Fresno State Launches New Agricultural Leadership Program

Fresno State’s Avery Culbertson Launches Solid Agricultural Leadership Program

 

By Lauren Dutra, Associate Editor

 

Dr. Avery Culbertson, who is passionate about agricultural leadership joined California State University, Fresno (Fresno State) in August, in a newly created position to develop an Ag leadership curriculum for the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology.

Dr. Culbertson’s interest in Ag leadership was initially sparked by “being a product of National FFA Organization* (FFA). You have a lot of role models and influences around you. You start getting an idea of what Ag leadership is,” said Culbertson.

“After I got my degree in agricultural education and was looking for a job, I met with a colleague who said, ‘There are adult leadership programs around the country, and I want you to start one at New Mexico State University.’”

Having been trained by the California Agricultural Leadership Program, Culbertson was confident that she could successfully launch a program. “They really opened their arms to me,” she commented, “and provided resources. As that progressed, I started defining what leadership was.”

Culbertson asserted, “An agricultural leadership program is not only [about] understanding our industry, but understanding our customer. That became very important to me in and outside of the job. The only way that agriculture can lead in society is by understanding our stakeholders.”

Culbertson thinks it is critical not only to know how to lead—having the skill set to be a great speaker or to be knowledgeable in different fields,” she explained, “we also need to know who we are leading. As I’ve been discussing with my classes right now, leadership is a matter of taking a group of people and accomplishing a collective goal,” she said.


*National FFA Organization (FFA), formerly known as Future Farmers of America, helps students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

UC Davis to Host Beef Cattle Conference

Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle

UC Davis to Host National Conference August 17–18

The latest technologies and techniques in beef cattle reproduction will take center stage at UC Davis in August at the 2015 Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle Symposium.

Cattle producers, veterinarians, faculty, UC Cooperative Extension specialists, students, and more are welcome at the national event, which will be held August 17 and 18 at the UC Davis Conference Center.

“Speakers from multiple states will outline approaches to improve the efficiency and success of beef cattle reproduction,” said Alison Van Eenennaam, a UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the UC Davis Department of Animal Science, which is hosting the annual beef cattle conference. It’s the first time the symposium has been held in California.

Participants will explore key topics in beef cattle reproduction, including physiology, genetics, management, marketing, and strategies for coping with drought.

“Dr. Eric Scholljegerdes from New Mexico State University will deliver a particularly timely talk entitled, ‘Drought: Devastating natural event or a wakeup call for better cattle management,’” Van Eenennaam said.

Heifer development will also be addressed, along with the role maternal nutrition plays in fetal development. For a full list of speakers and topics, visit the Beef Reproduction Task Force website.Screenshot 2015-07-23 15.37.57

American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists, as well as Veterinary Medicine continuing education credits are approved for the meeting.

The Registration fee of $250 includes one dinner and two lunches. Students can attend for $100.

For additional information, visit the conference website at or contact Alison Van Eenennaam at alvaneenennaam@ucdavis.edu or 530-752-7942.

Allen-Diaz honored by range management professionals

The Society for Range Management bestowed its highest honor, the Frederick G. Renner Award, on Barbara Allen-Diaz, UC vice president for the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the society’s annual meeting today (Feb. 2) in Sacramento. A tremendous milestone, Allen-Diaz is the first female SRM member to receive the award in the society’s 68-year history.

The premier award is given annually to SRM members who have sustained accomplishments or contributions to rangeland management during the last ten years.

“Barbara has a record of outstanding research productivity that has affected the understanding and management of California rangelands and has had global impacts,” said Amy Ganguli, assistant professor of range science at New Mexico State University.

“Barbara is also a well-regarded educator who has mentored several graduate students and young professionals who are making significant contributions to rangeland and natural resource management,” said Ganguli, who, along with Fee Busby, Utah State University wildland resources professor, nominated her for the award.

This is not the first time Allen-Diaz has been recognized by her peers for her research on the effects of livestock grazing on natural resources, oak woodlands and ecosystems of the Sierra Nevada. The national society honored her with its Outstanding Achievement Award in 2001, and the following year the California chapter named her Range Manager of the Year.

In 2007, Allen-Diaz was among 2,000 scientists recognized for their work on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change when the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly to the IPCC and Vice President Al Gore. Allen-Diaz’s contributions focused on the effects of climate change on rangeland species and landscapes. She has authored more than 170 research articles and presentations. She has been an active member of the Society for Range Management, serving on its board of directors and on various government panels.

Allen-Diaz, who has served as UC ANR’s vice president since 2011, is also a tenured UC Berkeley faculty member in the College of Natural Resources and currently holds the prestigious Russell Rustici Chair in Rangeland Management. She has been with the University of California since 1986.  She earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees at UC Berkeley.