November 2017 Volume 1, Number 5
The Vantage Point
On November 28, UC ANR will again participate in  #GivingTuesday , a global day of giving, powered by our social networks. Celebrated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable giving season. For ANR, #GivingTuesday is an opportunity to raise funds for UC Cooperative Extension county programs, research and extension centers and statewide programs. As a result of the ongoing effects of the drought, recent wildfires and persistent pockets of poverty, California's needs in the coming year will be great, and year-end giving is an opportunity for donors to make a difference through their support.

UC Cooperative Extension professionals have a deep passion for their work and a dedication to the communities they serve. While most deliver their research and programs quietly every day, it is especially inspiring to witness their response to disaster; for example, recent wildfires saw local UCCE offices responding immediately with vital information for coping with the fires, care for livestock and pets, as well as service in food banks and other volunteer needs.

#GivingTuesday provides an opportunity to talk about our research and outreach to enhance food systems and create thriving communities, as well as the many other positive things everyone in ANR is doing to make life better for Californians.
For UC ANR stakeholders, #GivingTuesday presents an opportunity to support the many programs and services that strengthen California communities each day and more importantly, during times of crisis. Last year, more than $64,000 was raised on #GivingTuesday to support UC ANR programs, including the 4-H Youth Development Program and UC Master Gardener Program.

Last year, the 4-H Foundation recorded a 430 percent increase in donations over the previous fiscal year, raising more than $30,000 in one day from 37 counties! This was due in large part to a match challenge from an anonymous donor.

This year, I'm excited to share that we will have two match challenge funds: One supporting the California 4-H Foundation and one for all of UC ANR. To learn more and support UC ANR this #GivingTuesday, please visit

As always, we invite you to read more about the important work that UC ANR does, and to collaborate with us. Please share  Connected with colleagues who would be interested in receiving it, and please encourage them to subscribe.

All good wishes for a happy and healthy Thanksgiving and holiday season ahead.
Glenda Humiston 
Vice President
UC Agriculture and Natural Resources
Notes From the Field
Celebrating 60 years of water resources research and extension at the University of California
It's a bit of complicated, but fun,  history ....The center was renamed the  California Institute for Water Resources in 2011 . The initial mission of the institute still stands: to integrate California's research, extension, and education programs to develop research-based solutions to water resource challenges. In practice, we work across all kinds of institutions and provide educational programs through  direct contact web-based programs , and  social media  to increase understanding of complex water issues while also trying to diversify the conversation about water within our state.
UC ANR in the Media
At the   recent statewide Summit convening in San Diego, conversations about how to create connectivity among rural economic development projects created real excitement. Glenda Humiston, Vice President of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of California, makes the point that what happens in California is important to all Californians — no matter where they live.

California has unique weather patterns that deliver a tremendous amount of water over a very short time frame, sometimes in just two or three storms. In a warmer future, California may still have the occasional wet year, but its weather is expected to become even more extreme. “We face the prospect of being in a drought but experiencing extreme flooding at the same time,” says [Ted] Grantham .  

California Magazine
The incentive for city council members and county supervisors is to encourage development and expand tax bases, said UC ANR researcher and UC Berkeley professor  Scott Stephens. As a result, homes are often built in wild land “interface” areas with extreme fire risk. “UC Cooperative Extension [under the university's Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources] maintains [agricultural and conservation] programs in every California county, so we already have a network of educators and communicators,” Stephens said. “We could coordinate with state agencies and the governor to create and implement wildfire safety and response programs that could be very effective. And because the basic structure is already in place, it wouldn't be very expensive.”

Ukiah Daily Journal 
“It’s like an addiction,” Diana Philips, a semi-retired veterinarian from Novato said about participating in sheepdog trials. “As soon as you’re about to quit, you do really well.” Philips was one of the dozens of handlers, or trainers, competing in the qualifying event hosted by the University of California Research and Extension Center [at Hopland]. “The best thing to do is to start with a well-bred dog,” said Geri Byrne, one of the participant-organizers who helped UC Research Center Director Kim Rodrigues with the event. By the end of the weekend, about 350 spectators came to watch the spectacle.

Western Farm Press
Several years ago, UCCE advisor   David Doll came up with a plan to crowdsource some funding to help the county Extension office pay for projects that otherwise fell to the wayside as slim sources of revenue found other priorities. “Over the years there has been a consistent erosion of base funding for our services, not only from UC, but from county and federal governments,” Doll said. Through his contacts with almond growers in his county, Doll secured about $14,000 from less than 10 donors now part of an endowment which the Merced County Extension can budget annually in perpetuity.

Capital Press
More than half the participants in new farmer training projects the USDA has spent more than $150 million on since 2008 are still working in agriculture, a group's survey has found. The survey's findings should encourage the UC to seek more grant funding for similar projects elsewhere, said Jennifer Sowerwine, an Extension specialist based at UC Berkeley who was on an advisory board for the USDA's evaluation. “As the metropolitan agriculture and food system specialist, I see several opportunities ... to expand [the UC's] offerings to support aspiring and beginning urban and peri-urban farmers,” Sowerwine said.

Marin Independent Journal
The sudden oak death infection rate in Marin has doubled to more than 21 percent since 2015, according to  Matteo Garbelotto, UC Cooperative Extension specialist and director of the UC Berkeley Forest Pathology and Mycology Laboratory.

Capital Public Radio
UC Cooperative Extension poultry specialist  Maurice Pitesky says the USDA may stop allowing the organic chicken egg producers to use a synthetic protein supplement, called methionine. His group of researchers is trying an alternative protein source: black soldier fly larvae. “This might be a way to move away from that synthetic methionine and try something that the chickens naturally have an inclination to eat,” Pitesky said. He held a tasting event to determine if the larvae influence egg flavor.

Quartz Media
One recent diet fad is to avoid genetically modified food. It's led to an sharp increase in non-GMO labels. According to  Pam Ronald, UC Cooperative Extension specialist whose husband is an organic farmer, farms going non-GMO to meet consumer demand are causing major damage. “These non-GMO labels have proliferated, and they're really a problem,” Ronald told Quartz. “Because there's no regulation, they can just spray anything they want. So what's happening is ... they're going back to using [far] more toxic compounds. And I think that's really a disservice to the consumer to market it as somehow being more healthy — when of course, it's not, and it's also more harmful to the environment.”

Los Angeles Times
Clover Sonoma to jump into the trend of labeling products as free of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, which some consumers fear could cause health and environmental damage, despite firm rebuttals from the country's top scientific and medical organizations. "It's like unicorn-free milk," said Alison L. Van Eenennaam, UC Cooperative Extension genomics specialist. "There aren't any GMOs in milk anyway."

Sacramento Bee
Although the risks from new fires have abated in Northern California in recent days, officials cautioned that the perils haven't been completely extinguished despite the light rains that swept through the area last week. “In two days, it'll be as dry as it was before the rains, roughly,” said   Bill Stewart, the co-director of UC Berkeley's Center for Fire Research and Outreach.

Los Angeles Times
The Northern California fires revealed that we have key gaps in our policy and planning related to assessing risk in fire-prone environments, writes Max Moritz. An essential step is to shift our perspective from a focus on hazard to one that more comprehensively includes human vulnerabilities.

Ventura County Star
California is ahead of a lot of the country with respect to preparing to handle wildfire, said  Max Moritz, a wildfire specialist with the University of California Cooperative Extension. “But we still have a lot to learn,” he said. Do the building codes already in place work under such severe conditions, and how do you get people out in time? “That's what we're going to be asking ourselves as we pick up the pieces and look at what happened here,” Moritz said.

NPR The Salt
Mercy for Animals is beginning to lay the groundwork for a campaign that will target the aquaculture industry and shine a light on the conditions in which finfish like salmon, tilapia, catfish, trout, pangasius and other species are raised. Trying to shift the aquaculture industry won't be easy. The vast majority of the farmed fish Americans eat comes from countries like China, Indonesia, Canada, Norway, Chile and Ecuador. "Welfare rights are primarily a Western phenomenon," says UC Cooperative Extension specialist Fred Conte. "You go to Central America or China and you're not going to find welfare standards."

Environmental Defense Fund
In a Q&A article with the Environmental Defense Fund, UCCE farm advisor emeritus Greg Giusti said the driving force of the California wildfires was wind. Other factors responsible for the devastation include 100 years of fire suppression, early and mid-20th century logging converting old growth forests to more densely populated stands of trees, suburban and rural sprawl spreading out into wildlands, and programs and actions addressing fire prevention relying too heavily on fire suppression.

San Francisco Chronicle
A dramatic increase this year in the number of oaks, manzanita and native plants infected by sudden oak death likely helped spread the massive fires that raged through the North Bay, according to Matteo Garbelotto, UCCE forest pathology and mycology specialist. In a recently released study he reported that 37 percent of the trees sampled in fire-ravaged eastern Sonoma County — prior to the fires — were infected by sudden oak death.

Democracy Now
“There's pretty conclusive evidence for a link to climate change for many of the fires that we've seen in the last couple of decades," [said UCCE specialist  Max Moritz]. "And the trends match up with what we expect from climate change and from our models.”

Palo Alto Weekly
Asian citrus psyllid has been found in eastern Santa Clara County as well as other Bay Area counties. It is considered established in Southern California. "So far, the term 'eradication' has only been used early on in the invasion and in agricultural production areas. Residential treatments are voluntary but highly recommended by the state at this time,” said   Andrew Sutherland, UC Cooperative Extension IPM advisor the San Francisco Bay Area.

Los Angeles Times
"These kinds of fires and the losses are very uncharacteristic of that part of the world," UC Cooperative Extension specialist  Max Moritz said of the firestorm that ignited in Northern California last week, killing dozens of people and torching thousands of homes. "It has all the signatures of a massive, Southern California Santa Ana wind event.”

Valley Public Radio
In Northern California, a wet spring caused the hills to grow thick with grasses and shrubs. That foliage then died and dried out over the hottest summer in California history. The winds caused small fires to grow extremely quickly. "Everybody from firefighters down to homeowners has commented on just how incredibly fast the fires were moving," says  Max Moritz, UC Cooperative Extension specialist. "That's really a wind-related phenomenon."

San Francisco Chronicle
Australia, in contrast to California, has developed a more effective “Prepare, stay and defend, or leave early” policy, writes Scott Stephens . With this approach, trained residents decide whether they will stay and actively defend their well-prepared property or leave early before a fire threatens them. By examining the Australian model, we might approach a more sustainable coexistence with fire. However, some California communities are so vulnerable that a “Prepare and leave early” strategy might be the only option.

ABC News
The Tubbs blaze may be one of the deadliest wildfires in California history. "When a fire moves that quickly, there really is no evacuation notification system that can keep up," said  Scott Stephens, a UC ANR fire science researcher at the University of California Berkeley. "We're talking about just minutes."

New York Times
Parched landscapes can increase fire size and duration, said  Scott L. Stephens, a UC ANR researcher of fire science at the University of California, Berkeley. But it is important to note, he added, that climate change is not necessarily causing specific fires to occur. Wildfires are a natural part of a forest's life cycle and have been part of the state's history since long before anyone called it California.

The Weather Channel
Any of this year's harvest still in the fields is threatened not only by flames, but also by smoke, which can ruin grapes that have not yet been picked. Still, most of this year's crop was already picked and next year's fruit won't likely be affected, UCCE specialist   Anita Oberholster told the AP. "Even if wines now were heavily affected by smoke, it doesn't carry over to the next season, only in the fruit itself," she said.

Water Deeply
UCCE specialist  Van Butsic, who recently published a study that proposes a new way to manage forests, is featured in a Q&A format. Bustic discusses how California forests are impacted by the drought, how much prescribed fire is needed to bring forests back to a healthy state, and laws and procedures followed by state and federal agencies on fire suppression.

Capital Press
The University of California's Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources and AgStart will use the money to cultivate the Verde Innovation Network for Entrepreneurship, which will provide assistance for businesses. “We want to make sure every Californian has the support system to take a novel idea and commercialize a new product or start a new business,”  Glenda Humiston, the UC's vice president for ag and natural resources, said in a statement. “They don't have to be a university inventor. They could be a farmer or a young person.”

Riverside Press-Enterprise
The avocado industry is confined to cool coastal counties. If a variety could grow on a wide scale in the San Joaquin Valley, it would be a game changer. “That's one of my dreams, that we expand the industry into the San Joaquin Valley,” said  Mary Lu Arpaia, UC Cooperative Extension specialist.
Engage with Us!
Poultry Workshops
December 4 - 7, 2017
UC Davis
Davis, CA
Any prospective, beginner or intermediate farmer interested in raising poultry flocks on pasture are invited to join this workshop . In addition to the more “traditional” topics such as flock husbandry, biosecurity, food safety, nutrition or equipment needed, sessions on records management, marketing options and mobile “apps” usage for better data capture will be held. Register here .
AgPlus Funders Forum
December 12, 2017
2801 Second Street
Davis, CA
At this even t we will explore strategies to deploy the next generation of financing innovations for California food and ag businesses. We encourage experts in the areas of small business financing, entrepreneurship, and the food and ag industries to join us in developing new ways to support our vital food and ag businesses.
Spotlight on Practical Resources
CA Garden Web
The California Garden Web

The UC Master Gardener Program designed the California Garden Web to serve as a portal to organize and extend the University of California's vast collection of research-based information about gardening to the public. The California Garden Web focuses on sustainable gardening practices and uses a question and answer format to present solutions. Blog posts featured on the home page highlight gardening issues pertaining to the season.
Calendar of Events
The UC ANR Calendar lists events hosted by our programs throughout California. Find an event in a community near you! 

University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources
2801 Second Street
Davis, CA 95618