Posts Tagged: Glenda Humiston
Janet Napolitano, who is on a two-day tour in Humboldt County, is the first UC president to visit the Northern California locale, reported Marc Vartabedian in the Eureka Times-Standard. Napolitano is joined by Glenda Humiston, vice president of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Napolitano and Humiston are visiting an Indian health services facility, a seafood company, a forest and a high school. UC has had a long presence in Humboldt County. Humboldt was the site of the first UC Cooperative Extension office in California, established in 1913.
“UC has had 100 years of research presence in the Arcata forest and many of their campuses are world leaders in ecological research,” said Yana Valachovic, director of UC Cooperative Extension in Humboldt County. “We think of ourselves as the eleventh campus.”
Humiston visited local farms, the Salton Sea, and UC Desert Research and Extension Center and UC Cooperative Extension in Imperial County. She had discussions with local farmers and industry representatives about renewable energy, drought and water issues, and agricultural production.
"It's great ot have our new vice president here to learn about the programs that we have here and discuss how we can improve them and bring more resources to the area," said Khaled Bali, director of UCCE in Imperial County. "That is basically my objective, bringing more resources to the area and have more collaborative projects."
Andy Horne, a Imperial County executive, said that solar farms have expanded in the county. Projects in place and those approved will cover about 4 percent of Imperial County farmland, a level the county intends to maintain. Humiston told the reporter that she is an advocate for farmland protection because the planet as a whole has a limited surface for cultivating crops.
"As we are dealing with things such as climate change and invasive species and drought, not only protecting those acres so that they are available but keeping them healthy and making sure water is available becomes ever more important," Humiston said.
Delgado reported that Humiston's trip to the Imperial Valley is part of an effort to visit all the UC Cooperative Extension offices and the nine research and extension centers around the state to familiarize herself with UC ANR efforts throughout California.
“The issues going on here are completely different than the Central Coast, Northern Sierras or Sacramento Valley,” Humiston said. “What is important is that we, the University of California, we have these offices in each and every county and that we have these research centers because if we are going to develop knowledge and find solutions and be able to implement those, we got to be able to have people in the ground here that can really dig into the real problem. You got to have people on the ground.”
The vice president of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, Glenda Humiston, was a speaker at the summit. She said UC has calculated that 1.2 million California jobs are tied to the state's natural resources - including agriculture, fishing, mining, recreation and renewable energy. Humiston predicted there will be 300,000 more jobs in this sector over the next five years.
However, the pool of workers for the jobs is diminishing because young people in Mexico and Central America, who often fill these positions, are increasingly able to find better paying, less taxing jobs elsewhere.
"There's going to be massive upheavals in the system," Humiston said.
The article noted that nearly every industry leader at the summit stressed the importance to California agriculture of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal involving the U.S. and 11 other Pacific Rim nations.
The press conference was conducted by telephone to accommodate media around the state.
Humiston said she will look for ways to expand economic opportunities for farming industries and increase the number of advisors and specialists in UC Cooperative Extension, reported Tim Hearden in Capital Press.
“I am a long-time, very strong supporter of Cooperative Extension, its mission and what it does for all the people in California,” she said. “We definitely need more advisors in the field as well as specialists on the campuses to find answers to the really complex questions (growers face)."
Humiston said she will be working on funds development and finding new resources for ANR, not just money but also new partners and opportunities for collaboration.
"We've just had some very exciting collaborations with commodity groups," Humiston said. "The rice folks have put together money for a position and we're looking at some endowed chairs. I think you're going to see us partnering more with commodity groups and stakeholders."
Humiston said she met with UC President Janet Napolitano her first day on the job, and was asked to be active on the UC-Mexico Initiative, UC Global Food Initiative and the UC Sustainability Initiative.
"I suggested I also be active on the UC Technology Initiative because of the way technology and agriculture come together," Humiston said.
"I'm excited beyond belief," Humiston told the Press Democrat. "This is such an opportunity to make a difference on many levels."
Humiston succeeds Barbara Allen-Diaz, who retired June 29.
The new vice president grew up raising cattle in Colorado and credits her participation in 4-H as a child with developing her interest in farmland preservation and environmental sustainability. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tunisia, was deputy undersecretary for the USDA during the Clinton administration, and her most recent position has been California state director of USDA Rural Development.
“I've spent my whole life trying to bridge agriculture and environmental issues,” Humiston said. “What people don't realize is it's a natural bridge. When people get past the fighting, they often realize we have 80 percent in common.”
Stephanie Larson, UC ANR Cooperative Extension advisor and director of the Sonoma County office, called the appointment of the Sonoma County resident "exciting."
“If you think about Sonoma County, we have a half-million acres that can function as some form of working landscape — like forest lands, croplands and water," Larson said. "Everything has an opportunity and these are going to be key to address drought and climate change.”