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Position Details

200 Environmental Horticulture/Community Food Systems Advisor for Merced, Mariposa and Stanislaus


Associated Documents


This proposal has been formally submitted for the 2012 cycle.



This is an important position priortized by the current Environmental Horticulture advisors,specialists, and the EH team leaders (Don Hodel, Heiner Lieth and myself). Filling it would provide coverage we do not currently have in the this geographical area.
Posted May 9, 2012 4:13 PM by Janet Hartin
The position would have a significant work load and a very large potential clientele. Merced and Mariposa both have large, active MG programs that can support extension efforts. Invasive pests would provide many research opportunities as well as a wide array of horticultural topics.
Posted May 30, 2012 11:00 AM by Maxwell Norton
This position would provide another environmentally responsible link to residents within the counties. Additional public outreach and education regarding sustainable landscape practices, water and energy conservation and best practices for pest management and fertilizers are very much needed in this area.
Posted Jun 27, 2012 2:35 PM by Denise London
I think the significant work load mentioned by Maxwell has been underestimated. I know that MCPs are the wave of the future, but I think the person with this broad job description may need another couple of hands to keep all those balls in the air. I think Pam basically did this job, and brilliantly, in 1 county; imagine 3 counties! Is this setting someone up for failure, or at the very least, professional frustration?
Posted Jul 3, 2012 11:49 AM by Karrie Reid
Absolutely Karrie, but then that is the usual ANR mantra in many of these positions. Ultimately a successful candidate can revise their PD later but probably not the county assignments. This broad view of staffing across large geographical areas will kill cooperative extension in California if we continue to think this way.
Posted Jul 31, 2012 10:32 AM by jim d
As I understand the proposal, this will help to "facilitate the development of a new Master Gardener Program in Stanislaus County, serving both as resource and guide to program development."
This is an important outreach tool.
Posted Jul 11, 2012 3:16 PM by Keith D Boggs
With the growth of Farm to School and our horticultural programs on our campuses, this position would be crucial; in helping us in the promtion of our programs and in the learning environment for our stakeholders.
Posted Jul 12, 2012 8:12 AM by Scott Soiseth, Director Turlock USD
This Advisor would be a great asset and partner to the NFCS, 4-H, as well as Farm Advisors already in the counties. This would fill an essential link across disciplines. Within our communites there has been an increase in community, school, and backyard "gardens". Many of which I hesitate to call gardens in reality they are small farms. The Central Valley is the ideal region for an advisor who can connect all of these dots.
Posted Jul 13, 2012 2:32 PM by Theresa Spezzano
The fact that this individual will serve three counties and advise the broadest stakeholders in the food system is very innovative and will prove to be invaluable to all. With the current attention being given to food production and the limited UCCE and other educational resources available currently, NOW is the ideal time to supplement the regional and technical resources available to the community, decision makers and funders about food policy and systems, nutrition and food preparation education, and liaison among stakeholders. I am a rancher and nutrition education advocate, and I encourage enhancement to our food systems for everyone’s benefit.
Posted Jul 13, 2012 4:16 PM by Karen Sweet
This advisor would be a great partner to network all of the local Universities, Nurseries, Farms, Government Agencies, Community Agencies, School & Community Gardens, Farm-to-School programs, and related businesses. The collaboration opportunities are endless and will enhance the sustainability of the agricultural industry in this region helping to stabilize the economy. The regional approach to this position will really help maximize the efficiency and benefits this person will be able to deliver.
Posted Jul 17, 2012 3:56 PM by Jana Nairn, CEO of Ag Link, Inc.
This Advisor would provide invaluable support/TA to our local farm to school programs and our local efforts to enhance our nutrition/food system.
Posted Jul 18, 2012 12:54 PM by Cleopathia Moore-Bell
This advisor would be of great benefit to small farmers and others as learning ways to save water and reduce pests is invaluable to any grower
Posted Jul 25, 2012 2:15 PM by Angela Mayfield, small organic farmer
This is an important position for the three counties which the position will serve. Stanislaus County alone has a long history of strong support for the environmental horticulture component of the position. There are several family-owned and operated wholesale nurseries in the county, all of which have supported UCCE applied research and extension projects in the past. Projects have included weed control, plant growth regulators, growing media and root development. The parks departments of three of the county's cities - Modesto, Turlock and Patterson - have also been strong supporters of UCCE programs. Research on pest and disease management, fertilizers, root/sidewalk conflicts and other topics have all been completed on the street and park trees in those cities. The local arboriculture and landscape maintenance industries have also been supportive, cooperating in many research and extension activities over many years. With established Master Gardener programs in Merced and Mariposa Counties, the EH position will have existing organizations for effective outreach of information to horticultural industries and the general public. I will be happy to speak in to anyone in support of this position if requested.

Posted Jul 26, 2012 9:23 AM by Ed Perry, County Director and Farm Advisor Emeritus
The Central Valley of California is the most productive farm land in the world. We not only feed the world but lead in the research of such a tremendous industry. Now, because of various actions of groups, we are facing a series of problems that is going to effect the productivity of this precious farm land. These problems arise from lack of water causing salt build up in the soil and decreasing growth of the plants, visitors or citizens of this state bringing in other insects that are natural to this region and the constant pressure to use up farm land for building purposes.

We need an advocate for the areas of Merced, Mariposa and Stanislaus Counties to help transfer the research and new science that is coming out of UC Davis Agricultural Department; which could be done through an additional Farm Advisor for these areas.
I made a commitment to the Master Gardeners Program to take this information to the local home owner and I feel a commitment from the state to add another Farm Advisor to this region to help the farming community.

Thank you for reading and taking this comment into consideration.


Royce Rhoads
MG Merced County
Posted Aug 2, 2012 3:36 PM by Royce Rhoads
I have been a Master Gardener in Merced County for about 15 months and to say the experience has been eye opening is an understatement. Our daily and weekly contacts with the general public reveals an astonishing lack of understanding or concern of the relationship between what the average homeowner does in his/her own back yard or garden and the effect it has on the overall ecosystem. This varies from overuse of lawn and garden chemicals to improper disposal of flea collar chemicals and everything in between. Everybody understands that they should be careful about what they apply to their edible garden items but they don't make the connection that all of the other chemicals they use on their lawns and landscape ends up in the water supply.
Anything the state can do to strengthen the Farm Advisor network to help elevate the level of education with the general public would pay for itself many times over. This is particularly true when taken in conjuction with the Master Gardener program as an additional outreach to the public.
As a taxpayer and Master Gardener I would unhesitatingly support the new Farm Advisor position.
Dave Hackney
Posted Aug 2, 2012 4:55 PM by Dave Hackney
I cannot agree more with my fellow Master Gardener colleagues. This program is a boon to the public, though I would say a majority do not yet realize this resource is available to them. A paid staff position to provide leadership to the MG programs already in place and the one being planned for Stanislaus County is vital. Both Mr. Rhoads and Mr. Perry are quite correct that there are many horticulture related businesses in Stanislaus County eager to cooperate with the MG program. Mr. Soiseth has pointed out how the public schools in the area can benefit. The MG program over all is a resource of vital importance to the public of these counties. A staff person dedicated to leading this program is essential.
Patricia Shay
Posted Aug 4, 2012 10:13 AM by Pat Shay
As an instructor of the Environmental Horticulture Science program at Modesto Junior College, working with the county agriculture environemtal horticulture science advisor was an important component of our program. Additionally it has been a great loss for our area to have gone this long without an EHS advisor, we really need to have this position filled with a great horticulturist who my students can work with as well as myself. Many times in the past I could seek help witht he many horticulture questions that come through my office and now have no one to direct them to....very frustrating from an educational stand point.
Please work very hard to fill this position and provide the area with a great environmental horticulturists so our community can support our environment and themselves much better.

Looking forward to having the position back!!!
Posted Aug 7, 2012 1:44 PM by Professor Pollard
The Stanislaus County Farm Bureau supports this position and the UC Cooperative Extension system. Many of our members have benefited from the excellence of our local UCCE staff and advisors. As some of our communities seek the ability to increase Farmers Markets and local, fresh food availbility to their citizens, positions such as this will become even more important.

We support this multi-county positions and would gladly assist the University system in any way possible.


Ron Peterson
Stanislaus County Farm Bureau
Posted Aug 7, 2012 3:55 PM by Ron Peterson

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