- Author: Brenda Dawson
Trevor Suslow, UC Cooperative Extension food safety specialist at Davis, was told by the farm owner that they believed the postharvest system used in conjunction with the outbreak was an improvement over their previous methods — though Suslow disagrees. He acknowledges, however, that the FDA does not make a definitive statement in its growing guidelines on the safest method of cleaning, cooling or packing cantaloupe.
Agricultural program helps keep youth out of gangs
An Associated Press article by Gosia Wozniacka profiles volunteer work by Manuel Jimenez, UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor in Tulare County. The article was published by news outlets such as the Fresno Bee, San Francisco Chronicle, ABC News, Fox News, CBS News, Seattle Post-Intelligencer and others.
He and wife Olga teach life skills and farming techniques to youth on a 14-acre garden in Woodlake, Calif.
"We want to grow kids in our gardens, because we've seen what violence, drugs and alcohol can do," Jimenez told the reporter.
The article also includes comments from youth volunteers in the program, past and present.
"Everything Manuel did was interesting to me," said Walter Martinez, who is now a UC Cooperative Extension field assistant and also served as a volunteer at the garden through middle and high school.
- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
The Elkus Ranch, an environmental education and conference facility in Half Moon Bay, was created to provide outdoor education opportunities for urban, disabled and inner-city youth. It sits on land donated to UC Cooperative Extension by the late Richard J. Elkus.
A milestone in realizing the Elkus Ranch mission was reached with the opening this spring of a new "enabling garden." A recent ribbon cutting was covered by the San Mateo County Times.
The garden, built by ranch foreman Augie Aguilar and groundskeeper Bruno Acosta, has raised beds of varying heights, some with cutouts for wheelchairs, so youths can have up-close access to the garden without bending or kneeling, the article said. The beds contain flowers, herbs, root crops and vegetables.
"We wanted to make sure that everyone who comes to Elkus Ranch, regardless of ability or disability, can connect with the dirt," the story quoted Leslie Jensen, Elkus program coordinator and a certified horticultural therapist. "An area has been provided for training, workshops and demonstrations of principles and techniques for horticultural therapy for special education teachers."
According to Ranch Talk, the Elkus Ranch newsletter, the project was funded by support from the Atkinson Foundation, the Strong Foundation for Environmental Values, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and the National Gardening Association.
Bill Crandall of the Atkinson Foundation attended the garden's recent ribbon cutting.
"It's nice to experience the outcome of our donation and to see it go to such a thoughtful project," he was quoted in the newsletter.
- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
UC Cooperative Extension may join with Placer County Health and Human Services to provide guidance to a new youth commission being considered by the Placer County Board of Supervisors, according to a story in the Auburn Journal.
The project aims to give a voice to youth in Placer County government. Fifteen young people aged 14 to 21 will be enlisted to identify issues facing local youth and bring ideas to the Board of Supervisors, all of whom are 40 or older.
Supervisor Jim Holmes will be asking the board to approve the commission at their meeting tomorrow.
“This is an opportunity for us to get a better sense of the issues,” Holmes is quoted. “We see the negative in the papers but there’s also a lot of good being done.”
Holmes wishes to have the youth commission, which would receive federal and state funds, in place at the beginning of the next school year.