Posts Tagged: budget
According to the Independent article, written by Mary Thieleke Jackson, director of the Santa Barbara County 4-H Management Board, a draft budget released Friday, May 10, does not include a county contribution to UC Cooperative Extension. Budget hearings are expected to take place the week of June 10-15.
Because the county faces a $10.5 million budget deficit, the board of supervisors is considering all options. If the proposed cut carries through to the final budget, 4-H will cease to exist in Santa Barbara County, the stories said.
"We have to set priorities and figure out what programs work and what programs don't," said Fifth District Supervisor Steve Lavagnino.
He says the board has to make up the budget losses somewhere and he hopes it doesn't include cutting funding for 4-H.
"I can't think of a better place to spend it than on our kids and teaching them about leadership and hard work," said Lavagnino.
California Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed $97.6 billion general fund budget for fiscal 2013-14 boosts spending on education, implements health care reform and eliminates what was a $25 billion state deficit when the governor took office, reported Tim Hearden in Capital Press.
The governor's proposal increases funding for both public schools and higher education, adding $250 million for the University of California and California State University systems. The increases come after voters approved higher income and sales taxes in Proposition 30 in November, bringing relief to UC Cooperative Extension officials who feared further cuts if the measure hadn't passed, the article said.
The budget proposes a multi-year stable funding plan to strengthen the California higher education system, ensure affordability and reduce student indebtedness, according to the news release issued by Gov. Brown's office.
Gov. Jerry Brown shows a graphic at his press conference comparing state funding for education from 2007 to 2017. (Photo: State of California)
UC ANR will soon be hiring a UC Cooperative Extension term area advisor specializing in table grapes in Tulare, Kern and Kings counties. Thanks to an $840,000 gift from the California Table Grape Commission, the advisor position will be funded for six years by the $1.4 billion annual table grape industry.
"The UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor system is an integral part of the growth story of the table grape industry in California,” said Kathleen Nave, president of the California Table Grape Commission. "Continuing that growth is critical to the industry but also to the rural communities in which table grapes are grown. With this gift, the University will be able to expand its ability to help growers cope with challenges such as pests, diseases, water quality and quantity, and a host of known and unknown issues that could negatively impact the industry's ability to compete in a worldwide marketplace.”
The California Table Grape Commission-funded position will be headquartered in Tulare. UC ANR will also be hiring a UC Cooperative Extension area viticulture advisor who will be based in Kern County.
"This generous gift by the California Table Grape Commission will enable UC ANR to begin recruitment immediately,” said VP Barbara Allen-Diaz. "As state funding has dramatically decreased in recent years, private-sector support is becoming a critical component of funding important positions essential to the long-term health of agriculture throughout California.”
This new funding model will enable UC ANR to hire outstanding academics to continue to conduct research and deliver new knowledge that is critical to the sustainability of farmers and to California's future.
The passage of Proposition 30 in last Tuesday’s election is an important victory for public education in the State of California. I am thankful that the citizens of California voted to support public education and to stem the tide of cuts to programs and people that would have eroded our mission and harmed our state.
While Proposition 30 is not a panacea, it represents a very welcome respite from the recent spate of deep budget cuts, and we can look forward to having a firm budget for the remainder of this academic year.
At the same time, we will continue to face challenges as the costs of higher education inevitably rise. I am proud of the efforts UC ANR has taken over the last several years to improve efficiencies, reduce costs and generate new partnerships and revenue streams.
These efforts will continue to be vital for the long-term sustainability of our Division. This means completing the multicounty partnership process, forming more partnerships to fund vital positions and demonstrating our proven ability to provide science-based solutions to a 21st century audience.
I am extremely proud of our UC ANR family. Thank you all for your time, your efforts and your continued passion for our mission.
The article noted that grants have been helpful in recent years to conduct research, but they do not address the loss of "research capacity," a phrase the authors use to describe cuts to permanent funding that sustains faculty and staff.
"To date, 44 percent of the state’s almond acreage is not covered by a farm advisor, with current vacancies in Fresno, Madera, Kern and Glenn counties," wrote Curtis and Ludwig. "These farm advisors regularly conduct problem-solving research under regional growing conditions, often adapting and applying basic research findings, and also regularly communicate with growers and their PCAs, and farm managers through field days and farm calls. The lack of farm advisors in this important San Joaquin Valley region also puts significant strain on current farm advisors in other counties."
Merced Sun-Star puts local spin on almond story
In Merced County almonds have been the second leading commodity for some time, wrote Joshua Emerson Smith in the Merced Sun-Star.
David Doll, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Merced County, said the California Almond Commodity Board has successfully marketed the nut to the world.
"It's one thing to be able to produce a big crop," he said. "It's another to be able to sell that crop and make money."
Doll said technology has greatly improved almond yields and efficiency.
"The thing that pushed production beyond any of our hopes and dreams was the ability to apply both water and fertilizer at the same time through an irrigation system," he said. "We're able to get these nutrients in the right place at the right time."