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027 CE Specialist in Postharvest Systems Engineering

Submitter: James MacDonald (Associate Dean )
Submit Date: 15-Nov-10
Proposal: CE Specialist in Postharvest Systems Engineering (Specialist )

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Status

This proposal has been formally submitted for the 2012 cycle.

Comments

40 Comments

1
As an emeritus CE Specialist and Professor of Postharvest Physiology, I strongly recommend the approval of this position because of the critical role of its holder in the future activities of the UC Postharvest Technology Center (PTC). The full impact of Jim Thompson's retirement has not been demonstrated yet because he has continued to teach in the various educational offerings of the PTC as a volunteer.I urge the selection committee to select the Postharvest Engineer position among those that will be approved for filling during the 2012-13 academic year.Thank you for your consideration.
Posted Apr 17, 2012 1:10 PM by Adel Kader
2
As The Postharvest Physiologist for Dole Food Company in Latin America, I strongly recommend the approval of the propossed position. Postharvest Physiology, Handling and Technology is a Multidisciplinary Science that integrates Physiology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Nutritional Sciences and Engineering. Postharvest Engieneering is key in that it covers everything that happens to fruit and vegetable between production sites and selling points/consumers. The cold chain is fundamental in maintaining quality and supporting this industry, especially in California ...without Postharvest Engineering your Postharvest Program and PTC will be limping. Thanks for your consideration
Posted Apr 17, 2012 2:38 PM by Eduardo Kerbel
3
I have worked for the Dried Fruit and Nut industries for mare than 40 years and have been able to use information developed by Dr. Jim Thompson numerous times. The infromation he developed more than paid for his UC support of him. I strongly recommend the approval of the position to replace Jim. This type of information will be even more important in the future. Thanks for your consideration.
Posted Apr 17, 2012 2:49 PM by Gary Obenauf
4
As an Engineer and Business Leader in the Fresh Produce market, who has not only utilized his services but also taught alongside him, I cannot over state the impact that Jim Thompson and this position brought to not only the UC Postharvest Technology Center (PTC), but to the industry as a whole. As we as an industry move forward the impact and services offered by a Post Harvest Engineer cannot be overstated. The importance and impact of having, as a part of the PTC team, the Postharvest Engineering discipline will only continue to grow as we face the many science, technical and engineering challenges of feeding the ever increasing global population. I strongly recommend the approval of this position. Respectively submitted
Posted Apr 17, 2012 3:19 PM by Jeffrey S Brandenburg
5
As an Engineer and Business Leader in the Fresh Produce market, who has not only utilized his services but also taught alongside him, I cannot over state the impact that Jim Thompson and this position brought to not only the UC Postharvest Technology Center (PTC), but to the industry as a whole. As we as an industry move forward the impact and services offered by a Post Harvest Engineer cannot be overstated. The importance and impact of having, as a part of the PTC team, the Postharvest Engineering discipline will only continue to grow as we face the many science, technical and engineering challenges of feeding the ever increasing global population. I strongly recommend the approval of this position. Respectively submitted
Posted Apr 17, 2012 3:22 PM by Jeffrey S Brandenburg
6
As an alumni from UCD Postharvest Group, a colleague who continually utilizes the resources of the UCD Postharvest Technology Center (PTC)in my work and as a contributor to the workshops, I have seen first hand the role that Postharvest Systems Engineer plays in this multidisciplinary field of postharvest. I strongly recommend approving this position. The industry and the center are already beginning to feel the consequences of the retirement of Dr Jim Thompson and with the sustainability challenges facing agriculture in California and globally this specialization is an essential focus of the future. Thank you for your consideration.
Posted Apr 17, 2012 4:11 PM by Deirdre Holcroft
7
The engineering side of post harvesst technology has been critical to the success of this interdisciplinary group. The loss of several faculty members in this area, includinig the retirement of Jim Thompson could easily result in UC Davis and UCCE losing their historical lead in post harvest technology. In my own area of rice production, Mr. Thompson contributed immensely to the drying and milling of rice which has resulted in improved quality and value to the industry.

It is also clear to me as Associate Dean for CA&ES International Programs, that post harvest technology and extension capacity building are two of the most important and sought after areas for global food security. It is important that we do not lose our international reputation as the leading institution in the world for this area of development.
Posted Apr 17, 2012 4:36 PM by Jim Hill
8
Too all whom it may concern: I have worked with Dr.Jim Thompson through the CA Pear Advisory Board. He was a valuable resource and asset in his assisting the CA pear industry in the implementation of it's pear ripening program. This program was/is a leader in the produce industry, allowing for a greater return to the grower's investment and satisfaction to the consumers eating experience. His innovative thinking and dedication will be hard to replace. The position must be continued to benefit pears and other commodities that need this type of collaborator for future projects. Please consider this to be an on going project not yet finished. CA agriculture needs this to be a world leader in it's agricultural efforts. Thank you for the understanding it takes to make a tough decision when it is so easy to cut and run from what has made U.C.Davis a world leader in agriculture. The "budget cutters" have cut too much from what we will need to feed the world of the future. We need this position filled. Thank you for your time and the opportunity to write to you.
Posted Apr 17, 2012 10:05 PM by Dennis Kihlstadius
9
As Director of Food Safety and previously Manager of Fruit Sciences at Sunkist Growers I would like to offer my strong support for filling this position. Our industry is under growing competititive pressure from off-shore producers who have lower operational costs. We are heavily dependent on export markets and expanding into emerging markets. Maintaining quality thorough storage and export shipping is challenging and requires engineering expertise as provided by Jim Thompson to provide research in this critical area. Dr. Thompson has conducted research and education for our industry for many years. He has been one of the most useful assets in the UC Postharvest team. We strongly encourage the University to fill this position.
Posted Apr 17, 2012 10:24 PM by Bob Elliott
10
When the fresh produce industry considers who is the predominant authority on postharvest handling, there is no doubt that it is UC Davis' Postharvest Technology Center (PTC). Long a leader in this extremely important field, the PTC enables companies to supply the world with the highest quality fruits and vegetables. As a manufacturer of ethylene application systems for fruit ripening, and a supplier of many other postharvest instruments, we understand the importance of a fully-staffed PTC. The research and educational seminars of the PTC has enabled the advancement of ripening programs for many fruits and therefore improved the quality, taste and ultimately, sales of these fruits. We urge the selection committee to approve the Postharvest Engineer position in the 2012-13 academic year. Enabling the PTC to be filled with professional produce leaders will allow it to continue as the most valuable resource and leader in postharvest technology and research. Thank you for your consideration.
Posted Apr 18, 2012 6:00 AM by Greg Akins
11
I can state that Jim Thompson's work has been greatly appreciated. And also that the work needs to continue, for the benefit of the industry, and consumers. Growers and packers with precoolers, do not share with the industry, much of the nuts and bolts about the process, treating it as a trade secret, as is understandable because of the time and investment involved. For organizations looking to start precooling, or do a better job with what they have, UC Davis has been one of the few resources that can help with practical, actionable information. Jim's retirement leaves a void that needs to be filled posthaste.

In my opinion and experience, if the industry does a better job of precooling/postharvest, food safety is also improved, and untold billions of dollars of produce value can be preserved. There has to be an ROI in that somehow...
Posted Apr 18, 2012 8:31 AM by Jim Still
12
Jim Thompson's service to the industry will be missed and the void caused by vacating his position will be felt throughout the industry. I have been a Post Harvest Specialist, representing several Private Sector disciplines for the past thirty years. Jim Thompson and professionals of his ilk have been substantial, yet unsung contributors to the quality and efficiency of the Country's fresh food value chain for all of that time. To leave his position vacant will have a costly and cumulative negative effect on the business success of California's food and agriculture.
Posted Apr 19, 2012 6:07 PM by Art Dawson, Ph.D.
13
I got an opportunity to work with Jim Thompson during my postdoc at UCDavis post harvest lab. I did not fully realize the true impact and value of Jim's work until I started working at Driscolls Strawberry Associates. Technical notes and research paper published by Jim and his team are enormously valuable resources for the produce industry. I believe that it is extremely important to fill Jim's position if UCDavis continue want to be a lead institute in this important field of research.
Posted Apr 19, 2012 10:03 PM by Malkeet Padda
14
Going back to Bob Kasmire, this position is extremely important to the industry. As others have noted, short of companies funding their own research, UC Davis and Jim in particualr are the only resources available for post harvest cooling issues. Not filling this position will leave a huge gap in available information.
Posted Apr 20, 2012 12:12 PM by Craig Miller
15
The contributions of Jim Thompson have been substantial over the years. The fresh fruit and vegetable industries continue to need the engineering support that he has provided. High energy costs, new electronic technologies and an evolving regulatory environment provide substantial challenges to California Agriculture. I strongly support the filling of this position to continue to provide the support that the industry needs.
Posted Apr 20, 2012 2:01 PM by Devon Zagory
16
I am writing to strongly urge the refilling of the Postharvest Agricultural Engineering position formerly held by Mr. Jim Thompson. One of the reasons that the UC postharvest program and the postharvest related industries of California has been so successful is due to the innovative work of Mr. Thompson and his predecessors. The proposed ANR position #027 (CE Specialist in Postharvest Systems Engineering) will continue the legacy of this program which is so important for the continued success of California agriculture. I urge UC to refill this position.
Posted Apr 20, 2012 5:15 PM by Mary Lu Arpaia
17
I would like to urge UC Davis to fill the proposed ANR position #027 (CE Specialist in Postharvest Systems Engineering. Jim Thompson has been a mentor and an advocate of the level of achievable improvements that understanding cold room, ripening room, controlled atmosphere and other aspects of the cool chain. It will take a unique knowledgeable, committed and enthusiastic individual to fill Jim's shoes. The assistance Jim provided to the avocado industry has been critical to the evolution of postharvest handling of avocados to where we are today. I fully support filling this very important position.
Posted Apr 20, 2012 6:02 PM by Reuben Hofshi
18
Jim Thompson's impact as the leading professional in his discipline has extended beyond California to national and international audiences. During my career in postharvest extension and research I personally distributed hundreds of his publications to my clientele because the practical science-based approaches that he advanced provide the best information available for solving probelms. Today he is the only engineer that I know of who provides this specific assistance. He has represented California and UC Davis in the best possible way and a failure to fill his position would be a great loss to California and the greater industry. Ideally, his replacement would have an opportunity to work with him for some period of time so that he or she could continue this critically important work. I strongly support the continuation of Jim's effort by filling his position in a timely manner. Thank you for this opportunity to comment.
Posted Apr 21, 2012 5:21 AM by James W. Rushing
19
I would like to add my strong support for the approval of the CE Specialist in Postharvest Systems Engineering position. I have been involved in the produce industry in California and around the globe for over 20 years working for companies that include both grower/shippers and technology providers. During that time, I have seen the positive impact of the Postharvest Technology Center on the industry on almost a daily basis. The role Jim Thompson has played in providing the engineering component to the overall approach to postharvest handling has been invaluable. I have used his publications frequently myself over the years and have recommended them to colleagues and customers many times. It is important for our industry that this research and extension work be continued. The position will be even more important in the future with the growing issues around energy costs, food safety and quality. Thank you for your consideration.
Posted Apr 23, 2012 12:11 PM by Jeff Leshuk
20
As Technical Support Director for the California Walnut Board I strongly recommend the CE Specialist in Postharvest Systems position be filled. This position is critical to postharvest walnut research which Jim Thompson supported for a number of years. Drying technologies in regard to nut quality and food safety remain an important activity to continue reaseaching. The California Walnut Board and the UC scientists have worked closely on a number of projects for decades. We must continue these efforts and filling this position should help this process.
Posted Apr 24, 2012 2:51 PM by Carl Eidsath
21
The sustainability of California agriculture requires that postharvest handling of fruits and vegetables is energy and water efficient. There are numerous unsolved problems resulting in major losses of natural resources in preparing California-grown horticultural products for distant markets. Furthermore, postharvest losses due to inadequate handling and processing result in significant financial losses. The solution of these problems requires someone with strong engineering background who is well versed in postharvest handling. There are a number of educational programs in the country that prepare graduates in this area, therefore, we should be able to attract highly qualified and bright individuals for recruitment. I offer my strong support to fill this position.
Posted Apr 24, 2012 10:35 PM by Paul Singh
22
With continual advances in postharvest related technologies and applications I find it critical that the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources fill the proposed position of #027 CE Specialist in Postharvest Systems Engineering. In my line of industry (Fresh Cut Vegetable Processor and Shipper) we call upon the expert advise of the many Postharvest specialists in the UC System. Jim Thomspon’s roll in technology transfer has been and continues to be the best available resource for educating industry on basic and complex Postharvest engineering systems. The UC Postharvest Technology Center (PTC) is our first stop for all things postharvest related. The global trend is maintaining lean operations, longer production hours, further transport distances, along with fewer resources and Industry needs a resource who can provide guidance in these areas when needed. Thank you for your consideration.
Posted Apr 25, 2012 9:27 AM by Keri Morrelli
23
Having spent the last 23 years in the postharvest industry in California, I emphatically support the proposal to fill the vacancy left through Jim Thompson's retirement. Jim provided valuable information over the years, and on many occassions, our company brought him in to tackle complex engineering issues in our customer's packinghouses. The future is going to bring only bigger challenges with water, energy, and environmental issues that will need to be addressed through engineering research. This position will be an integral part of providing solutions to keep our industry competitive.
Posted Apr 25, 2012 10:31 AM by Charlene Jewell
24
In the decade prior to his retirement, Jim Thompson, worked extensively on issues related the post-harvest handling of rice to ensure a high quality globally competitive product. CA exports nearly 50% of it crop annual. Market retention requires the consistent deliver of high quality rice. The southern US rice producers are currently faced with the loss of global market share because of poor quality issues. CA rice retains its reputation to a considerable degree due to Jim’s lucid research and education program. His work also led to a substantial reduction in the energy used to dry rice after harvest.

Accolades for Jim's work aside, the important point is that CA agriculture depends on the post-harvest research and information generated at UCD. A failure to refill this essential position would be travesty and an indefensible decision to ignore the ongoing needs of this key sector of CA agriculture.
Posted Apr 25, 2012 12:06 PM by Cass Mutters
25
As the office manager of the Postharvest Technology Center, there are daily reminders of the huge void created by Jim Thompson's retirement. Just this morning we looked at the ten lectures he has traditionally given at the Postharvest Technology Short Course, ranging from harvesting, to transportation, to cooling systems, to packaging, to energy efficiency, and all the way to future postharvest innovations. The need for this position is truly critical, and I respectfully request that it be given top priority. Thank you.
Posted Apr 27, 2012 3:23 PM by Mary Reed
26
Jim's work and his expert advice have been a great resource to myself and many others in the produce industry. His research has proved invaluable in maintaining quality, freshness, and food safety in the produce industry. I highly recommend that his work continue by filling this position at UCDavis.
Posted Apr 28, 2012 6:38 PM by Gary Campisi
27
[This comment was deleted]
Posted Apr 28, 2012 8:28 PM by [Deleted]
28
The engineering aspects of postharvest biology and technology, cooling, packaging, energy efficiency, are so critical to the future viability of the produce industry around the world, but particularly here in California. Most all of the commodities produced in California depend on efficient and effective postharvest handling to maintain their quality and safety. The expertise of an agricultural engineer focused on postharvest handling is essential to address industry challenges and share best practices that will enable the industry to remain economically viable. This essential postion should be of the highest priority for filling.
Posted Apr 30, 2012 5:20 PM by Beth Mitcham
29
As a long-time postharvest consultant and collaborator in the training and outreach activities of the Postharvest Technology Center at UCD, I often need to get both practical and theorectical advice on the engineering aspects of the many technologies recommended for packing, cooling, storage or processing hort crops. The role that Jim Thompson has played on the postharvest faculty team cannot be over-stated, and I strongly recommend that the proposed position be filled as soon as possible.
Posted May 4, 2012 2:36 PM by Lisa Kitinoja
30
As the CEO of cold chain associations representing the global food industry I wish to state that the contributions of Jim Thompson to the industry continue to be impressive and invaluable. The fresh fruit and vegetable industries will continue to need the engineering support that he has provided. The industry is facing an aggressive regulatory climate, escalating energy cost and a demand for food safety and security. I strongly support the filling of the Specialist in Postharvest Systems Engineering. It is critical to this industry.
Posted May 7, 2012 5:12 AM by J. William Hudson
31
This position is one of the most critical positions to the industry within the ANR system. The contributions of Jim Thompson over the years have saved the citrus industry countless hours of angst, especially in the area of frost protection and post harvest analysis of frost damage to citrus fruit. The continuation of the fruit quality research in transit will also play a critical role in the future of citrus production and marketing. UC has always provided much needed assistance in transportation issues of fresh food products and should continue in the years to come. Extension of this knowledge must continue to be a high priority for ANR.
Posted May 30, 2012 1:52 PM by Ted Batkin
32
Although most people agree on the need to reduce postharvest food losses and waste, UCANR directs less than 5% of its resources to preserving the food that is produced vs 95% for producing more food. This is illustrated by the number of current FTEs allocated to postharvest food quality and safety maintenance relative to the total number of FTEs. Correcting this imbalance is another justification to fill this important position in addition to all those justifications mentioned in the previous 30 comments. Thank you for your consideration.
Posted Jul 23, 2012 3:54 PM by Adel Kader
33
The mechanization and automation in post harvest handling and processing of food grains has reached to its peak because due importance given to engineering inputs required for developing the protocols and machines. However horticulture though a high value crop the engineering interventions or jobs to be done by engineering expert have received a back seat. Due to this most of these operations are done manually or with low efficiency world wide which leads to heavy post harvest losses and also post processing losses due to under-utilisation of valuable co products/byproducts obtained. Just to give you an example except for vegetables or flowers grown in green houses we do not sufficient mechanization for orchards for proper pruning, harvesting, post fruiting care of fruits as they do not achieve physiological maturity as that of grains and required to be tended diffidently. Hence it is essential that R&D related to post harvest mechanization and proper engineering interventions in post harvest handling and packaging should be given due importance by appointing proper personnel or right personnel for right job. This is all the more important as more emphasis is given on fruits and vegetables as health foods. I therefore strongly support the above position at your esteemed university.
Posted Aug 1, 2012 10:07 PM by Dr. RT Patil
34
The mechanization and automation in post harvest handling and processing of food grains has reached to its peak because due importance given to engineering inputs required for developing the protocols and machines. However horticulture though a high value crop the engineering interventions or jobs to be done by engineering expert have received a back seat. Due to this most of these operations are done manually or with low efficiency world wide which leads to heavy post harvest losses and also post processing losses due to under-utilisation of valuable co products/byproducts obtained. Just to give you an example except for vegetables or flowers grown in green houses we do not sufficient mechanization for orchards for proper pruning, harvesting, post fruiting care of fruits as they do not achieve physiological maturity as that of grains and required to be tended diffidently. Hence it is essential that R&D related to post harvest mechanization and proper engineering interventions in post harvest handling and packaging should be given due importance by appointing proper personnel or right personnel for right job. This is all the more important as more emphasis is given on fruits and vegetables as health foods. I therefore strongly support the above position at your esteemed university.
Posted Aug 2, 2012 12:32 AM by Dr. RT Patil
35
As a professor of Postharvest Technology in a public academic Institution in Europe, as a former UC Davis student and visiting scholar, and as a partner on academic exchange and dissemination activities with you distiguished Institution, I wish to emphasize the important role that Jim Thompson and his co-workers have played throughout his carreer to the advancement of innovation in this field. After his retirement it is my opinion that this position should be replaced as soon as possible.
Posted Aug 2, 2012 2:17 AM by Giancarlo Colelli
36
Jim Thompson had very substantial collaborative roles in many projects with USDA ARS research personnel in the San Joaquin Valley over the years. The contributions of Jim and other University of California postharvest research personnel to the quality of the work we in the USDA ARS have done cannot be overstated. Jim added practical ideas and sound quantitative information on physical aspects to many of our postharvest projects, such as cooling, heating, air movement, gas diffusion, material properties, etc., that were a valued complement to our mostly biological work. I learned a great deal from him, and many future postharvest projects, like those of the past, would benefit greatly by an engineer’s perspective and contributions. He should be replaced and this kind of work continued.
Posted Aug 2, 2012 4:12 PM by Joe Smilanick
37
I support very much such position since I am one on those who have got a lot of it. This position is very much important for different issus among them is the cold chain. We need the research and its positive resulta that benifits all people working in the postharvest.
Posted Aug 5, 2012 10:24 AM by Dr Atef Elansari
38
As a university postharvest agricultural scientist I can attest to the horticultural industry's need for expertise in Postharvest Systems Engineering. Valid and reliable information and recommendations concerning design and usage of postharvest cooling systems, storage design, transportation refrigeration, packaging design to facilitate cooling and protect fruits and vegetables, are critical for produce companies to successfully market their products. This is the kind of expertise and activities that would be provided by a Specialist in Postharvest Systems Engineering. Furthermore, this area of agricultural engineering is almost absent in the Land Grant system with the retirement of Dr. Thompson. I strongly encourage UC to step up and fill this critical position and continue to serve the agricultural industry.
Posted Aug 7, 2012 5:39 PM by Dr. Jeffrey Bbrecht
39
As a graduate of the UC Davis postharvest program and a joint author of UC publications with Jim Thompson, I have personally witnessed the far reaching international and domestic benefits of Jim Thompson’s work. As the UC Postharvest Systems Engineer, he contributed in numerous ways to the efficient and effective handling, sustainability, quality and wholesomeness of perishable foods. Based on 38 years of academic and international business experience, I can unequivocally attest that there is an ongoing necessity to continue the contributions of a UC Postharvest Systems Engineer. In short, there remains an unmistakable need for a Postharvest Systems Engineer in the UC system, now and in the future. Failure to fill this position will have cumulative adverse effects on California’s competiveness in domestic and export agricultural markets and the affordability of California sourced food that consumers enjoy around the world. I strongly recommend approving this position.
Posted Aug 7, 2012 5:47 PM by Patrick Brecht
40
There is a constant need for increasing energy efficiency in post-harvest handling of agricultural crops. An agricultural engineering specialist is needed to make continual improvements in post-harvest handling to keep our agriculture competitive in the global economy. This position should be filled.
Posted Aug 7, 2012 8:51 PM by Joseph Connell

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