The California tree nut industry is helping to provide funding for four new research associates who will become part of the UC Cooperative Extension system. The addition of the new personnel is being made possible by the California Walnut Board, the Almond Board of California, and the California Pistachio Research Board who have contributed a total of $425,000 in funding support. Collaborations like this are one of the many ways that the UC system is able to support important agricultural research through alternative funding methods.
“By supporting these new positions in UC Cooperative Extension, the California Walnut Board, the Almond Board of California and the California Pistachio Research Board show their recognition for the value of applied research conducted by our nut crop advisors,” UC Agriculture and Natural Resources vice president Glenda Humiston said in a news release. “We are grateful to these industry organizations for this vote of confidence and the generous funding to generate science-based knowledge to apply on California farms.”
The funding support provided by the tree nut industry groups will cover the annual salaries and benefits of the new research associates, along with travel and equipment expenses. The agreement dictates that the new UC positions are to be funded annually for up to three years depending on the success of the endeavor and available funding. The primary function of the new staff research associates will be to assist tree nut advisors in the planning and execution of experimental and demonstration field trials, along gathering and compiling data associated with the projects.
The cooperative arrangement was developed to mirror a similar effort in Colusa County where the Almond Board provided financial support for an almond research intern to assist the local UC farm advisor in the area. With traditional funding sources from federal and state governments on a downward trend, creative partnerships between UC and industry groups become even more necessary to carry on important applied agricultural research.