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UC president Janet Napolitano visits Kearney REC

UC President Janet Napolitano discusses California agriculture on an aerial tour with farmer Don Bransford, who chairs the President's Advisory Commission on Agriculture and Natural Resources. (Photo: Doug Parker)
University of California president Janet Napolitano visited the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Parlier this week to consult with her top agricultural advisors about a new food security and sustainability initiative, reported Hannah Furfaro in the Fresno Bee.

On her way to Kearney, Napolitano viewed California cropland, rivers and reservoirs that have been impacted by three years of drought.

"There are areas that clearly are being allowed to remain fallow due to drought, there are hills that should be green that are brown, and there are reservoirs where you can clearly see the water mark," she said. "Through the extension service we will work with growers throughout the state to manage this the best way possible."

Ryan Jacobsen, Fresno County Farm Bureau executive director, said growers' relationship with the UC's extension field offices has historically played a big role in the success of the Valley's agricultural economy, Furfaro reported. Advances made in the lab quickly make it to the farms, he said, in large part because of how well regional centers work with farmers.

Alec Rosenberg of the UC Newsroom filed a detailed account of President Napolitano's visit to the San Joaquin Valley. The article said she met with the President's Advisory Commission on Agriculture and Natural Resources to discuss how to engage all 10 campuses in making UC the "go-to" institution in the world for all issues related to food, including sustainability and nutrition.

Napolitano toured the Kearney REC, where she learned about UC's role in helping establish a blueberry industry in the San Joaquin Valley, efforts to preserve the safety of pistachios and other nut crops, and work underway in the center's mosquito lab.

Napolitano noted that she recently made ANR vice president Barbara Allen-Diaz a direct report to her because agricultural issues matter to California and the world, Rosenberg reported.

“It's great to see the incredible depth and breadth of California agriculture, and show the link between UC research and extension and the development of agriculture in the state,” said Allen-Diaz, who accompanied Napolitano on the tour.

Additional coverage:

Napolitano, UC's Kearney center focus on drought relief
Benjamin Genta, UCLA Daily Bruin

Posted on Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 1:09 PM

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