help dairymen and livestock owners to be able to continue to be a viable industry in Humboldt County. Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
Dave & Mary Ann Renner, Diamond Point Dairy & Willowpoint Brown Swiss
Posted May 18, 2012 8:17 AM by Dave and Mary Ann Renner
14
Humboldt County was the first county in the state of California to have a farm advisor. Today, we don’t have a farm advisor and have not for some time.
Agriculture is a very important part of the economy of Humboldt County, primarily dairy and beef. As it stands today, we as producers rely on trade organizations and consultants for any help we may need. This is not only time consuming waiting for them to respond, it can be very costly, and is usually swayed by their agenda and/or products. We don’t have a third party, unbiased, scientific opinion provided to us.
Producing both dairy and beef here in the county for the past 38 years, and having a college education, it is difficult to keep up with the changes in Ag. Therefore, I urge you to please consider filling the farm advisor position so that we can continue to be informed and educated in these fast changing times.
Thank you for your consideration.
Posted May 18, 2012 9:41 AM by John M. Vevoda
15
From:
Evening Star Holsteins
Dennis Leonardi Family
1901 Christensen Lane
Ferndale, Calif. 95536
707-725-6005
707-845-7323
cows@frontiernet.net

To whom it may concern:

From my perspective as a local dairy producer, and past member of the National Dairy Board, the North Coast Regional Water Quality Board and the Farm Bureau, the continued existence of the UC Livestock Farm Advisor position is of critical importance to the North Coast. There are many new and continuing challenges to address, and collaborative opportunities to participate in, that require University-based and supported input.

The North Coast Regional Water Quality Board just adopted a new set of guidelines for this region and there are working groups being put together to assist both the Regional Board and producers in compliance activities. The UCCE Livestock Advisor is critically important to have a seat at the table. There are growing collaborative efforts between landowners and DFG, USFWS, Humboldt County RCD and NRCS to include livestock as a management practice having a symbiotic relationship to wildlife and livestock. A livestock advisor can be instrumental in shaping best practices for our region and possibly for the entire state.

I fully understand that budgets are tight, however, if one has to prioritize any position at this juncture, this is one that highly merits filling. We have a struggling resource-based economy in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties and supporting this position makes excellent sense. This is a wise use of resources to save, develop and nurture our growing organic industry, support our ranching and livestock industry, as well as our dairy community.

Sincerely,
Dennis Leonardi
Posted May 18, 2012 11:46 AM by Yana Valachovic
16
[This comment was deleted]
Posted May 18, 2012 11:49 AM by [Deleted]
17
From: HUMBOLDT-DEL NORTE CATTLEMEN’S ASSOCIATION

With members in both Humboldt and Del Norte Counties, our organization has benefitted in the past from having an advisor and see the need to have a replacement Livestock Advisor. Some of the areas of expertise that we utilize are essential animal science expertise, lacking locally in other organizations, key resources for addressing changes in water quality management issues, as well as support for the unique needs of natural, grass-fed, and organic animal husbandry issues.

This position is also beneficial for education and outreach to support our 4-H animal science projects that encourage our young people to continue on in agriculture.

These are just a few of the benefits of having someone on hand to address questions and concerns.

Yours sincerely, Hugo Klopper, President
Posted May 18, 2012 11:51 AM by Yana Valachovic
18
From: Humboldt Grassfed Beef

We see that there is a definite need for a Livestock/Natural Resource Advisor. Our natural resources in this area are still economic drivers for the county, and within the larger segments of the industry, small niche industries have evolved. Having an advisor who can assist the counties ag community is vital to the economic viability of the county as a whole.

Thanks,
Sarah L Mora
Humboldt Grassfed Beef
707-845-7878
www.humboldtgrassfedbeef.com
Posted May 18, 2012 11:53 AM by Yana Valachovic
19
I strongly support the placement of a new Livestock Advisor in Humboldt County over any other location in the state.
I supplement my cow/calf operation with a custom fencing business which puts me all over the southern half of Humboldt County. I see firsthand the diversified investment going on in the medium to smaller rangeland holdings. Humboldt milking goats have recently gotten a lot of publicity for their award-winning cheeses and taken their place alongside beef and dairy cattle as a solid industry that is here to stay. What hasn’t been noticed as much are the growing number of meat goat herds, free range meat poultry, small scale egg production, caged poultry production, and with the aid of guard dogs, we are even seeing flocks of sheep returning.
I believe a Livestock Advisor in Humboldt would benefit the entire state with the experience that would be gained in working with such a wide range of developing enterprises.
Sincerely,
Todd Phelps, Rancher
Posted May 18, 2012 3:00 PM by Todd Phelps, Rancher
20
I would like to take this moment to lend my strong support for the Livestock Advisor position for Humboldt and Del Norte Counties. As the District Conservationist with NRCS located out of the Ag Center at Spruce Point I have a wide and diverse team at my disposal to help me with any range of conservation and natural resources issues. Besides my skilled planning team at NRCS we work in close partnerships with the employees of the Humboldt County RCD, Humboldt County Department of Agriculture, and UCCE. It is not uncommon to find all four agencies hard at work together in one of the conference rooms of the Ag center, huddled around the table working away on the latest issue to present itself. Whether it is Nutrient Management Plans for dairy farms, Sudden Oak Death, invasive weeds, or improving irrigation water management, we all bring our unique backgrounds and qualifications to the table to take on the tough resource issues facing agricultural producers in Humboldt County today.
There is, however, a void in those meetings. An empty spot at the table, that when a question of a certain nature, such as “what is the forage requirement of a Holstein cow producing 58 pounds of milk per day?” or “What is the acceptable buffer area for a water trough located next to a perennial spring?” or any of the other 1,000 questions that have been asked, there is no answer. In response I am usually the one tasked with doing the Google search, or dusting off the antiquated text to find the answer. The entire time I get myself onto these futile searches I often think out loud “when are they gonna fill that livestock advisor position”. This sentiment is repeated time and again from my colleagues, because the position is that important of one. This position is the key position for livestock related issues in Humboldt County, bottom line.
While skimming the other comments above I see such a diverse group of folks all asking the same thing. There are dairy farmers, beef ranchers, fellow agency employees, and leaders of the community. If this position wasn’t that important to our County, from an economic and environmental standpoint, then I believe the outpouring wouldn’t have been so great. So in closing I echo their sentiments, please fill the Livestock Advisor position, his or her chair is getting awful dusty in those conference rooms.
Posted May 18, 2012 3:03 PM by Jonathan Shultz, District Conservationist, USDA-NRCS
21
The Livestock Advisor position is important to the economy of Del Norte County and specifically the agriculture industry. Del Norte County continues to have a thriving agricultural component and the assistance of the Advisor will augment the expertise available to a diverse business environment in this County.
Posted May 23, 2012 8:43 AM by Jay Sarina
22
To whom it may concern:

I write to express my strong support for the University of California's Livestock/Range/Natural Resources Advisor Position for Humboldt and Del Norte counties.

The many comments represent a diverse array of viewpoints and perspectives. However, there are three things that I believe we all agree upon: 1) Agriculture, particularly livestock-based agriculture, is vital to the health of the economy and society in Humboldt and Del Norte counties; 2) The agricultual economy of the Northcoast faces many challenges and complexities that threaten its future, and; 3) there is an urgent need for an informed, rational and unbiased source of information to inform future land management decisions in the region.

In my opinion, the University of California is second-to-none in providing such guidance, and I urge your consideration of this request.

Best,
Michael Bowen
Posted May 23, 2012 12:56 PM by Michael Bowen
23
This livestock position is deeply needed and extremely important to Humboldt and Del Norte Counties. Having recently retired from the UC Davis faculty and moved to rural Humboldt County, I am painfully aware of the declining support that UC Cooperative Extension has been able to provide to the northwest portion of our state. In this region, we have a lot of cattle on rangeland and cows on pasture, growing livestock niche operations, and many urgent issues of land stewardship that need to be addressed. The expertise of a CE advisor is desperately needed, for all the reasons cited eloquently by the other respondents to this proposal. I urge, in the strongest possible terms, that this position be approved, funded, and filled as soon as possible.

Sincerely,
Kathryn Radke, Professor emerita, UC davis
Posted Jun 22, 2012 11:40 AM by Kathryn Radke
24
This position fills a critical need in Northern CA. The remote location coupled with the livestock production system make it unique to the state. The ranching community and producr organizations are progressive and receptive to applied research projects and educational venues.

Posted Jul 31, 2012 10:28 AM by Larrry Forero
25
As a past member of the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, a current member of the ANR President's Advisory Commission and as a member of multiple local organizations involved in working landscapes, livestock and conservation it is critical that this position be filled. As has been mentioned this area is remote, yet our needs are significant given the number of livestock (both Dairy and Beef) raised within both Humboldt and Del Norte Counties. We have growing support and interest by our local community for developing and marketing local beef. We have resource and regulatory concerns with the management of range and pasturelands that UC plays a critical role in providing sound scientific and credible solutions for. We have unique issues with animal health given the climate of our region, which would benefit from the expertise provided by a livestock adviser. We appreciate your attention to our challenge and look forward to having this important position filled.
Sincerely,
Dina J. Moore
Posted Aug 7, 2012 10:21 AM by Dina J. Moore
26
Unattributed comments:
Jay Sarina- CAO Del Norte County
Michael Bowen- Coastal Conservancy
John Vevoda- Dairy producer
Posted Aug 7, 2012 4:44 PM by Yana Valachovic
27

The Mattole Restoration Council (MRC) heartily supports filling the vacant Livestock Advisor position with the University of California Cooperative Extension in Humboldt County. We agree with all of the prior comments and will try not to be too redundant in the long list of reasons why filling this position now is of critical importance. For brevity’s sake we limit our comments to those that affect our constituents here in the Mattole watershed.

The Mattole watershed is very isolated and 100% rural in nature. We have no incorporated towns and thus little government structure. The MRC is committed to supporting both ranching and timber production that maintains open space and protects watershed values. Though we attempt to fill the role of outreach and education regarding best management practices, we are not agricultural experts nor able to communicate with everyone. Last year we convened a meeting of livestock producers with the local organic beef distributor. It was highly successful and several ranchers are now in the process of changing to the organic standard as it has recently proven economically beneficial to do so. In our experience ranchers are adaptable if they can be assured a change will be beneficial in some way. There have been several recent trends including: increased numbers of meat goats for a newer consumer market, hair sheep (shearless variety) protected by either Pyrennes dogs or llamas (both of which also have been sold locally) for an uptick in the lamb market, increased ranch- egg production, interest in small-scale commercial poultry, and even interest in pork production. A Livestock Advisor could help both large and small scale producers manage nutrition, disease and other health issues, fencing and predator issues, and marketing opportunities while ensuring the protection of water quality, and vitality of the land.

Two more things worthy of mention: The opportunity for a 4-H club in the Mattole Valley has provided our youth with long-lasting animal husbandry experiences. Besides the relationship with the animals, 4-H gives children here access to the wider world of Humboldt County and beyond. It would be super to have the support of a local Livestock advisor to boost the energy that a few parents and mentors put into this program. Lastly, in our research of what producers need in the Mattole, the number one issue has been to ensure a way to continue doing sales on-the-hoof. There is only one mobile butcher that we know of and it would be super for a Livestock Advisor to support healthy and viable choices, especially for the isolated ranches of the Mattole.
Posted Aug 7, 2012 5:33 PM by Mattole Restoration Council

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