California Beef Council Announces New Executive Committee

By California Beef Council

The California Beef Council welcomed a new executive committee for 2022, with Cindy Tews of Fresno serving as chair for the coming year. Tews comes into the role on the heels of Tom Barcellos, who provided leadership and guidance as chair during 2021.

The announcement came at the close of the CBC’s annual meeting held December 7-8 at Pismo Beach. Tews takes the reins as the CBC begins its 68th year as the country’s oldest State Beef Council. Outgoing Chair Tom Barcellos of Porterville, will continue in an ex-officio role.

Tews is the co-owner of Fresno Livestock Commission, LLC, which has long had a role in the community. It is the only livestock market in Fresno County and serves as a gathering place where information is passed about beef quality assurance and the latest in production practices. The on-site café also provides a space for visitors to talk about what is going on in the community.

“As a CBC Board member, I get to see firsthand how invaluable that one Checkoff dollar is that is deducted for each head that we sell. I’m finding that dollar grows into so much more,” Tews said.

Looking ahead, the CBC plans to invest more than $1.2 million in 2022 to promote beef, provide consumer information, engage with foodservice and retail stakeholders, educate health and nutrition influencers, and provide educational and informational resources to beef producers.

The CBC Executive Committee includes:

  • Cindy Tews, chair (range)
  • Steven Maxey, vice chair (packer/processor)
  • Mike Williams (range)
  • Frank Gambonini (dairy)
  • Jarred Mello (dairy)
  • Mike Sulpizio (feeder)
  • Craig Finster (feeder)
  • Tom Barcellos, ex officio (dairy)

The CBC also welcomed the following new members and alternates to the council:

  • Lizette Cisneros, feeder alternate, Hanford
  • Frank Nunes, dairy member, Tulare
  • William Vanbeek, dairy member, Tipton
  • Frank Mendonsa, dairy alternate, Tulare

The CBC board is comprised of 42 members and alternates, each appointed by the California Secretary of Agriculture. Both the Executive Committee and the full council represent all segments of beef production within California, including range cattle, dairy cattle, feeders, packers/processers and the general public. A full list of the council is available here.

2022-02-02T10:53:41-08:00February 2nd, 2022|

USDA Announces Plenary Speakers for 2022 Agricultural Outlook Forum

Glenda Humiston to speak on market opportunities for climate smart agriculture

By Pamela Kan-Rice, UCANR

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced plenary speakers for the 2022 Agricultural Outlook Forum, themed “New Paths to Sustainability and Productivity Growth” to be held virtually Feb. 24–25, 2022.

The opening plenary session will feature a fireside chat between Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Elizabeth Economy, senior advisor to the Secretary of Commerce. Secretary Vilsack and Economy will discuss U.S.-China agricultural trade relations and prospects for the Chinese agriculture market.

The Secretary’s discussion will be followed by a panel titled “Growing Market Opportunities for Climate Smart, Sustainable Agriculture Systems,” which will bring together sector leaders to discuss how climate smart, sustainable production practices can generate both environmental and economic returns, while still meeting the needs of consumers.

Speakers at the plenary panel include:

  • David Allen, VP of Sustainability at PepsiCo Foods;
  • Glenda Humiston, Vice President, Agriculture & Natural Resources at University of California;
  • Mike McCloskey, Co-Founder and CEO of Select Milk Producers;
  • Elena Rice, Chief Scientific Officer of Genus, PLC; and
  • Emily Skor, CEO, Growth Energy

“The Outlook Forum is USDA’s largest event of the year. Being asked by Secretary Vilsack to serve on the opening plenary panel is a significant honor,” said Humiston.

Also, during the Thursday morning session, USDA Chief Economist Seth Meyer will unveil the Department’s 2022 outlook for U.S. commodity markets and trade and discuss the U.S. farm income situation.

Along with the plenary session, Forum attendees can choose from 30 sessions with more than 90 speakers. The concurrent track sessions and topics supporting this year’s theme are: climate mitigation and adaptation, supply chain resilience, commodity outlooks, frontiers in agricultural production and technology and U.S. trade and global markets.

Visit the Agricultural Outlook Forum website to register and read the program at a glance. Follow the conversation at #AgOutlook on USDA’s TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.

Registration to the 2022 Outlook Forum is free but required. Register at https://www.labroots.com/ms/virtual-event/usda-aof-2022.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy, and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.

2022-01-27T10:59:05-08:00January 27th, 2022|

Farmers Invited to Tour Cover Crops in Sacramento Valley March 3

Farmers and ranchers are invited on a tour to learn how to use cover crops to build soil health. A full-day tour of several cover crop sites in orchards and annual crop fields in the Sacramento Valley is being offered on March 3 by the Western Cover Crop Council’s Southwest Region Committee.

“The goal of this tour is to demonstrate ways to use cover crops effectively in annual crops and orchards in the Sacramento Valley,” said tour organizer Sarah Light, UC Cooperative Extension agronomy advisor.

“This tour will cover a range of topics, including cover crop selection, equipment needed to manage cover crops, considerations for cover cropping in the region, and the importance of building soil health,” said Light, who is also chair of the Western Cover Crop Council’s Southwest Region Committee and a board member of the Western Cover Crop Council.

Cover crop species, cultivars and mixes including legumes, grasses and brassicas will be showcased in Colusa County, with farmers, UC Cooperative Extension specialists and researchers giving presentations.

The tour bus will depart from the Colusa County Cooperative Extension Office at 100 Sunrise Blvd., Suite E, Colusa, CA 95932 at 8 a.m. and return at 7:30 p.m.

Priority registration is limited to farmers and ranchers until Feb. 1. Other interested people may join after Feb. 1. ​The $50 registration fee includes morning refreshments, transportation, lunch and dinner. To register or to see the agenda, visit https://surveys.ucanr.edu/survey.cfm?surveynumber=36190.

Source: UCANR

2022-01-25T08:28:47-08:00January 25th, 2022|

California Marijuana Growers Can’t Take Much to the Bank

Study analyzes tension between legal cannabis, financial industry

Legalization of marijuana in California has helped some financial institutions in the state increase their assets. At the same time, many banks, feeling stifled by federal regulations, deny services to licensed growers, manufacturers and retailers, a new study shows.

“Licensed cannabis businesses need to bank their cash and take out loans to build their businesses, but many banks worry that by doing business with the cannabis industry, they’ll be flouting federal laws,” said co-author Keith Taylor, University of California Cooperative Extension community development specialist. “Banks that won’t accept legal cannabis cash deposits and don’t provide loans, aren’t monetizing their deposits. Marginalized cannabis communities are missing out on capital.”

Of the banks and credit unions contacted by researchers at The Ohio State University and University of California for the study, most were not knowingly involved in the cannabis industry.

Combining data on bank holdings and interviews with growers and bankers, the research –published online in the journal Agricultural Finance Review – paints an initial picture of how the marijuana and financial industries co-exist in California now, and suggests regulatory changes could create new opportunities for both.

The data analysis did make one thing clear: Legalization of the estimated $16 billion marijuana industry in California has been a boon to financial institutions. But restricted access to banking, from checking accounts to loans, perpetuates inequities for those participating in the legal production of cannabis – while unlicensed, illegal growing and exporting continues as an enormous cash-based sector of the industry.

“We need a better understanding of the economics of this industry and all of the questions and implications related to it so the impacts of policy choices are intentional,” said lead study author Zoë Plakias, assistant professor of agricultural, environmental and development economics at The Ohio State University.

“If we want to have a more equitable society and allow communities to keep more of the value of this crop, how do we do that? We first need to characterize what happens in communities when you legalize cannabis.”

Plakias and Margaret Jodlowski, assistant professor of agricultural, environmental and development economics at Ohio State, conducted the study with researchers Taylor, Parisa Kavousi and Taylor Giamo at the University of California, Davis.

“The tensions we are observing in the cannabis banking space comes about in part due to the inequity felt between large cannabis and small and legacy operators,” Taylor said. “The ‘big guys’ are able to absorb a great deal more than ‘Ma and Pa.’”

Legalization benefited financial institutions indirectly

Marijuana is listed as a Schedule 1 drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act. Even in states that have legalized recreational and medicinal use of cannabis, it is still a federal crime to possess, buy or sell marijuana. California legalized recreational cannabis for adults in 2016, and the industry is overseen by the Department of Cannabis Control.

Data used by the researchers for this study included bank and credit union call data for the years 2015-2020. The analysis showed that assets held by financial institutions in counties that legalized marijuana had increased in that period by almost $750 million and loan activity rose by about $500 million.

These benefits are presumed to be spillover effects of better overall economic health that followed cannabis legalization in specific counties, Jodlowski said, because the interviews with financial institutions indicated there has been little appetite among banks to associate with the marijuana industry.

“It’s important to remember when talking about loans that it’s not possible to identify whether they were for cannabis operations, and they’re probably not based on what we heard from stakeholders,” she said. “It’s more of a general relationship. The bank is doing better, and they’re able to lend out more in general and earn more interest from loans.”

When they narrowed the analysis to banks that operate only in California, the researchers found that for each single new manufacturing or retail license, bank assets and loan capacity grew by tens of thousands of dollars. Cannabis cultivation licenses, on the other hand, had no impact on California banks’ holdings.

“This suggests that a lot of the economic benefits of legalization come from other stages of the supply chain – and it’s not a foregone conclusion that farmers benefit from legalization,” Plakias said. “There’s a need to think about how farmers who are producing cannabis in the legal market, often operating in rural environments with a weaker economic base to start with, can be supported in the context of economic development.”

The team also interviewed marijuana farmers and representatives from banks and credit unions in Humboldt, Trinity and Mendocino counties – the “Emerald Triangle” region known historically in California and nationally for the quantity and quality of marijuana produced there.

Cannabis growers face obstacles, risk-adverse bankers

On the financial side, bankers reported being hamstrung by ambiguous federal guidelines that pose a real risk to financing cannabis, largely because banks are required to report suspicious transactions to the federal government. They might be seen as players in a criminal enterprise even by providing banking services to employees who work for licensed members of the cannabis industry, or they could lose big on lending if cannabis-related assets backing a loan were seized by federal agents.

“What’s consistent across all financial institutions is that it’s very costly, and does involve taking on some risk, to be in compliance with all of the guidelines – the risk being that even if you follow all guidelines to the letter, there’s no assurance that you can’t still get in trouble,” Plakias said.

Cannabis growers they interviewed reported paying fees ranging from $200 to $3,000 per month for bank accounts, which they found to be cost prohibitive. These limitations leave most licensed marijuana producers and retailers in the lurch, forcing them to rely on nontraditional financing arrangements – maybe investing in friends’ endeavors – or risk running cash operations.

“There is a lot of evidence that cash can be better for a local economy because cash tends to stay local – but we are now a credit-based economy,” Jodlowski said. “In this day and age it’s incredibly harmful for local economic development to have an entire sector that’s denied access to credit, because so much of developing as a household, or individual, or industry requires credit and requires demonstration of credit-worthiness.

“That’s a fundamental harm of these sorts of restrictions.”

This research is part of a larger project on cannabis and community economic development in California supported by a grant from the UC Davis Cannabis and Hemp Research Center. As part of this project, the California authors on this paper recently published a review of the opportunities and challenges marijuana legalization poses for localities in which the crop is cultivated and sold.

“It’s clear we need policies making cannabis banking and finance more equitable,” Taylor said. “It’s also clear that ‘Ma and Pa’ enterprises need to associate together in formal organizations so they can achieve economies of scale and harness their political power to endure the transition to legal.”

Despite the stigma attached to marijuana, even when legal, its status as California’s most valuable crop – estimated to be worth more than almonds and dairy combined – attracts outsiders who are better-equipped to come up with funding to get their operations started and compete with legacy growers who have lived and worked in California for generations.

This trend necessitates development of evidence-based policies that take all participants into consideration, the Ohio State researchers say.

“Our findings speak to confusion around existing policies and the need for streamlining, clarifying and having a more unified approach to regulating this industry,” Jodlowski said.

2022-01-20T13:14:22-08:00January 20th, 2022|

New Book Shows Grapes a Top Food for Immunity and Brain Health

By California Table Grape Commission

Grapes are a top food for immunity and brain health, according to a new book soon to be released by dietitian and author Patricia Bannan.

The book is titled “From Burnout to Balance: 60+ Healing Recipes & Simple Strategies to Boost Mood, Immunity, Focus & Sleep.” The book lists top foods in several categories, among them brain and immune health, with grapes on the list for both.

In addition to the recipes, Bannan includes grapes in her “Nearly No-Cook Meal Ideas” section of the book.

“Grapes are my go-to ingredient for color, hydration, and nutrition. As a snack or recipe ingredient, grapes are an easy, healthy choice for wellness. Studies show that grapes are linked to benefits in multiple areas of health, including support for brain and immune health,” said Patricia Bannan, MS, RDN, author of “From Burnout to Balance.” “Three of my favorite recipes with grapes in ‘From Burnout to Balance’ are my Simple Salmon Burgers with Grape Salsa, Lemony Farro and Lentil Bowls with Shrimp and Grapes, and my Kale, Sweet Potato & Grape Salad with Walnuts. Not only are these recipes delicious, they are packed with nutrients to support both brain and immune health.”

Bannan will promote her new book throughout the upcoming California table grape season.

2022-01-20T08:13:24-08:00January 20th, 2022|

UC Davis Doctoral Student Alison Coomer Wins Global Nematode Thesis Competition

UC Davis doctoral student Alison Coomer is an international champion

By Kathy Keatley Garvey, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology

UC Davis second-year doctoral student Alison Coomer is now a global champion.

Coomer, a member of the laboratory of nematologist Shahid Siddique of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, just won a world-wide competition sponsored by the International Federation of Nematology Societies (IFNS) for her three-minute thesis on root-knot nematodes.

She delivered her video presentation virtually on “Trade-Offs Between Virulence and Breaking Resistance in Root-Knot Nematodes.” She will be awarded a busary and plaque at the 7th  International Congress of Nematology (ICN), set May 1-6 in Antibes, France.

Coomer earlier was selected one of the nine finalists in the 22-participant competition, vying against eight other graduate students from the University of Idaho, Moscow; and universities in England, Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Kenya, Belgium and South Africa.

“Our entire lab is glad for Alison winning this award,” said Siddique. “This is an outstanding performance and Alison has really been working hard for that. I feel proud about it. I am also looking forward to Alison’s presentation at ICN.”

Judges announced that Rhys Copeland of Murdoch University, Australia, won second, and Laura Sheehy of Liverpool John Moores University England,  scored third. They also will receive busaries and plaques at the 7th  International Congress of Nematology.

IFNS hosts the competition, IFNS 3-Minute Thesis, “to cultivate student academic and research communication skills, and to enhance overall awareness of nematodes and the science of nematology.”

The competition began with 22 participants. Each was required to present a single static slide, and not use any props or sound-effects. In the finals, a panel of judges–six nematologists and three non-experts from other areas of plant sciend science–scored them on the quality of their research presentation, ability to communicate research to non-specialists, and the 3MT slide.  (See the winning videos at https://bit.ly/3naarTe)

In her presentation, Coomer related that: “Root-knot nematodes, specifically the MIG-group, consisting of Meloidogyne incognita, javanica, and arenaria, are the most damaging of the plant parasitic nematodes causing severe yield loss in over 2,000 different plant species including tomatoes. The Mi-gene, which is a resistance gene in tomato, has been used in commercial farming and has been praised for its effectiveness towards the MIG group. This gene has been cloned but the mechanisms of how it’s resistance works is still unknown.” (See video at https://www.ifns.org/alison-coomer)

Coomer, a doctoral student in plant pathology with an emphasis on nematology and advised by Siddique, is working on her dissertation, “Plant Parasitic Nematode Effectors and Their Role in the Plant Defense Immune System.”

Coomer, originally from the St. Louis, Mo., area, received two bachelor degrees–one in biology and the other in chemistry–in May 2020 from Concordia University, Seward, Neb., where she won the Outstanding Graduate Student in Biology Award. She served as a biology lab assistant and taught courses in general biology and microbiology.

As a biological science aide/intern, Coomer did undergraduate research in the Sorghum Unit of USDA’s Agricultural Research Service. Lincoln, Neb.  Her work included collecting, prepping and analyzing DNA, RNA and proteins to identify genes that contribute to an under- and over-expression of lignin in sorghum plants.

 

2022-01-11T13:12:33-08:00January 11th, 2022|

Suppliers, Retailers Warn California Grape Growers of Herbicide Shortages

Supply-chain Crisis Forces Some to Pivot to Mechanical, Biocontrol Measures

By Mike Hsu, UCANR Senior Public Information Representative

Driving through her vineyards on a chilly morning in December, Hortencia Alvarado is taking comfort – for now – that the weeds she sees are all yellow. But there remains a nagging worry that, like the pesky plants, is merely lying dormant for the season.

When March rolls around, and the first signs of new green growth appear on the vines, Alvarado and other vineyard managers will again have to confront the ongoing shockwaves of the global supply-chain crisis.

Growers of grapes – the third-highest valued agricultural commodity in California at $4.48 billion in 2020 – likely won’t be able to access the herbicides that they usually apply.

“I definitely need to start thinking and considering it because I don’t want to be in that situation where I don’t have [the herbicide] when I need it,” said Alvarado, a vineyard manager in the San Joaquin Valley.

Imperfect alternatives

She first noticed the effects of the shortages this past August, during the application following the harvest of early varietals. Alvarado’s agricultural pest control adviser had recommended a different product, instead of their usual standby, Rely – because none of the handful of suppliers in California could find it. Then Alvarado’s foreman started reporting that the substitute wasn’t controlling the weeds.

“We were using some other stuff that wasn’t as good, so basically we were wasting money on stuff that wasn’t doing what we wanted it to do,” Alvarado explained.

They quickly pivoted to their mechanical weeder to chop up the weeds, but that’s been an imperfect solution. They only have one machine and it would take three or four machines to adequately weed the nearly 3,000 acres that Alvarado manages.

The need for more machines or labor is just one result of the herbicide shortage, said George Zhuang, University of California Cooperative Extension viticulture farm advisor in Fresno County. Zhuang has received “a lot” of calls from growers about the chemical supply issues, which are also affecting fertilizers. He’s been urging them to move away from traditional herbicides to mechanical means or biocontrol such as sheep or fowl – even though they might be more expensive.

Zhuang estimates that while a weed program comprises 5% to 10% of total production costs in a normal year with the usual herbicides, the use of nonchemical alternatives could hike that percentage up to 10% to 20%. In addition to their impact on the bottom line, effective herbicides are especially crucial to grape growers because vines – unlike tree crops – cannot naturally shade out weeds with expansive canopies.

“Right now, people can still scramble around and find some limited chemicals to make sure the crop is successful for the harvest, but if the situation goes for another year, I think there’s going to be a panic in farming communities,” Zhuang said.

Herbicide challenges expected to linger

Unfortunately, the availability of certain products is likely going to be “challenged” into at least the middle of 2022, according to Andy Biancardi, a Salinas-based sales manager at Wilbur-Ellis, an international marketer and distributor of agricultural products and chemicals. Biancardi said that the suppliers he talks to are advising people to make preparations.

The supply of glyphosate, the key component in products such as RoundUp (used by many Midwestern farmers), appears to be most affected, Biancardi said. As a result, that shortage has put the squeeze on alternatives such as glufosinate, used in products like Rely – the herbicide favored by many California grape growers.
“The cost of glufosinate has definitely gone up because there just isn’t enough, so everyone is obviously marking it up,” said Biancardi, who estimates that prices for both glyphosate and glufosinate are up 25% to 30% for growers.

“And that’s if you can get it,” he added.

Alvarado said that while large commercial operations are able to pay the premium prices or shift to other weed control measures, some smaller growers have essentially given up the fight – simply letting the weeds take over.
“They’re just letting it go wild until the dormant season,” she said. “They’re hoping that – by when they do start to spray [around March] – they’ll hopefully have that Rely.”

Silver lining to supply crisis?

Large-scale growers and retailers are buying up those scarcer products when they can, in anticipation of future shortages during critical times. Biancardi said that while his company traditionally runs inventories down at the end of the season, they are instead stocking up on herbicides that customers will demand.
“Careful planning and forecasting is going to be more important than ever, that’s really the key,” he said. “At this point we can’t guarantee ‘business as usual,’ based on what we’re hearing.”

Shaking off old habits might actually bring some benefits to business, according to Alvarado, as a forced shift away from chemicals could prove to be a selling point for customers, from a sustainability and marketing standpoint.

“Out of this shortage, there might be some good, some wins,” she said, “but at the same time, we’re going to need some answers – I think it’s going to be a bumpy road.”

Calling the confluence of drought, record heat and a shortage of chemicals a “perfect storm,” Zhuang said that consumers could start feeling those jolts as well.

“Eventually, somebody is going to eat the costs – either the farming community or the consumer is going to eat the cost, I hate to say it,” he said.

2021-12-20T15:42:14-08:00December 20th, 2021|

A New WOTUS Rule?

US EPA and Army Propose New WOTUS Rule

Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of the Army (the agencies) announced a proposed rule to re-establish the pre-2015 definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) which had been in place for decades, updated to reflect consideration of Supreme Court decisions.

This action advances the agencies’ goal of establishing a durable definition of WOTUS that protects public health, the environment, and downstream communities while supporting economic opportunity, agriculture, and other industries that depend on clean water.

This proposed rule would support a stable implementation of “waters of the United States” while the agencies continue to consult with states, Tribes, local governments, and a broad array of stakeholders in both the implementation of WOTUS and future regulatory actions.

According to EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan, “Through our engagement with stakeholders across the country, we’ve heard overwhelming calls for a durable definition of WOTUS that protects the environment and that is grounded in the experience of those who steward our waters. Today’s action advances our process toward a stronger rule that achieves our shared priorities.”

EPA claims that recent court decisions have reinforced the need for a stable and certain definition of WOTUS. The U.S. District Courts for both Arizona and New Mexico have vacated the Navigable Waters Protection Rule.  Considering the court actions, the agencies have been implementing the pre-2015 regulatory regime nationwide since early September 2021.

EPA claims that the proposed rule would solidify the rules of the road for a stable implementation of “waters of the United States” while the agencies continue to consult with stakeholders to refine the definition of WOTUS in both implementation and future regulatory actions.   EPA further states the proposed rule would maintain the longstanding exclusions of the pre-2015 regulations as well as the exemptions and exclusions in the Clean Water Act on which the agricultural community has come to rely.

The agencies are taking comment on this proposed rule for 60 days beginning on the date it is published in the Federal Register.  The Association is currently reviewing the proposed rule in preparation of making comments.

2021-11-24T11:07:29-08:00November 24th, 2021|

Bohart Museum of Entomology Celebrates 75 years!

Photo: Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology and a UC Davis distinguished professor of entomology at UC Davis, addresses the crowd at its 75th anniversary celebration. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Bohart Museum, Founded in 1946, Celebrates 75th Anniversary

With spider decorations dangling from trees and entomologists representing everything from a horse fly to a tortoise beetle to a lamp, the UC Davis Bohart Museum of Entomology recently celebrated its 75th anniversary at an outdoor Halloween party hosted by the Bohart Museum Society.

Rain dampened the Crocker Lane event but not the enthusiasm as the crowd toasted the work of the Bohart Museum and its director Lynn Kimsey, UC Davis distinguished professor of entomology. She has administered the Bohart Museum since 1990.

The UC Davis museum traces its origins back in 1946 to two Schmitt boxes filled with insect specimens collected by noted entomologist Richard M. Bohart (1913-2007), UC Davis professor of entomology and museum founder. Named the Bohart Museum in 1982, it is now the home of nearly eight million insect specimens, collected worldwide.

“We should take a moment to not only express our appreciation of the Bohart Museum and the legacy that Dr. Richard Bohart left, but to all the work Lynn has done to make events like this possible and to continue the important work,” emcee Jason Bond, the Evert and Marion Schlinger Endowed Chair and professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, told the crowd.

Bond, who on Oct. 25 was named Associate Dean for Research and Outreach for Agricultural Sciences, UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences,  drew attention to the “remarkable planet that we live on and the diversity of animals and plants we share” and museum collections.

“Collections have a tremendous educational value,” Bond said, “and they also have amazing research value as well. Discoveries of new species don’t actually happen in the field, they happen in the museum collections. New species on the average spend about 25 years on the shelf before a graduate student, undergraduate student or a researcher pulls them off shelf and describes or discovers them.”

The specimens are an amazing resource, Bond told the crowd. “They not only record the diversity of insects in the past but sometimes we can use them as a key to solving problems associated with human diseases and agricultural pests and the like.”

He offered a toast to Kimsey, who in turn praised the thousands of collectors “who have their names” on the specimens. “We’ve been doing this for a long time. Eventually we’ll be able to serve the public again like we should. Otherwise it would just be a dead collection in a building somewhere.”

Kimsey interviewed “Doc” Bohart, then 82, in 1996 as part of the Aggie Videos collection. (See https://bit.ly/2Zv8rvO.) Bohart, who began his UC Davis career in 1946, chaired the Department of Entomology from 1963 to 1967.

Kimsey, an alumnus of UC Davis, received her undergraduate degree in 1975 and doctorate in 1979. She joined the UC Davis faculty in 1989. A two-term president of the International Hymenopterists, and a recognized global authority on the systematics, biogeography and biology of the wasp families, Tiphiidae and Chrysididae, she won the 2020 C. W. Woodworth Award, the highest award given by the Pacific Branch of the Entomological Society of America, for “her 31 years of outstanding accomplishments in research, teaching, education, outreach and public service.”

A colorful 75th anniversary banner greeted the attendees. The work of entomologist Christine Melvin, who received her bachelor’s degree in entomology from UC Davis in 2017, it features a hover fly, sphecid wasp, snake fly, bumble bee, aphid, twisted wing parasite and a tardigrade (water bear). The Bohart Museum’s tardigrade collection includes some 25,000 slide-mounted specimens. A  2,112-pound tardigrade sculpture, crafted by artist Solomon Bassoff of Nevada County and considered the largest in the world,  graces the front of the Bohart Museum

Bond urged the crowd to help support the outreach mission of the museum. Bohart Museum scientists are seeking donations for their traveling insect specimen displays. They aim to raise $5000 by 11:59 p.m., Oct. 31 for their UC Davis CrowdFund project to purchase traveling display boxes for their specimens, which include bees, butterflies and beetles, Students will compile the boxes, which are  portable glass-topped display boxes that travel throughout Northern California to school classrooms, youth group meetings, festivals, events, museums, hospitals–and more–to help people learn about the exciting world of insect science.

“Now that UC Davis is open again to students we have all these bright, students on campus with fresh and diverse perspectives,” said Tabatha Yang, the Bohart Museum’s education and outreach coordinator. “We want to support their talent, so the funds we are raising will go to students for the creation of new traveling displays

Donors can do so in memory of someone, a place, or a favorite insect. Bond donated $500 in honor of Lynn Kimsey, and Lynn Kimsey donated $500 in memory of the founder, Richard M. Bohart. The donation page and map are at https://bit.ly/3v4MoaJ

The Bohart Museum, currently closed to the public due to COVID-19 precautions, is located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane. In addition to its insect collection, which is the seventh largest in North America, the museum houses a live “petting zoo,” comprised of Madagascar hissing cockroaches, stick insects and tarantulas, and a gift shop (now online), stocked with insect-themed t-shirts, hoodies, jewelry, books, posters and other items. Further information is on the website at https://bohart.ucdavis.edu.

 

2021-11-01T10:46:04-07:00November 1st, 2021|

Fresno Chamber of Commerce Announces Ag Awards

Fresno Chamber is Proud to Announce the 2021 Ag Award Winners

This year’s expanded award platform will feature four honorees at the Ag Awards celebration on November 10th at PR Farms

 The Fresno Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Fresno County Farm Bureau, is proud to announce the winners of the 2021 Ag Awards, a long-standing tradition that honors and celebrates our region’s agricultural industry leaders. This year’s expanded award platform includes two new award categories including the Ag Employee of the Year Award and the AGvocate of the Year Award, in addition to the Moss Adams Agribusiness of the Year Award and the Agriculturalist of the Year Award. The honorees will be recognized at the Ag Awards Celebration on November 10th at PR Farms.

The 2021 Ag Awards Honorees include:

  • Moss Adams Agribusiness of the Year Award – Baloian Farms
  • Agriculturalist of the Year Award – Bill Smittcamp, President & CEO, Wawona Frozen Foods
  • AGvocate of the Year Award – Jose Carlos Ramirez, 2012 Olympian and former WBC and WBO Unified Super Lightweight Champion of the World.
  • Agricultural Employee of the Year – Emilio Leon Coronel, Superintendent, Indart Group and Indart Enterprises.

“This year’s Ag Awards Celebration is especially significant, as it marks the first time that we will present the Agricultural Employee of the Year Award and AGvocate of the Year Award. The event’s new location and dinner format will also provide a fitting backdrop for celebrating the people that are essential to Fresno County’s agriculture industry,” stated Scott Miller, President and CEO and the Fresno Chamber of Commerce. “We are truly honored to recognize the extraordinary people and businesses that make Fresno’s ag industry world-class.”

The Moss Adams Agribusiness of the Year Award is presented to Baloian Farms, a business that has made innovative contributions to the agricultural industry and has demonstrated true leadership in Fresno’s the agricultural community. With a proven track record of finding innovative ways to implement sustainable practices including water conservation, recycling, and solar power, Baloian Farms has become known for developing a program that has enabled the year-round production of peppers and is expected to increase the production of several other crops.

“Providing a platform to recognize leaders in this industry is critically important not only to the mission of the Chamber and the Farm Bureau, but to the growth and prosperity of our region’s agriculture industry,” said Janell Attebery, CPA, Partner, Food, Beverage and Agribusiness, Moss Adams. “It’s why we are proud to continue the tradition of partnering with the Chamber as a way to honor the Moss Adams Agribusiness of the Year Award recipient along with other Chamber award recipients. Moss Adams is delighted to announce Baloian Farms as the recipient of the 2021 Agribusiness of the Year Award; we look forward to celebrating their growth, success and contributions to the agriculture industry and community at the Ag Awards Celebration.”

Bill Smittcamp, President & CEO of Wawona Frozen Foods, and the recipient of the 2021 Agriculturalist of the Year Award, has a demonstrated history of dedication to agriculture and contributed significantly to the agriculture industry in the greater Fresno area. Under Smittcamp’s leadership, his family-owned farm grew to be the largest frozen peach processor in the Nation, processing over 75 million pounds of peaches along with 20 million pounds of strawberries and other fruits. Collectively, the company handles more than 125 million pounds of frozen product annually.

“I am honored and truly humbled to be even considered for this award. So many names come to mind of those who have been awarded before me: Phil Larson, Manuel Cunha, Mark Borba,” Smittcamp said in a statement. “Agriculture in California, peaches specifically, has been in my blood all my life. I am just happy to be a part of the agriculture industry here in the valley.”

For the first time in the Fresno Chamber’s Ag Awards history, the Agricultural Employee of the Year Award recognizes an individual who has played an instrumental role in the success of their organization. Emilio Leon Coronel, Superintendent at the Indart Group and Indart Enterprises, began his career as a humble sheep herder and, through diligence and dedication, rose through the ranks to become a leader within their businesses and essential to its success. A South American immigrant, Cornel embodies the American dream.

This year also marks the first AGvocate of the Year Award; an honor that recognizes an individual who plays an integral role in the agricultural community through advocacy, leadership and service. Jose Carlos Ramirez, a 2012 Olympian and former WBC and WBO Unified Super Lightweight Champion of the World, has used his status as a world-class athlete to bring attention to important local agricultural issues, naming seven of his fights, “Fight for Water,” bringing regional, state and national attention to the need for more water and water storage.

“Each of the awards presented represent an integral facet of Fresno’s agricultural community,” Fresno County Farm Bureau CEO Ryan Jacobsen said. “With the addition of the AGvocate and Agricultural Employee of the Year Awards, the Ag Awards Celebration now recognizes an additional set of people who are key to the success of the local industry and Fresno itself. Because of these amazing leaders, Fresno County is the agricultural capital of the nation.”

Ag Awards Celebration Event Details

Agriculturalist of the Year Past Recipients

Moss Adams Agribusiness of the Year Past Recipients

2021-10-20T14:19:16-07:00October 20th, 2021|
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