California faces many complex challenges in the future. California must address these challenges to ensure a high quality of life, a healthy environment, and economic success for future generations.
The University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resource ( UC ANR), a statewide network of UC researchers and educators dedicated to the creation, development, and application of knowledge in agricultural, natural, and human resources, recently released a Strategic Vision recognizing that California’s future depends on
- sustainable, nutritious, and safe food;
- clean, healthy, and sustainable places to live, work, and grow;
- resilient, biologically diverse, and healthy ecosystems;
- clean, secure, and sufficient supplies of water;
- cleaner and more secure energy;
- educated and engaged people; leaders prepared for and capable of making strategic decisions;
- innovative solutions and informed choices;
- economic opportunity and jobs.
The Strategic Vision identifies nine strategic initiatives as a start to address the challenges that face Californians. The following multidisciplinary, integrated initiatives represent the best opportunities for ANR’s considerable infrastructure and talent to seek new resources and new partnerships within and outside UC to find solutions for California.
The conceptual initiatives are:
1. Improve Water Quality, Quantity, and Security. Water is the life blood of California’s economy. As such, water supply and quality for agricultural, urban, and environmental systems is a critical issue facing the state over the next 20 years and beyond.
2. Enhance Competitive, Sustainable Food Systems. California agricultural competitiveness will depend upon adopting new scientific and technological innovations derived from new knowledge in agriculture and nutrition.
3. Increase Science Literacy in Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Nutrition. California is undergoing a remarkable social transformation driven by two forces that have shaped the state throughout history: dramatic demographic changes in the number, age, and diversity of the population and the impact of science and technology. Education will be a key contributor to the successful outcome of this transformation, providing the principal means of making informed decisions about complex issues.
4. Sustainable Natural Ecosystems. Population growth, coupled with climate and land use changes, are the most important issues that will affect California’s natural resources. Future urban and suburban growth is projected to shift more toward rangelands and forests.
5. Enhance the Health of Californians and California’s Agricultural Economy.
Improving the health of Californians, enhancing their quality of life, and reducing health care costs are critical to the future of California.
6. Healthy Families and Communities. The major challenge for our families, schools, and communities is to promote positive development of children, youth, and adults.
7. Ensure Safe and Secure Food Supplies. Food-borne illnesses affect one in four Americans annually, with higher rates in California. Food-borne illnesses place a burden on our health care system and reduce the productivity of our workforce. Food insecurity, which currently affects one in ten California households, places additional burdens on our health care system as poor nutrition is directly related to numerous human diseases and increased health care costs.
8. Manage Endemic and Invasive Pests and Diseases. Increases in the number and kinds of pests and diseases may negatively impact California agriculture, natural resources productivity, and ecosystem functions, affecting Californians’ quality of life.
9. Improve Energy Security and Green Technologies. California faces diminishing and more costly supplies of energy, which can be addressed in part by California’s vast agricultural and natural resource base.
The Ventura County UCCE office is already working on several of these initiatives that are within our area of expertise. Throughout the state, many other dedicated scientists, researchers, and program representatives are also working hard today for the future.
Susan Gloeckler, our Ventura County 4-H Program Representative, has been working to set up 4-H clubs at area military bases. This work is part of a larger federal initiative to create 4-H clubs at military bases across the world so that when families are transferred to a new base, children can continue to enjoy the program and have consistency of involvement in the same organization from one place to the next.
Recently 4-H youth at the Port Hueneme Naval Base and at Point Mugu have been participating a variety of activities including: visiting local farms, growing vegetables, learning where food comes from, and the importance of good nutrition. These fun learning experiences were provided by UCCE staff, 4-H volunteers, Master Gardener volunteers, and youth program leaders at the bases.
On Monday August 3rd, The Ventura County Star wrote a great article about the military 4-H program. The entire article can be read here.
The following Featured Club Happenings was submitted by Piru 4-H Club President, Kris Dewey.
It has been a busy year for Piru 4H! Our members have been provided many educational opportunities because we have a fabulous group of project leaders.
- Our geology project has visited the Santa Paula Oil Museum.
- The Cultural Appreciation project attended a Renaissance Fair.
- Our swine group is as big as ever and toured a local butcher shop.
- We have two members in the beef group taking animals to the fair in August.
- The teatime participants have been learning proper etiquette and took turns hosting tea parties.
- Several scrapbooking members took field trips to scrapbooking shops and had a great time learning how to showcase their favorite photos.
- We had a cake decorating group that made wonderful snacks for our general meetings.
- Our fishing group went on camping field trips and had a great time learning how to bait and cast hooks.
- The community service project members participated in TOTSOCE (Trick or Treat So Others Can Eat), made Christmas Baskets and Valentines for U.S. military veterans, and most recently helped sort clothes and other donations and serve lunch at a homeless shelter in Ventura.
- We offered the members and their parents the opportunity to attend a CPR class.
We are planning a year-in-review to celebrate the successes of this year after the Ventura County Fair and wish all of you a great 2010 season!
Featured Club Happenings are a regular feature in Clover Lines, our 4-H newsletter. Back issues of Clover Lines can be found on our website.
Ventura County University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) is here to extend science-based research to people in our community. We do this in a variety of ways, one of which is newsletters.
Landscape Notes is written for people working in the commercial landscape industry. The last issue is all about establishing landscape trees. It is full of fabulous, practical information that will help establish healthy trees.
Clover Lines is a newsletter published for 4-H members and leaders in Ventura County. It contains events, activities, and opportunities for youth aged 5-19.
Topics in Subtropics is a combined effort by University of California Cooperative Extension Farm Advisors from many counties in the state. It emphasizes citrus and avocado, but also discusses the minor subtropicals. The last issue covered:
- Avocado Research in Ventura County
- Laurel Wilt Disease Conference and Tour in Florida and Georgia
- Managing Insecticide Resistance will be Key to the Future of Effective Citrus Pest Management
- Smart Sprayers Make Sense
Farm Water Quality News delivers the latest news on integrating environmental quality with crop production practices. The last issue covered:
- Regulatory Update
- Industry Update
- Technical Tips
- Research Update
UC Cooperative Extension Report is our department newsletter. This newsletter includes upcoming events, highlight summaries of research and outreach activities, interesting facts and more.
Santa Clara River Watershed Times covers topics vital to anyone who lives, works, and recreates in the Santa Clara River watershed, the largest river system in Southern California. An amazing amount of information is extended in this newsletter covering a wide range of issues, opportunities, regulations, and accomplishments in an easy to read format with great photos. Links for more information are scattered throughout.
Our newsletters can be found by clicking this link. Once there, you can read current and back issues. You can also sign up for email notification to let you know when a new issue has been posted.
Did you know that the Ventura County UCCE office has an advisor that works with local commercial fishermen? Her name is Carrie Culver, and she would like you to know our area is one of the top producing regions on the west coast!
The Santa Barbara Channel includes three ports in Ventura County and one in Santa Barbara County. The region is defined here as the ocean waters south of Point Conception to just south of Point Mugu, as well as the waters surrounding the four northern Channel Islands. This region is a unique place for California fisheries because it is the transition zone where both southern and northern species occur and there are natural conditions that typically provide an abundance of food for the fish.
So what are the top species caught by our local commercial fishermen? Halibut, rockfish, tuna, white seabass, squid, lobster, crab, sea urchin, and shrimp top the list. In addition abalone, oysters and mussels are locally farmed or cultured.
Research shows that including seafood in our diet is good for our health. If you enjoy eating seafood, please do what you can to support local fishermen by visiting fishermen’s market, or ask for it at stores and restaurants.
Great recipes, storage and handling information and much more can be found at these sites.
Additional information about local fisheries, including availability, can be found in our Fish on Your Dish publication. Written by kids and for kids, there is much inside for all of us to learn.