2012 Call for Supplemental Positions
221 Area UCCE Dairy Advisor - Tulare and Kern Counties
Proposed Area of Coverage
Tulare and Kern Counties
- Jim Sullins - Main Contact
- Area Dairy Advisor Tulare-Kern Counties (pdf), uploaded 05/18/2012 by Jim Sullins
This proposal has been formally submitted for the 2012 cycle.
Sustainable Conservation strongly supports the creation of a Dairy Advisor for Tulare-Kern Counties given the significance of this region to the dairy industry. There are tremendous needs in both counties given the number and size of dairies and the issues they face. It would be a missed opportunity not to have a dairy advisor on the ground to assist the dairies meet the WDR requirements, address their impacts to air quality and help them stay in business.
The Tulare/Kern dairy advisor position is critical to fill. These combined counties currently house nearly 500,000 dairy cows and a large number of replacement animals. Herd sizes range from near 150 cows to more than 7,500 cows making this geographic area the most diverse from herd management perspective. The area has hot summers and operators would benefit from information gained from additional research on reducing stress of environmental elements. Currently, Arizona researchers as well as many private companies conduct research on California dairies and the information gained from these projects is not disseminated to the general dairy industry. A strong presence of UCCE in Tulare and Kern Counties is critical to having important research conducted and information disseminated for the benefit of all. Although this is a large geographic area, the dairy industry in Kern County is highly clustered and both research and educational efforts will be valuable to the economy of Kern County. Lastly, the southern San Joaquin Valley is in need of an additional Dairy Advisor. Currently, we have one remaining in Kings County. The hard economic times experienced by dairy producers in 2008 are again upon us. We need to have the ability to provide outreach to dairy clientele and their support staff. Providing opportunities for individuals to seek mental health guidance is essential. Suicide prevention education and knowing how to connect individuals with assistance is very important. It is a matter of life and death. The Tulare/Kern county position is critical to fill.
Tulare County Farm Bureau represents agriculture in the 2nd largest agricultural region in the nation, and the largest Dairy Producing County in the United States. Dairy farms provide a significant portion of our county's gross revenue, and employs a large number of individuals. For every dollar spent in our economy, the multiplier adds $3-4 in the economy, and much of that is directly related to dairy production. We strongly support a Dairy Advisor position being funded for this region, the counties of Kings and Tulare have a tremendous dairy industry that needs qualified experts that UCCE staff can provide. With the importance of regulatory compliance with air and water quality regulations, and the need to be good stewards of the environment, the UCCE Dairy Farm advisor position is integral to our industry. We strongly support funding for this position.
Tricia Stever Blattler, CEO
Tulare County Farm Bureau
Tricia Stever Blattler, CEO
Tulare County Farm Bureau
What a shame to come down to this process of actually needing input as to the importance of having a UCCE Dairy Advisor in Tulare/Kern County. How could this state continue to be so short sited in it's budgeting process to even think of not filling a position such as this in the largest dairy area in perhaps the entire Western US. With all of the demands placed on our dairymen in regards to air and water quality issues, along with the needs of the very citizens of this great state in regards to disease monitoring and outbreak prevention and food safety issues, why would the thought process not be to make this particular position of a very high priority. The economic return to this state from the dairy industry in these two counties alone is staggering, and yet the research and support activities needed to continue this return are sadly ignored. The entire region is affected by the dairy business in ways that folks too easily forget. The entire demand for crops has been affected by the needs of the dairy industry. The dairies provide year-round employment and steady year-in, year-out employment so badly needed for communities to flourish. If we do not provide the support infrastructure of this critical position, we could see the collapse of retail outlets, medical facilities, commercial, and other industries supported because of the dairy dollars. It is a well known and documented fact that every dollar generated by the dairies goes around in the local economy some 7 - 9 times. What about funding for schools, law enforcement, fire and other essential services if the San Joaquin Valley economy is impacted in such a dramatic way. Just look at what has already happened in Bakersfield with the oil industry. The one person that can make a huge impact is the person who can effectively interface with the large productive family dairies we see in Tulare and Kern Counties. The need has not diminished form the past, it has grown exponentially as the dairy industry has grown. We should make an all-out effort to recruit the very best to assist in making natures most perfect food - Milk and milk products!
My name is Carol Collar and I need your help. I am the only remaining UC Cooperative Extension dairy advisor in the south San Joaquin Valley, a region that is home to the largest population of dairies and greatest volume of milk produced in the entire world. Please help me by insisting that the proposed Tulare-Kern Counties dairy advisor position be elevated to the highest priority by the University of California. UCCE dairy advisors have played an integral role in the extraordinary success of dairying in California, especially Tulare County. Steady growth during the past 3 decades has brought challenges; environmental, animal health and welfare, food safety, and most recently, profitability. I have witnessed achievements and failures in the dairy industry throughout my career. But now I see urgency like never before for UCCE to engage with the dairy community, decision makers, regulatory agencies and others to provide leadership and guidance in addressing current and emerging issues. We need UCCE advisors “on the ground”- living and working in local communities, developing strong relationships and building trust with stakeholders. Those connections are difficult or impossible to cultivate from campuses at Davis, Berkeley or Riverside. Failure to fill gaping holes in UCCE dairy advisor staffing (most notably Tulare/Kern, but also Fresno/Madera), will send a strong message to California’s largest agricultural sector ($5.9 billion for dairy in 2010) that the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources is completely out of touch.
I am writing this in support of the Dairy Fram Advisor position for Tulare/Kern Counties. Tulare County, by itself, would be the fifth largest dairy state if it was a state instead of a county. While the dairy industry has changed over the years, the need to get unbiased university type information to producers is as important today as it ever was. In addition, as the industry has gone to larger and larger players, the ability for the younger, smaller producer to enter the industry has never faced as many challenges. We as an industry need the kind of support that an Extension Dairy Farm Advisor in Tulare and Kern Counties can provide. The ability to bring the university to the people is one of the roles of Extension. There are many that can benefit for that service in those counties. The economics of the dairy industry in those two counties cannot be underestimated. The many, many people that are employed because of the dairy industry forms the backbone of the economy in Tulare County.
Dairy Cares, a coalition of California dairy producer associations, producer-owned cooperatives and processors of dairy products, strongly supports filling this position. Tulare and Kern counties produce nearly 40 percent of the state's milk and desperately require the support of a Dairy Advisor. With the recent vacancy created by the loss of the dairy advisor in Tulare and the nearing retirement of the Kings County advisor, the need is especially critical. Kern County has been traditionally under-served though it continues to grow in importance for the state's dairy industry. The need for UCCE expertise in this area is especially important given the sensitivity of the Tulare Lake Basin (which encompasses both Tulare and Kern counties) -- nitrate in groundwater linked to dairy manure and use of fertilizer is an increasingly important issue in this area and the need for support, outreach and education is growing in this area. Without this position, it will be difficult to maintain an economically and environmentally sustainable dairy industry within this region. UCCE must do all it can at this time to assist in identifying and communicating with producers about issues related to profitability if this region is to maintain its leadership in the U.S. dairy industry. We support this critical investment wholeheartedly.
Just to review why it is critical to fill the Dairy Farm Advisor position covering Tulare and Kern Counties. California is the number one state for milk production in the United States. Dairy milk is the top agricultural commodity in California, producing 22% of the U.S. milk. Tulare is the number one county for milk production not only in California, but also producing significantly more milk than any other county in the U.S. Together with Kern County, represents more than 40% of California milk or almost 10% of the national's milk. Some of the actual issues our dairy producers are facing include: increasing cost of production, low milk prices, environmental regulations, food safety, biosecurity, animal well being, animal health, public health, animal welfare, and some few others. From the economical, environmental, and technical points of view, there are not probably other positions at the ANR more critical than this: the "Dairy Farm Advisor for Tulare and Kern Counties".
Among the top dairy-producing counties in the U.S., Tulare County is #1 and Kern County is #5. These two counties are the home of more than 650,000 dairy cows. ANR has a crucial opportunity to meet the outreach education and applied research needs in these California counties that provide a home to numerous dairy farms and dairy industry stakeholders. Given these fact alone, it would seem to be a logical choice that is easily justified to place a UCCE dairy adviser within these leading dairy counties of California.
Jim and Carol Refilling dairy advisor for Tulare/Kern Counties. UCCE must refill this position for these reasons: Evolution/sustainability of area dairy industry depends on unbiased information interchange. National and International recognition seeks area findings. Vested interests makes this position a crucial information interchange. Local dairy industry production management/ecological impact is paramount. The coordination of information/scientific review and public understanding are essential for UCCE compliance for ongoing needs. Am available for further required contacts. Saludos TS
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