Category Archives: Farming

Cropping Systems and Cows – New from Sustainable California

Sustainable California brings you more programs about how we use, support and interact with California’s natural assets.

8232With an over 700 percent increase in productivity in the last century, the California tomato industry represents 95 percent of all processing tomatoes produced in the US. That boom in productivity is due in no small part to UC Agricultural Extension efforts with California farmers. Learn more about conservation tillage – where cover crops or crop residue is left to decay aiding the bio-activity and water retention of soils, reducing or even eliminating costly or artificial inputs and improving the sustainability of this important crop. Watch Conservation Tillage Tomato Cropping Systems

8232And for a fun change of pace – if you’re out and about on California’s trails during your summertime adventures, there’s a chance you just might come across livestock enjoying the California landscape. A Year in the Life of a Cow, the third in the Sharing Open Spaces With Livestock series gives you a fun look at the life of a cow, so you’ll have a better idea what’s going on with that herd – winter, spring, summer or fall.

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UCTV Launches New Portal to Sustainability for California

8232As the world’s sixth largest economy and provider of more than half the nation’s fruits, nuts, and vegetables, sustaining California’s vitality is paramount. And, with greater demands from a changing climate and growing population, taking a proactive approach to maintaining sustainable growth for California is critical.

That is what Sustainable California, a new, media-rich web portal hosted by University of California Television (UCTV) is about.

Broadcasting stories of sustainability research and outreach conducted by University of California faculty, scientists and students, Sustainable California
connects users to the science-based, real-world solutions the University of California is creating to maintain the balance of natural resources, biodiversity and sustainable growth in our state.

Principal project partners include UC Water, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, CITRIS and the Banatao Institute, the Sierra Nevada Research Institute and UC Merced School of Engineering among others.

UCTV Director Lynn Burnstan expressed her excitement at inaugurating the new portal, “This is what UCTV is about, connecting Californians to the real-world, inestimable values that the UC provides all of California. We are very excited to be able to join these partners and give the public direct access to what they are doing for all our benefit.”

The launch features Water in the Balance, from UC Merced headquartered UCWater, a 5-minute journey from Sierra Nevada snowpack through the state’s system of dams to groundwater; Introduction to Conservation Agriculture Cropping Systems, from UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, featuring California farmers and UC scientists working together to develop sustainable farming practices and Sierra-Net, from Berkeley-headquartered CITRIS and the Banatao Institute, featuring the development of innovative cyber-infrastructure to provide real-time monitoring of the state’s water resources.

The channel’s content is appropriate for audiences of all ages and freely accessible to the public online at uctv.tv/sustainable-cal. The integrated video, article and curriculum format of the channel, in addition to its focus on biodiversity, natural resources, and low-impact living, provides users both a look at and connection to practical solutions and approaches the UC is developing, making it a valuable resource for professional practitioners, educators, and media outlets.

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Fish Stories

8232The keynotes from climate scientist Ralph Keeling and biologist Stephen Mayfield on the impacts of climate change on the ocean were terrific – but it was Rob Ruiz, the executive chef of The Land and Water Company who really stood out.

He talks here about how he traveled the world to observe local, sustainable sourcing and put what he learned to work in his Carlsbad restaurant. He credits the scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography for helping him select sustainable seafood for his menu and is proud to be recognized as a world leader for his commitment to ocean conservation. Clearly, he’s doing more than just talking the talk.

Watch Ruiz and the others as they engage with high school students in Blue Oceans, Sustainable Seafood, Humans and the Sea, the latest installment of STEAM Leadership Series.

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Global Food Systems with Mary Robinson

Over one billion people today are undernourished. That means roughly one in seven people across the globe eat roughly one meal a day, if that.

Children in developing countries live with chronic hunger that stunts growth and weakens immune systems, while more and more people in wealthy countries grow obese. But there are starving children in wealthy countries too – families living on food stamps, making it impossible to ignore the inequality between the wealthy and the poor. As food becomes scarce, families are forced to eat cheaper, less nutritious meals, which can have devastating long-term affects on entire populations.

Within the past few years, we have witnessed food shortages like the global food crisis of 2008 and the East Africa food crisis of 2011. In Haiti in 2008, food prices rose to 50-100% of their normal price, which led to unrest, violence, and the ousting of the Prime Minister. Although some things like drought or infestations of vermin can be blamed for food shortages, many of the causes are man-made and avoidable.

Mary Robinson, formerly the first female President of Ireland and now the President of the Mary Robinson Foundation, speaks at the University of California Global Food Systems Forum to discuss these issues with experts and fellow human rights activists.

Robinson warns that climate change will only make matters worse. Rising sea levels will swallow up potential farm lands while increasing temperatures will turn farm lands to deserts. Watch “Mary Robinson – Global Food Systems” to learn more about the challenges ahead.

Check out other videos about how gardening and agriculture must feed our growing population.

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Ecology, Agriculture, Travel and Love

When they began their studies at UC Santa Barbara in the 1980s, Greg Massa and Raquel Krach would never have imagined themselves where they are today: growing organic crops on a family farm outside of Chico, CA. But a tropical biology program in Costa Rica sparked an appreciation of the role of ecology in agriculture and kindled a love – for farming and for each other – that set a new trajectory for their lives.

Relive their story by watching “Changing Lives — Back to the Farm,” the final installment in UCTV Prime’s series “Going Places: UC Education Abroad.”

Hopefully the six stories we’ve shared have given you the travel bug. Learn more about UC’s Education Abroad Program — and make sure you send us a postcard!

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