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Posts Tagged: Cathi Lamp

Three long-time UC ANR academics in Tulare County retire in 2015

Left to right, Jim Sullins, Cathi Lamp and Neil O'Connell.
Three members of the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) academic staff in Tulare County, with a combined 90 years of experience, are retiring in 2015. UC ANR Cooperative Extension is the local arm of UC ANR, conducting research and education programs in Tulare County for agricultural production, home gardening (UC Master Gardeners), youth development (4-H) and public health and nutrition.

Retiring this year will be:

Jim Sullins, director of UC ANR Cooperative Extension in Tulare and Kings counties and livestock range, and natural resources advisor, retires after 32 years of service. Sullins began his UC ANR career in Southern California, serving as livestock and range advisor for San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles and Orange counties.

Early in his career, Sullins' work in rangeland management focused on applying scientific principles to the relationship of livestock grazing and implementation of the Endangered Species Act.

In July 1993, Sullins took the position of UC ANR CE director and livestock, range and natural resources advisor in Tulare County. In the advisor aspect of this role, he concentrated on watershed management and control of invasive species.

“I am proud to say we have been responsible for the untimely demise of many yellow starthistle plants,” Sullins said.

A significant moment in his career was prompted by the devastating citrus freeze of 1998. UC ANR CE stepped forward – as it did following after the previous “100-year freeze” of 1990 – to aid the community after thousands of acres of citrus were damaged and thousands of workers lost their jobs. Sullins co-chaired the community Freeze Relief Committee and the Fund Raising Committee, working with numerous nonprofits and establishing partnerships that have endured for years, enabling collaboration on additional projects.

Another major event during Sullins' tenure was development in 2001 of a new agricultural complex for UC ANR Cooperative Extension and the Tulare County Department of Agriculture. Sullins worked with the Tulare County Board of Supervisors, the Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner and industry support groups to build a modern and highly visible facility across Laspina Street from the World Ag Expo grounds in Tulare County.

Three years ago, Sullins also took the reins of UC ANR Cooperative Extension in Kings County.

“I believe that Cooperative Extension is the very best organization of its kind on earth,” Sullins said. “I have worked with committed and highly trained professionals who make a difference in the lives and livelihoods of the people they serve.”

In retirement, Sullins said he and his wife will ride California's highways and byways on his Harley motorcycle – a hobby he recently revived after a 30-year hiatus. He also plans to write some opinion pieces and look into editing and publishing two books written by his late mother. Retirement will also give him more time to spend with his grandchildren and following baseball. Sullins will stay active in the community as a volunteer with the World Ag Expo, working with the Happy Trails Therapeutic Riding Academy, and as president of the County Center Rotary Club in Visalia.

Cathi Lamp – nutrition, family and consumer sciences advisor – is completing a 27-year career with UC ANR Cooperative Extension. Lamp joined the organization after working for 10 years in the Tulare County Department of Health as a public health nutritionist.

She said the position appealed to her because it involved both research and community nutrition. Her work on a “nutrition plate” project exemplified the ability she had to identify a need in the community, find a solution, research its effectiveness and see the results benefit society.

“Years ago, the educators I worked with were telling me that people didn't understand the abstract nature of nutrition guidance in pyramid form,” Lamp said. “We started using a plate as a nutrition education tool in Tulare County.”

This led to a statewide research project to evaluate the use of the plate showing the proportions of foods needed to achieve a healthy diet in nutrition education. Lamp and her colleagues took the project a step further and photographed plates of familiar foods in proper proportions to demonstrate the concept. The pictures were evaluated by low-income families and many changes were made based on their feedback. The photographs are now incorporated into posters, handouts, and other teaching aids and are used in conjunction with nearly all UC ANR nutrition curricula for youth and adults. A UC ANR nutrition specialist asked if she could share the work conducted in California with USDA.

“She thinks that our project was instrumental in the eventual adoption of MyPlate to replace MyPyramid by USDA,” Lamp said. “We saw a local need, worked on it, did a study and developed it further, and had a considerable impact on providing clear nutrition education.”

In retirement, Lamp plans on traveling extensively, with places in Europe, Asia and Australia on her list of international destinations, plus sites in the U.S., including Savannah, Charleston, Austin and many national parks. She is interested in training from the Society for California Archaeology that will allow her to visit and record changes at archaeological and historical sites in the state.

Neil O'Connell, UC ANR Cooperative Extension citrus advisor, retired after 34 years serving Tulare County citrus producers. O'Connell studied entomology in college and took a position with Sunkist Growers, Inc. and then a packing association affiliated with Sunkist in Visalia. When he learned the local citrus advisor, John Pierson, was moving to a specialist position at the UC ANR Lindcove Research and Extension Center, he applied for the extension job.

O'Connell developed a strong relationship with citrus farmers and pest control advisers working in the citrus industry.

“They trusted my judgement and experience,” O'Connell said. “My interaction with growers was always pleasant and they were very appreciative of my efforts to help them solve problems.”

He views the current battle to control Asian citrus psyllid and the pest's ability to spread huanglongbing, a devastating citrus disease not yet found in California, as the biggest challenge to citrus producers since he became involved with the citrus industry four decades ago.

“Asian citrus psyllid and huanglongbing have stimulated a tremendous amount of research work in Florida and at the University of California,” O'Connell said, adding that he believes in the resiliency of California growers to overcome the challenge with the help of world-class University of California researchers.

O'Connell and his wife wish to travel in retirement, including trips to Alaska and Pacific Northwest among the first.

Posted on Tuesday, May 19, 2015 at 8:41 AM

Picture this: UCCE focuses on healthy meals for Healthy Weight Week (Jan. 18-24)

USDA MyPlate
Photos of sumptuous dishes are nearly as numerous as cat photos on social media. To sharpen people's focus on healthful eating, UC Cooperative Extension nutrition experts are using photos of food.

In 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture unveiled a new food graphic, MyPlate, to remind consumers to choose healthier foods. Work by Cooperative Extension in California that began years earlier influenced the adoption of MyPlate by USDA. Nutrition educators in California began using a plate graphic with USDA's My Pyramid several years ago in a research project with Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and UC CalFresh Nutrition Education Program participants. While evaluating the use of their graphic, which was very similar to USDA's MyPlate, UC Cooperative Extension nutrition advisors found that a graphic depiction such as the one USDA is using for MyPlate is abstract for many families.

“We discovered that our clients need to see photos showing real food combinations in order to apply the MyPlate message to real food choices,” said Cathi Lamp, UC Cooperative Extension nutrition advisor. “They prefer to learn by viewing photographs with foods and meals they eat to see how it works and how they can implement the guide in their lives.”

A child places food on the MyPlate template.
In a project with more than 200 Latino consumers participating, the UCCE nutrition advisors learned which foods Latina, African American and other women would serve their families. Lamp and her colleagues developed materials with photographs of the preferred foods for nutrition education.

They evaluated the behavior of consumers who were trained with the revised Plan, Shop, Save and Cook curriculum with photos of food and compared it with the results of the original version of the lessons.

UCCE curriculum makes healthy eating easy.
“We found that the group receiving the revised Plan, Shop, Save and Cook and MyPlate materials reported the greatest change in the frequency of using MyPlate to make food choices, after considering differences among groups in initial behaviors and participant characteristics,” Lamp said.

UC CalFresh shows examples of healthy foods on plates.
Given the success of the photographs, UC Cooperative Extension created “My Healthy Plate” posters. Photographs of healthful food served on plates appear in all the EFNEP and UC CalFresh nutrition education materials, including the revised Plan, Shop, Save and Cook curriculum.

“Everybody enjoys looking at pictures of foods,” said Lamp. “So what we have now in our nutrition classes are lots of photographs of healthy examples.”

To listen to an interview with Cathi Lamp about My Healthy Plate in Spanish, visit Enseñando a comer ‘con sabor latino' con MiPlato at http://ucanr.edu/sites/Spanish/Noticias/radio/?uid=5983&ds=199.

For more than 100 years, the University of California Cooperative Extension researchers and educators have been drawing on local expertise to conduct agricultural, environmental, economic, youth development and nutrition research that helps California thrive. UC Cooperative Extension is part of the University of California's systemwide Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Learn more at ucanr.edu.

Posted on Wednesday, January 14, 2015 at 8:35 AM
Tags: Cathi Lamp (6), EFNEP (9), Nutrition Education (24), UC CalFresh (25)

Food banks in Fresno and Tulare consider merger

UCCE nutrition educator Grilda Gomez provides nutrition education at FoodLink of Tulare County fresh produce giveaway in Farmersville.
UC Cooperative Extension in Tulare County has a long history of collaboration with FoodLink, the local food bank. For that reason, the nutrition, family and consumer sciences advisor and nutrition educators are closely monitoring recent negotiations about a proposed merger of FoodLink for Tulare County, Inc., with the Community Food Bank in Fresno County.

The Visalia Times-Delta reported that UC Cooperative Extension was one of the organizations represented at a meeting about the potential merger last Friday, which also included Kaweah Delta Healthcare District, Pixley-based Be Healthy Tulare and United Way of Tulare County.

“I guess one of my fears is there is an inherent distrust of Fresno,” the story quoted Cathi Lamp, nutrition, family and consumer sciences advisor for UCCE in Tulare County and a former FoodLink board member. Lamp said she is concerned the merged food bank would be based in Fresno County, and Tulare County's needs might be ignored.

Julie Cates, UCCE nutrition program coordinator, told me FoodLink of Tulare County has long focused on distributing quality, nutrient dense products and partnering with agencies, such as UCCE, to provide nutrition education. 

"We were able to have our teachers at the school receiving the 'farmers market' write testimonial emails and one teacher submitted letters from the fourth-grade students," Cates said. "I am very pleased with this outcome, as it illustrates how the food distributions are migrating from the inner to outer circles of the social ecological model in which we are striving to serve, reflecting universal behavior change."

View a one-minute video about one of the collaborative projects conducted by FoodLink of Tulare County and UCCE Tulare County:

Posted on Monday, March 10, 2014 at 10:02 AM
Tags: Cathi Lamp (6), Grilda Gomez (3), Julie Cates (3), nutrition (197)

The weight of the nation

The film 'Children in Crisis' encourages parents to take action to fight obesity and overweight.
UC Cooperative Extension in Tulare County offers a free screening of a film that addresses the increasing level of overweight and obesity in the United States, reported the Visalia Times-Delta.

The film, titled “Children in Crisis,” is the third part of the HBO series “The Weight of the Nation." The film will show at 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21, at the Agriculture Building Auditorium, 4437 S. Laspina St., Tulare.

Obesity is an on-going issue in Tulare County, Cathi Lamp is quoted in the article. Lamp is the UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Tulare County for nutrition, family and consumer sciences.

She is no stranger to the health issues that plague the county’s children. Lamp has been part of campaigns to stop people from drinking sugary drinks and to encourage healthful eating habits as well as incorporate physical activity into their lives, the article said.

Posted on Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 4:37 PM
Tags: Cathi Lamp (6), obesity (51)

Eating right doesn’t have to break the budget

Even though dietitians have for decades strongly recommended eating lots of fruit and vegetables daily, very few Americans hit the mark. Food prices, taste, inconvenience, and a failure to understand the link between diet and health have been blamed for Americans’ poor food choices.

New research by the USDA Economic Research Service dispels one of those obstacles. The study determined that buying the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables costs on average only $2 to $2.50 per day.

“For those with access and the means to buy them, the assertion that fruits and vegetables are too expensive is not a good excuse,” said UC Cooperative Extension nutrition, family and consumer sciences advisor Cathi Lamp. “Consumers should be able to purchase a days’ worth of fruit and vegetables for less than it costs to buy a cheeseburger.”

The ERA researchers estimated the average retail prices of 153 fresh and processed fruits and vegetables. Processed fruits and vegetables included frozen, canned and dried plus 100 percent fruit juice.  They also estimated the average price per edible cup for each vegetable and fruit.

Costs in the study were defined as the average prices paid by all American households for a food over a one-year period, including purchases in different package sizes, under different brand names and at different types of retail outlets (including supercenters such as Wal-Mart, wholesale club stores like Costco, traditional grocery stores such as Safeway, Kroger and Albertsons, and convenience stores.)

The research indicated that:

  • Fruits and vegetables cost about 50 cents per edible cup.
  • The lowest average price for any of the 59 fruits in the study was for fresh watermelon, at 17 cents per cup. The highest average price was for fresh raspberries, at $2.06 per cup.
  • Among the 95 fresh and processed vegetables in the study, a cup of dry pinto beans was the least expensive at 13 cents. The most expensive was frozen asparagus cuts and tips at $2.07 per cup.
  • Processed fruits and vegetables were not consistently more or less expensive than fresh produce, but with certain types of produce, the prices varied quite a bit. Canned carrots, at 34 cents per cup, were more expensive than fresh carrots, at 25 cents per cup. However, canned peaches, at 58 cents per cup, were less expensive than fresh, at 66 cents per cup.

Lamp suggested smart shopping can also help consumers reduce the cost of their fruits and vegetables. For example, buy fresh fruit and vegetables in season, use canned and frozen fruit and vegetables when it is cheaper and stock up when items are on sale or when shopping at a supercenter or wholesale club.

USDA says fresh watermelon is, on average, the least expensive fruit.
USDA says fresh watermelon is, on average, the least expensive fruit.

Posted on Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 7:07 AM

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