UC Davis plant pathologist Pamela Ronald's flood-tolerant rice is getting publicity in the state's capital, with a detailed and lengthy radio interview on the Capital Public Radio program Insight and in a TV spot on the Sacramento CBS TV affiliate.
Ronald explained to Insight host Jeffrey Callison that flood-tolerant rice was developed over a period of 13 years by isolating a gene from a rice plant that has poor quality grain, but is naturally able to survive two weeks submerged in water.
Using a process called precision breeding, the gene was introduced into rice with palatable grain, and then tested on a farm in the Philippines with great success. Precision breeding, Ronald told Callison, is less controversial than "genetic engineering," which is differentiated by GE's use of a gene in a plant that had been taken from a different organism.
Ronald said the benefits of precision breeding far outweigh the potential risks.
"The risks are so low, so minute, and there are so many people that need to eat rice," Ronald said. "The introduction of a single genetic region can enhance the lives of 30 million people."
During the same public radio program, two UC Cooperative Extension farm advisors discussed their presentations at a UC Davis conference on the local food economy.
Chuck Ingels, the environmental horticulture advisor in Sacramento County, addressed the needs of Southeast Asian refugee farmers; and Morgan Doran, a livestock and range advisor for several Northern California counties, spoke about the obstacles faced by small-scale livestock operations that wish to have their specialty products - such as grass-fed beef or locally produced meat - processed.
They did it. The University of California team that developed a successful insect pest management...
ESA IPM Team Award
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God in His wisdom made the fly And then forgot to tell us why. --Ogden Nash,...
University of California Cooperative Extension covers a lot of ground, but from time to time I'd like to give of glimpse of the diversity of programs offered by sister programs around the country, as portrayed in the news media. Some of the program are familiar, while others haven't been adopted by UCCE.
Nebraska Cooperative Extension is providing divorce care classes, according to The Grand Island Independent. The class for parents in divorcing families began in January 2007 as a requirement by the state Legislature for any parents of children 18 and under who are divorcing, seeking custody or seeking a change in custodial arrangements.
Alabama Cooperative Extension provides estate planning programs, according to a story in The Brewton Standard. An announcement published in the paper invites the public to "join us for two nights to learn all you ever wanted to know about estate planning - but didn't know who to ask."
Oklahoma Cooperative Extension provides advice for cattle farmers dealing with the nation's economic recession, said a story on CattleNetwork.com. "When feelings of confusion and helplessness set in, it’s time to get help immediately, before things get worse," the story quoted an Oklahoma CE resource management specialist.
Georgia Cooperative Extension provided information to The Early County News about the dangers of high blood pressure. Hypertension is the most common chronic disease in the U.S. and is becoming a major health concern for Americans of all ages, a CE specialist told the paper.
Florida Cooperative Extension was named as a source for baking information in a St. Petersburg Times story that posted the "Top 10" cookie baking tips. The 10th tip says, "There's no shame in asking for help. Stop someone at the grocery store, pester a relative or call an expert at your county's Cooperative Extension."
Wyoming Cooperative Extension announced the appointment of a coordinator for its Operation Military Kids program. "This is a new position supported through a 4-H military grant obtained by Laramie County 4-H youth educator Jenna Evans," the announcement says.
Folk singer Pete Seeger asked "Where have all the flowers gone?" UC Davis butterfly...
Close-up of Rain on Butterfly Wings