University of California, Agriculture & Natural Resources
University of California, Agriculture & Natural Resources
University of California, Agriculture & Natural Resources
University of California
University of California, Agriculture & Natural Resources

Centennial Staff Profiles

Gail Bertagna

UCCE Butte County
Nutrition Educator
Time with ANR
7 years
Typical Day

I was hired as a Nutrition Educator in order to connect Ag Education with Nutrition Education. Traveling to classrooms throughout Butte County, I use approved curriculum to deliver science-based, hands-on lessons about commodities grown in our area. A typical day in the field doing Farmer Visits would involve presenting 1-hour lessons to three or four separate classrooms, ranging from 3rd to 6th grade. Or on a day at the office, I'm at my desk emailing teachers to schedule Farmer Visits, compiling teachers' extension materials or extra materials that would go into teachers' Ag kits. Occasionally I ask one of our ag advisors to clarify or confirm information I want to pass on to our audience. I also fill in when needed to deliver nutrition lessons for my co-workers.

Most Memorable Moment

Due to farmers' problems with orchard theft, dumping, and trespassing, I thought a “Stewardship of the Land” lesson could spark much-needed awareness for both teachers and students. We did a skit, which drew forth passionate responses from the students, to the degree that when we visited their classrooms the following year they could recall in their own words the messages we covered. It was memorable for me because I knew it was memorable for them!

What I love Most About Working for ANR

I love incorporating music into classroom presentations; being able to reinforce science concepts by intertwining them with the arts is especially gratifying!

My Story

I married into a fourth-generation farming family, and graduated from CSU Chico. While raising our family, I did private teaching. Later, my husband was hired as the Butte County 4-H Youth Development Representative, and we still continue to farm. My coming to UC ANR was in answer to a request from teachers to our nutrition staff: “Do you know of any farmers who could visit our classrooms to give students a live connection to the farm?” I started helping my husband present ag information in an easily understood format. Soon after, I was hired part-time as a nutrition educator to help launch a unique Farmer in the Classroom program in which my husband and I deliver interactive ag presentations through schools in our county. Our aim is to give exposure to youth and adults as to what goes on at the farm in order to produce food, and help them become familiar with the local crops.

Gail Bertagna, Nutrition Educator and Farmer

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