About the Small Farms Advisor
|Margaret received her PhD from UC Davis in Plant Pathology, 2015. Under the guidance of Tom Gordon, she researched non-chemical alternatives to soilborne disease management in strawberries. She focused on three main topics: the role of legume rotation crops in Verticiliium dahliae management, the effect of 4 different composts on strawberry production, and a social study understanding the level of adoption of soilborne disease management tools among practitioners. She also received a masters in International Agricultural Development and Plant Pathology from UC Davis. While at UC Davis, she established the Salad Bowl Garden, and edible garden at the entrance to the Plant and Environmental Sciences (PES) building on the main campus.|
|Her first agricultural job was as a farm hand on a vineyard in the Santa Cruz mountains. It was such an inspiration that she changed her course of work towards agriculture. After completing her undergraduate degree from Tufts University, she worked on a mixed vegetable farm in Hawaii for 9 months and then returned to start an apprenticeship with John Jeavons in Willits, CA. For three years, she lived off the grid and studied on the research farm and the 5-acre mixed vegetable farm while making a living selling at the Willits farmer's market. Seeing opportunity for Biointensive practices in the urban and suburban landscapes, she started a small Bay Area business called Home Farming International which provided workshops and one-on-one training in closed-system, complete diet farming.|
|Margaret's hobbies include her few dairy goats and laying chickens, tending a small garden, finding good music, and goofing off with friends and family.|
About the Community Educators
Nyob zoo! (Hello!) My name is Pang Kue and In 2009, when I accompanied my grandma to her eye appointment, I realized the doctor did not hire a Hmong interpreter and I was left scrambling for the right words to say. In retrospect, yes, I was untrained and inexperienced, but I know what I had – my desire to help make sure she was getting the care she needed.
Little did I know that event would guide me into the field I am in today. I have received trainings from The Interpreter Advantage (TIA) and Bridging the Gap (UC Davis) and have been certified as a Superior Hmong Speaker by ACTFL. With that same attitude and determination in 2009, I have been a Hmong linguist for over 10 years, providing professional language services – with UC Davis Medical Center as one of the health departments I work for, leading Hmong language study groups, teaching cultural etiquette, and also volunteering in my community to help better their lives.
In 2018, I embarked on a journey (6 countries and 38 cities) to visit the Hmong community all over in USA (Massachusetts, Florida, Minnesota, North Carolina, just to name a few), Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Australia, and France! I have lived and traveled extensively throughout the world and developed a deep passion for helping people. I am dedicated to continuing UC ANR’s long history of developing and researching agriculture and natural resources to help local communities. My goal is to help underserved farmers/producers improve their lives with all the resources around them.
In my free time, I enjoy old and modern photography, taking care of my plants, art, poetry, and traveling.
Asia is a queer, nonbinary (enby) descendent of Indigenous Khmu and Iu Mien refugees of the Secret War in Laos who settled in Richmond, California - homeland and ancestral lands of the Huchiun band of Ohlone.
Formerly, Asia worked in the environmental non-profit sector to develop culturally relevant environmental education for youth of color in Oregon’s greater Portland area. Asia now works to reimagine tools for Iu Mien and Khmu learning, storytelling, and archiving. When Asia is not serving Mien and Hmong farmers with UCANR, they are serving Mien elders as Iu Mien Community Services' Senior Program Coordinator. Understanding that their work in the community, environmental justice, and art is not mutually exclusive, Asia co-created the ISEA (Indigenous Southeast Asian) Rad Reading Group under the Cold Rice Collaborative (CRC) - a creative community and project-based collaborative for diasporic Indigenous Southeast Asians. Their childhood community and their people are the driving forces of their commitment to cultural organizing, and their diasporic Indigenous, and cultural identities/experience guides them in their heartwork and journey towards elevating counternarratives through artistic mediums.
In their spare time, they find joy and healing through caring for and photosynthesizing with their plant babies and teaching their betta fish friend Chiron tricks. The sun is one of their best friends and they enjoy its company.
My name is Fam Lee. My nationality is lu-Mien.I was a strawberry grower for six years in Elk Grove, CA . My parents were farmers in Laos and in Thailand.
I met Margaret through farm visits and annual meetings. It is an honor to work alongside with Margaret and all of you.
I was born in Laos and moved to Thailand in 1975. I lived in a Thailand refugee camp for five years and then moved to the United States of America in 1979. I was 13 years old when I came to the U.S. and I didn't know any English and learned how to speak English from scratch. Growing up in the U.S., my family lived in an apartment with three Chinese families and one of the families had kids around my age which led me to learn Cantonese instead of learning English first.
Yurytzy Sanchez is a first generation college graduate with a Bachelor's in International Relations(IR) from UC Davis. My family, like many Mexican immigrants, got started in the United States as farm workers following agricultural work up and down the Northern West Coast. They settled down in the Central Valley of California where I grew up on a peach farm and raised goats, sheep, chickens, and cattle until I moved away for college.
I fell in love with international relations and tried my hand at the D.C. lifestyle through an internship that allowed me to live and work in Washington, D.C., but the soil kept calling me back. While in school, I volunteered, then interned at the UC Davis Student farm as a way of reconnecting to my roots. I then applied for a farming position at The Cloverleaf Farm, where I co-owned and managed an 8 acre organic vegetable and stone fruit farm. Now I am with UCANR and looking forward to expanding the program to reach historically undeserved farmers in the area and continue to create long lasting relationships with local farmers.
Outside of work I enjoy taking long walks alongside Putah Creek and going for a swim during the warm months. When I'm not outside exploring or hanging out with friends, I enjoy spending time at home with my cat, Mr.Bones, while watching psychological thrillers and eating homemade popcorn. My long term goal is a homestead where I can sustainably and independently provide sustenance for myself and my local community. My favorite farm animals are goats because they each come with their own personality.
UCCE aims to provide growers with science-based information, conduct relevant research for applied agriculture and help growers become better stewards of the land and better, more competitive producers.
UCCE is over 100 years old, and functions as a conduit extending research-based information to the county and sharing county-based needs with research-based academics on campus. Organizationally, UCCE has extension specialists who are academics posted in departments on UC campuses with statewide responsibilities and farm advisors who are academics posted in county-based offices with regional responsibilities. Extension specialists and farm advisors are mission-oriented, conducting applied research and have specific duties to provide outreach and education.
The power of UCCE is the dispersion of academics from campuses to counties across the entire state. There are 330 UCCE academics posted across UC campuses at Davis, Berkeley, Riverside and Merced; in 53 county offices, and 9 research centers.
Cooperative extension in California is unique from other states in several ways. One is the establishment of the research and extension centers (REC). We have 9 centers, dispersed across California in climatically distinct locations, totaling >12,000 acres. RECs house academics and conduct on-site research and educational opportunities. recs.ucanr.edu Second is the requirement that farm advisors conduct research. This increases the proficiency, capacity and commitment of farm advisors to providing research-based information. Third, in California, extension agents are called 'farm advisors' which distinctly qualifies them as PI's, principal investigators, who can take the lead on grant authorship and submission.
Farm advisor services to Californians are made possible by several funding sources: federal (10%, Smith-Lever Act, Hatch Act), state UC budget (70%), and county (20%, in-kind office space, operational budget, staff support). Research funds also support the programs, providing 25-30 million per year in grants, 4 million in gifts and endowments.
UCCE is growing and changing. By 2016, 40% of UCCE advisors and specialists will have been hired over the past 6 years. In 2014, 75% of extension specialists and 67% of advisors were 55 or older.
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