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Posts Tagged: Kearney

Empowering California youth through food smart families

We are what we eat. Unfortunately, we don't always make the best food choices. Sometimes it's simply a lack of will power. In communities struggling with high poverty rates, it's often the result of low incomes and limited food options. Dangerously high obesity rates, especially among youth, are a major public health concern in the United States.

The health of California youth reflects this disturbing national trend. To address the challenge of childhood obesity statewide, the California 4-H Food Smart Families program will be implemented at four sites in Fresno, Orange, Sutter-Yuba and Tulare counties this year. Additional UC partners will include the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and CalFresh.

Youth need to increase consumption of dark green veggies and whole grains, and decrease intake of sugar and saturated fats. The objective of California 4-H Food Smart Families is to increase knowledge and create behavior change related to nutrition, cooking, gardening, physical activity and food preparation. The program engages youth 8 to 12 years old and teens in 4-H Healthy Living programming. Youth will be directly reached through lessons delivered at after-school sites, low-resource elementary schools and organized field days at four UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Research and Extension Centers (REC): Kearney REC in Parlier, South Coast REC in Irvine, Sierra Foothill REC in Browns Valley and Lindcove REC in Exeter. The program is structured around positive youth development curricula and practices which provide an intensive engagement of underserved children, teens, families and other stakeholders. Local 4-H teens will be recruited and trained to deliver programs and assume leadership roles.

The National 4-H Council partnered with the ConAgra Food Foundation to launch the national 4-H Food Smart Families program in 2014. ConAgra sponsored funding to award grants to five states for program implementation. This year, in addition to the original five states, California and Louisiana were awarded grants as new participants. Inclusion of the UC Research and Extension Centers in the California program is a new model that organizers hope will be replicated elsewhere. Youth and families who visit the centers will witness first-hand not only how food is grown, but also the science behind it. Center specific lessons may be added to highlight the unique nature of local agriculture and natural resources and the food crops cultivated and studied at each center.

Programming at California sites will get underway this fall and will continue through the school year. Look for more exciting California 4-H Food Smart Families news in the coming months as programming and activities kick into high gear.

Author: Roberta Barton

Posted on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 at 8:46 AM
Tags: 4-H (86), CalFresno (1), EFNEP (9), food smart families (1), Kearney (8), Lindcove (6), nutrition (197), Research and Extension (1), teens (2)

'Great Day' morning program features UC Kearney Ag REC

The popular morning television program "Great Day," which airs daily on KMPH Channel 26 in Fresno, featured the work of scientists at the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in six live segments during the five-hour program this morning.

Reporter Clayton Clark and photographer Ryan Hudgins arrived at the Kearney greenhouse at 4:30 a.m. to interview the scientists helping California farmers feed the nation and world sustainably.

See clips of the interviews in the one-minute video below:

Segments included:

  • An overview of research and extension activities at Kearney by director Jeff Dahlberg.

  • UC blueberry and blackberry research that has made these commodities important crops in the San Joaquin Valley with Manuel Jimenez, UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor in Tulare County.

  • Beneficial insects, pests and invasive species that are part of research by Kent Daane, UCCE specialist in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy Management at UC Berkeley. Daane shared a handful of leaf-footed bugs with the reporter.

  • How global information systems are changing the way farmers and researchers are looking at farmings systems with Kris Lynn-Patterson, coordinator of the GIS program at Kearney.

  • Just like people, plants get sick. UC plant pathologist Themis Michailides explained research efforts to cure plant diseases.

  • Uncommon wine varieties that might lead to new fine wines ideally suited to be produced in the Valley's warm climate, with Matt Fidelibus, UCCE specialist in the Department of Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis.

  • The very real threat of West Nile virus in mosquitoes in the valley, with medical entomologist Anton Cornel.
Posted on Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 12:13 PM

New KREC director explains vision in local newspaper

The new director of the UC Kearney Research and Extension Center, Jeff Dahlberg, shared ideas for the future of the research station in this week's Reedley Exponent.

Dahlberg told reporter Ashley Testa-Burk he is interested in developing 'Centers of Excellence' at Kearney to create a globalized focus spanning county, regional and state lines to benefit farmers across the nation.

“It's much easier to get any kind of federal grant if you have multi-disciplinary, multi-state projects,” Dahlberg was quoted. “So I think by perhaps developing these centers, it might give us a cohesive unit that could actually approach the new federal structure of funding for agriculture.”


Dahlberg also discussed plans for using solar technology at KREC to demonstrate how farmers could reduce their environmental footprint.

“I would like to potentially develop a center for on-farm green technologies in which we could become a demonstration and research site for different technologies that farmers could use to become 'greener,'" he said.

In the article, Dahlberg recognized the profound impact research at Kearney has already made on California agriculture.

“One of my jobs is to get out there and promote the fact that this station is here and it's doing really good work,” he said. “The research not only benefits farmers in this region, but the people of California and ultimately the people of the country.”

Reedley Exponent
Reedley Exponent

Posted on Friday, January 14, 2011 at 9:11 AM
Tags: Jeff Dahlberg (20), Kearney (8)

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