100 UC Cooperative Extension Facts - View All
About UCCE and UC ANR
UC ANR comprises the Agriculture Experiment Station (AES) and UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE), which together constitute a vast network of researchers and educators working together to develop and provide science-based information to families, farmers, ranchers, and decision makers.
A separate division within the UC system, UC ANR is comparable in size and complexity to a small UC campus.
UC ANR creates innovative and locally relevant research, and develops and implements targeted education and outreach programs through the statewide network of UC Cooperative Extension.
UC ANR works across disciplines within five strategic initiative areas: endemic and invasive pests and diseases; healthy families and communities; sustainable food systems; sustainable natural ecosystems; and water quality, quantity, and security.
UC ANR employs a total of 1,350 individuals, working across all of California’s counties, at nine Research and Extension Centers, at three UC campuses, and at three administrative hubs.
UC ANR currently maintains more than 60 UC Cooperative Extension offices in California’s counties. More than 200 UCCE advisors and specialists operate from these offices alongside their programmatic and administrative support colleagues.
More than 320 UCCE academics are actively engaged in research and extension projects.
UCCE partners with more than 700 campus-based Agricultural Experiment Station faculty at UC Riverside, UC Berkeley, and UC Davis.
The UC ANR website and associate pages draw more than 90 million page views each year.
In 2013, UC ANR consolidated more than 150 employees from scattered locations into a single building in Davis, California. The newly renovated, LEED-certified building is the administrative headquarters for UC ANR's statewide programs.
In 1990, UCCE specialists partnered with the California Cattlemen’s Association to offer educational programs and certification for beef producers. Since then, industry statistics have shown an overall improvement in the quality of California beef.
UCCE researchers have developed a better understanding of how cows respond to biting by stable flies. This has allowed dairy operators to save on the use of costly chemicals to control the pests, which reduce milk yields.
In 1972, UCCE hired its first specialist in marine fisheries and began a marine advisory committee for the commercial seafood industry.
UC ANR's Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SAREP) provides leadership and support for scientific research and education in agricultural and food systems that are economically viable, conserve natural resources and biodiversity, and enhance the quality of life in the state’s communities.
SAREP supports California's rural and urban communities' understanding of the concept and value of sustainable agriculture and participation in sustainable food and agricultural systems.
The UCCE Sustainable and Fire-Safe (SAFE) landscapes program focuses on helping homeowners create and maintain fire-safe landscaping around their homes and neighborhoods.
The Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District turned to local UC Master Gardeners to develop a community outreach program to help reduce urban pesticide runoff into the San Joaquin River.
Conservation tillage has the potential to cut costs for farmers while also protecting our natural resources. Education conducted by UCCE specialists and advisors from 2002 to 2004 led to a 300% increase in the use of conservation tillage methods in California’s Central Valley.
Researchers at the UC ANR Westside Research and Extension Center found that conservation tillage in cotton can cut fuel use by more than 70%, increase carbon in soil by more than 20%, and reduce dust emissions by more than 60%.
Research and recommendations provided by UCCE advisors have improved the efficiency of fertilizer applications and drastically reduced the amount of polluted runoff water that reaches California’s Salton Sea.
UCCE scientists have played a key role in increasing both agricultural productivity and access to healthy food by introducing new crops, finding new uses for existing crops and animals, developing new food distribution models, and creating new markets for small and local producers.
In April of 2013, UC ANR held a Global Food Systems Forum to discuss the global challenge of how to provide healthy, affordable food to a growing population. The forum's online presence attracted more than 1500 participants from 70 different countries.
The www.ucbiotech.org website created by UCCE researchers has helped tens of thousands of individuals understand the science behind Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and the nature of the food we all put into our bodies.
The citrus industry in California is worth $1.3 billion, making citrus one of the top 10 California crops. UCCE specialists are leading research efforts to prevent the spread of Asian citrus psyllid, a disease-bearing insect that threatens to wipe out the entire industry.
The Citrus Experiment Station in Riverside has grown and expanded its mission in support of the state’s diverse, nearly $32 billion agricultural industry, still tops in the nation.
About 65% of the strawberries produced in California and about 40% of the world’s strawberries are from varieties that were developed by UC and UC ANR scientists.
ANR's UC Agriculture Issues Center identifies and analyzes important issues that affect the agricultural sector and provides objective information for decisionmakers, scholars and students, journalists, and the general public.
UC ANR Agriculture Experiment Station researchers based at UC Berkeley came up with a bacterial solution that, when sprayed onto crops, reduced frost damage by 80%.
The “Paso Panel,” developed by UCCE farm advisor Mark Battany, has helped vineyard managers throughout the state increase the efficiency of their irrigation systems.
Ergonomics research conducted by UCCE advisors and specialists has resulted in a fivefold reduction in reported pain and back injury among vineyard workers.
The UC Master Gardener Program engages trained volunteers to share UC research-based information about home horticulture and pest management with local communities.
Education programs offered by UC Master Gardeners have contributed to an increase in homeowners' use of integrated pest management strategies, a reduction in their pesticide applications, improvements in water management, reductions in water use, and increased food production in home gardens.
The UC Master Gardener program started in 1980 in Sacramento and Riverside counties. Fresno County joined the program shortly after, in 1981.
Today the statewide UC Master Gardener program comprises 50 California counties, more than 5,400 active volunteers, and a total of more than 14,500 trained UC Master Gardeners.
Since the start of the UC Master Gardener program, more than 3.9 million volunteer hours have been donated by UC Master Gardeners.
UC Master Gardener volunteers are required to log a minimum of 12 continuing education credits per year, ensuring they remain a well-informed and reliable source of information for the public. In fiscal year 2012-2013, more than 72,000 hours of continuing education were logged by UC Master Gardeners.
Following the statewide UC Master Gardener program's “Sustainable Landscaping” training series, 77% of educated volunteers who had not already been composting indicated that they had started composting, 40% began to leave portions of their gardens undisturbed for wildlife, and 20% began to use better irrigation techniques.
UC Master Gardeners deliver gardening information and outreach in a variety of ways, including newspaper articles, plant clinics, radio shows, weekly advice columns, telephone hotlines, hands-on workshops, training videos, social media, TV programs, community and school gardens, farmers markets, and garden tours-just to name a few!
More than 1,200 community, school, and demonstration gardens in California are managed by UC Master Gardeners.
If an individual wants to become a certified UC Master Gardener, he or she must complete coursework, training, and tests, and volunteer 50 hours to the program in the first year (25 hours in the following years).
Using hands-on, interactive workshops and a class series, an average of 74,460 youth and 11,700 adults and families improve their nutrition and health related skills through UC ANR’s nutrition programs in a typical year.
Two UCCE nutrition programs, the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and the UC CalFresh Nutrition Education Program (SNAP-ED), work with community agencies and schools to deliver nutrition education to low-income families and improve their health and food security.
The EFNEP and CalFresh programs are active in 33 counties and reach more than 222,000 participants.
Nutrition education program staff are members of the communities they support, and programs focus on low-income, underserved populations.
UC ANR’s newest institute is focused on nutrition and nutrition policy.
In the 1970s, a task force that included UCCE specialists wrote a report titled "A Hungry World: The Challenge to Agriculture," which reviewed human nutritional requirements and world population statistics and presented a set of recommendations for better serving the nutritional needs of the world.
Pest and Disease Management
In 1979, a $1.2 million proposal for the UC ANR Integrated Pest Management program was approved by the California Legislature.
The UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program helps residents, growers, land managers, community leaders, and other professional pest managers prevent and solve pest problems while causing the least possible harm to people and their surroundings.
The UC IPM program works through UCCE to deliver information to clients in every California county.
Web content, printed publications, and online trainings from the UC IPM program provide a wealth of how-to information to help you identify and manage pests. See ipm.ucanr.edu.
UCCE Integrated Pest Management advisors have played an integral role in the Almond Pest Management Alliance, a group that can take credit for diminishing pesticide use in almonds by 65% since 1990.
The website ipm.ucanr.edu receives 50,000 web visits a day from people seeking information on pest management.
In 2012–13, UC IPM's educational workshops for retail nurseries and garden centers in Northern California trained hundreds of employees in more than 80 stores in 22 counties. Post-workshop surveys show that, after training, participants now regularly use UC IPM resources to help their customers find environmentally sound solutions to their pest problems.
As part of the Urban Ant Alliance, UC Riverside, UC IPM, and UCCE advisors developed an IPM plan to reduce the amount of insecticides applied in urban environments in order to protect waterways from dangerous runoff. They succeeded in reducing insecticide use by 80%.
UC IPM’s Pest Management Guidelines cover 44 different agricultural crops and are the University of California’s official guidelines for managing agricultural pests in California.
UC IPM’s Pest Management Guidelines receive more than 2 million web visits annually.
UC IPM’s hands-on training and resources prepare UC Master Gardeners to answer more than 28,000 home and garden pest-related questions each year.
UC IPM is the University of California’s primary resource for home and garden pest information.
More than 200,000 UC IPM Quick Tip cards about home and garden pest management have been distributed through UC ANR community events throughout the state. Quick Tip Cards in English and Spanish help consumers solve specific pest problems with less-toxic methods.
UCCE made it easier for peppermint growers to accurately determine the number of mites in their field so as to ensure effective pest management practices and healthy crops.
The Research and Extension Centers (RECs) comprise nine field sites located in varying ecosystems throughout California. The RECs provide highly trained staff to support innovative research and educational programs addressing agricultural and natural resource issues.
The Research and Extension Centers (RECs) host educational programs for K-12 youth and adults across a wide variety of topics and issues.
Strawberry varieties developed at the South Coast Research and Extension Center are the industry’s standard, maintaining California’s preeminence and providing about 15% of the University’s total annual return from patents.
Research at the Desert Research and Extension Center led to the development of a non-dormant, blue aphid-resistant alfalfa variety that has become the most widely grown variety in the world.
Over a recent 12-month period, the Research and Extension Center (REC) system supported more than 350 research projects led by more than 125 AES faculty, 55 UCCE specialists, and 85 UCCE advisors.
Over a recent 12-month period, the Research and Extension Centers (REC) system conducted or supported more than 600 educational events, reaching more than 24,000 individuals (including more than 8,000 K-12 students).
The Research and Extension Center (REC) system totals more than 11,700 acres, with 79,200 square feet of greenhouse space, 80,100 square feet of laboratory facilities, and 35,600 square feet of office space.
The predictability of frost during the growing season at Intermountain Research and Extension Center made it the ideal location for pioneering research on the controlled open-air release of genetically altered bacteria for the prevention of frost injury to potatoes.
A strong partnership with the citrus industry at the Lindcove Research and Extension Center has greatly increased the University’s ability to advance cultural management, variety development, and pest and disease control practices.
The Research and Extension Centers (RECs) provide unique opportunities for UC scientists to conduct their research across multiple growing environments and crops, allowing them to develop innovative approaches to understanding and managing pests and diseases.
Technology, Business & Economics
UCCE advisors collaborated to write the script for “Hidden Bounty of Marin,” an award-winning documentary that highlighted the stories of nine local farm families.
After the California olive industry expressed concerns about the cost of hand-harvesting olives, UCCE specialists formed a team to create a mechanical olive harvester. The completed harvester was utilized commercially for the first time in 2012 in the Sacramento Valley.
The nation’s first biotechnology extension specialist was appointed by UCCE in 1990 to work at UC Berkeley.
In Placer County, UCCE farm advisors helped 16 small farms achieve a more stable economic footing and become more profitable through a 6-week farm business planning course.
In 1977, designated state funds established the nation’s first extension program in farm personnel management at UCCE Fresno County. By 1981, there were five UCCE advisors specializing in this field, along with a UCCE specialist based at UC Berkeley.
In 1949, UCCE director J. Earl Coke appointed a home economics specialist to work with the destitute families of farm laborers in Kern County.
Through data capture, information sharing, and collaboration, the UC ANR Informatics and Geographic Information Systems (IGIS) project aims to increase our capacity to make meaningful predictions of future change, increase understanding of California’s diverse resources, and support research and outreach projects.
UC ANR's California Institute for Water Resources (CIWR) integrates California’s research, extension, and education programs to develop research-based solutions to water resource challenges.
Through CIWR, in 2012 UCCE advisers and specialists and campus AES academics conducted 200 water research projects, completed 60 peer-reviewed publications, and presented 35 workshops and short courses that provided training opportunities for students, media coverage, and the adoption of best management practices by farmers and industry professionals.
UCCE researchers are working with growers on fertilizer management, irrigation efficiency, and other farming practices to ensure that all Californians have access to safe drinking water and that farmers can grow enough food to help meet the world’s increasing demand.
Initial research conducted by UCCE specialists on conservation tillage has led to real-world water conservation by reducing the amount of water that evaporates from the soil during irrigation.
The UC ANR strategic initiative on water is charged with defining, prioritizing, and implementing UC ANR actions that effectively and efficiently help Californians address water issues and challenges that face the State.
Youth & Community Development
UCCE educates approximately 120,000 young, underserved Californians annually through local youth development programs.
Through the 4-H Youth Development Program youth participate in approximately 140,000 science, engineering, and technology related projects, 13,000 healthy living projects, and 28,000 citizenship projects each year.
Recent evaluations show that youth engaged in 4-H excel to a greater level in school and in the sciences, make healthier choices, and are more active in contributing to their communities.
UC Master Gardener volunteers work with jail inmates in Sonoma County to teach them about gardening and landscaping. Inmates volunteer in the UC Master Gardener demonstration garden, and upon release many have found employment in gardening and landscaping fields.
Nearly 14,000 trained adult volunteers devote a total of over 1,050,000 hours of volunteer service annually to 4-H youth programs.
Youth who participate in California's 4-H programs are 4.9 times more likely to set the goal of graduation from college as other youth.
In Alameda County, UCCE staff deliver in-home nutrition education training for low-income and underserved populations. Of those who have participated, 79% have shown improved money management habits and 89% have shown improved nutrition habits.
84% of youth who participate in 4-H believe that making the world a better place is extremely important.
More than 90% of 4-H youth report that they like science. In fact, 4-H girls are twice as likely to pursue a career in science than are girls who do not participate in 4-H.