Capitol Corridor
Capitol Corridor
Capitol Corridor
University of California
Capitol Corridor

Higher education cuts will hurt farming

An editorial that ran over the weekend in the Bakersfield Californian declared that cuts to the budget of California's public higher education institutions will hurt the state's farmers.

The editorial was prompted by a visit to Bakersfield last Friday by UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi and UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences dean Neal Van Alfen.

Robert Price, editorial page editor, wrote that the Legislature's "complete and utter failure to act on behalf of higher education is likely to smack everybody else right between the eyes" - including agriculture. He noted in the story that many jobs in agriculture are low-paying, but that many others pay quite well.

"That earned wealth is a significant economic driver," Price wrote. "That wealth, derived from global competitiveness, rides on the back of research -- research carried out by institutions like UC Davis."

Van Alfen explained in the article how UC research has helped the Central Valley stay ahead of the global competitive curve, using the dairy industry as an example.

"So how do you take a low-cost product like milk and get added value out of it, particularly from the waste stream?" Van Alfen was quoted. "We're working on things like whey, a byproduct of cheese making. It used to be dumped and now it's becoming, through research, something of value. We're finding that there are some special chemicals in whey that have even greater value than just as a raw protein."

Linda Katehi and Neal Van Alfen toured the San Joaquin Valley.
Linda Katehi and Neal Van Alfen toured the San Joaquin Valley.

Linda Katehi and Neal Van Alfen toured the San Joaquin Valley.

Posted on Monday, April 4, 2011 at 9:14 AM
Tags: budget (32), Linda Katehi (2), Neal Van Alfen (9)

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