The Vantage Point
UC Agriculture and Natural Resources
I had the pleasure of presenting an overview of
UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR)
to the University of California Regents during their
July 18 meeting
. The regents appeared inspired by the description of Californians throughout the state benefiting from UC ANR research and outreach.
It was gratifying to hear Regent Richard Leib’s comment after my presentation: “You do so many valuable things, not only in the agricultural community, but as you highlighted, a lot of times in the urban areas,” he said.
Turning to his fellow regents, Leib asked, “How do we get this message out to the policymakers, to the legislators who are funding these projects? Because it’s such a valuable thing that the organization is doing, but unless you’ve been touched by it, you might not know it’s UC.”
agreed, saying, “I think your frame is the right one. There are counties where we don’t have a campus, but we have a presence.”
Regent Lark Park added: “I just wanted to say how excited I am to hear your presentation. ANR is a part of UC I know the least about and just to get a taste of what ANR does and its reach is really exciting to me.” She then requested a tour of ANR activities, before closing with: “You really opened my eyes to the importance of ANR to our overall mission and all the public policy problems facing the state. I’m really excited to learn more and advocate more for this.”
It is always great to tell our story and share details of the very broad mission UC ANR delivers. We bring the power of UC research in agriculture, natural resources, nutrition and youth development to local communities to improve the lives of all Californians. We are focusing on everyone in the state
all 40 million California citizens and all 58 counties. We have literally thousands of projects, every single year, and research initiatives throughout the state designed to support our mission:
- Sustainable, safe and nutritious food production and delivery
- Economic success in a global economy
- A sustainable, healthy and productive environment
- Science literacy and youth development
To give you just one example of the economic impact of our work, we take a great deal of pride in the fact that although we are less than 1% of the UC budget, we tend to file, on average, about 4% of the patent applications. When you look at the technology report at the end of the year of the top patent revenue producers for UC, many of them come out of our shop — such as new plant varieties and production technologies.
Of particular note, California is starting to grapple with how to deal with the two Californias: coastal urban areas that tend to be doing quite well and the inner working landscapes, where many communities are struggling with high levels of poverty. The
California Economic Summit
for the past several years has put a focus on this, as has Governor Newsom’s administration. I am co-chair of the
Elevate Rural California
nitiative of the California Economic Summit, along with Greg Norton, the CEO of the
RCRC (Rural County Representatives of California)
We are focusing on three main areas to help elevate rural California: broadband access, water infrastructure, and forest resiliency.
We look forward to seeing you and collaborating with you! Also, please share
with colleagues who would be interested in receiving it, and encourage them to
. We thank you very much for your support!