December 17, 2019
Edition Topics

  1. Message from Dr. Silvertooth 
  2. FCHS Program Development Mini-grant Winners
  3. New Extension Publications
  4. WRRC 2020 Conference Registration Now Open
  5. Toys for Tots
  6. Call for Nominations - Extension Awards
  7. Educational Communication - Cooperative Extension YouTube Channel

Message from the Associate Dean and Extension Director 

As we close this year, I want to thank everyone in the Cooperative Extension System (CES) for your hard work and valuable contributions. 

I hope everyone can take advantage of the university closure, get some well-deserved rest, and enjoy the holidays with family and friends.

                                                                Happy Holidays!

FCHS Program Development Mini-grant Winners

FCHS Extension Development funds were made available for programming. The objective of the Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Development Fund is to provide support and enhance FCHS programs where regular annual university budget allocations are unavailable. Funds are to be utilized by or through FCHS Extension faculty and staff to enhance county or statewide Extension educational program efforts. A review committee selected two proposals to fund: Strengthening Gila County Families Through Financial Literacy Education (PI: Ashley Dixon) and Navigating the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (PI: Debbie Curley). Congratulations to the proposal winners!

New Extension Publications

Blister Beetle Toxicity in Horses
Elizabeth A. Greene, Ashley D. Wright, Ayman Mostafa and S. Peder Cuneo
Blister beetles belong to a family of beetles called Meloidae. This family contains approximately 300 species distributed across the continental United States, including 150 in Arizona. Blister beetles have a peculiar life cycle. Females of some species lay eggs directly on plants and the emerged larvae interact with the host insect, while other blister beetles deposit clusters of eggs in small depressed areas of soil that form following rains and water runoff. The hatched larvae (called triungulin) feed on subterranean grasshopper egg pods or eggs of ground-nesting bees to complete development. The larvae pass through three growth stages (instars), with each becoming less active, and eventually they overwinter in the pupal stage. The adults emerge in the spring, and deposit eggs again in the summer to complete the cycle.

WRRC Conference 2020 Registration Now Open

Registration for the Water Resources Research Center 2020 Annual Conference, Water at the Crossroads: The Next 40 Years is Now Open!

Join us for engaging discussions as we reflect on the last 40 years of Arizona water management and look forward to the next 40. This year we welcome former Arizona Governor Bruce Babbitt as our opening keynote speaker, followed by panel sessions featuring Arizona Department of Water Resources Directors, state legislators, experts, and thought-leaders. Topics of discussion will include water management, groundwater, technology, agriculture, climate, and more. How are we going to manage Arizona’s groundwater to ensure water reliability for all Arizonans? Join us at the conference to discuss this and other important questions.

Learn more about the conference and our exciting conference agenda here!

Register now to take advantage of our early-bird registration pricing.

Toys for Tots

The Cooperative Extension office, Forbes 301, will be hosting a drop-off box for the Toys for Tots program.  Please drop off your new, unwrapped toys by the close of business -- today - December 17.

Call for Nominations

Each year we recognize our faculty, staff and strong contributors to Cooperative Extension with the Extension Faculty of the Year Award, the Outstanding Staff in Cooperative Extension Award, and the Extensionist of the Year Award. 

The Cooperative Extension Faculty of the Year award recipient will receive $1,000 and an award.  Click here for Extension Faculty of the Year Award criteria and nomination instructions. Submission deadline – February 4, 2020

The Outstanding Staff in Cooperative Extension award recipient will receive $500 and an award.  Click here for award nomination criteria
Submission deadline – February 4, 2020

The Extensionist of the Year award recognizes and honors a resident of the State of Arizona who has demonstrated extraordinary contributions, through UACE, to improving the lives of people in their community and state.  The award will be presented at an appropriate division-wide event.  Letters of nomination from UACE or non-UACE faculty and staff and/or peers should focus on the following criteria:  1) the nature and extent of the contribution provided by the individual (35%), 2) how this contribution has benefitted people in the community (15%) and the state (15%), 3) leadership qualities (25%), and 4) support for UACE (10%).
Submission deadline – February 4, 2020

All awards will be presented at an appropriate Extension or ALVSCE event.  Please read the criteria carefully, submitting only the materials noted.  Submit your nominations and support letters c/o Kristie Gallardo, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, PO Box 210036, Tucson, AZ, 85721 or  If you have any questions, contact Kristie (520.621.7145).

Educational Communication: Cooperative Extension YouTube Channel 

In the "digital age" - with the quest for information, but shorter attention spans - educational organizations are communicating more and more via social media, websites, and using digital communications, like Zoom.

Arizona Cooperative Extension is working to be at the forefront of this trend, in communicating with short, to-the-point videos.

                           Check out the Arizona Cooperative Extension YouTube Channel:

Please make sure you're helping us advance the Cooperative Extension message.  Please like, share and link through your social media channels, and help us do all we can to share with all stakeholders and communities.

Christmas Cactus

This Holiday season you may acquire (through your own efforts or the generous intentions of others) a Schlumbergera Bridgesii or perhaps a Schlumbergera truncata, otherwise known as a “Christmas Cactus.”  This exotic beauty and prolific bloomer has been a holiday gifting tradition in Europe and the US for more than a century, since British botanists reportedly began breeding it for commercial sale in the 1880s. Originally from the rainforests of coastal Brazil, the Christmas cactus is distinct from the cactus we know and love from our arid southwest landscapes. For starters, the Christmas cactus is an “epiphyte” which means that it is more at home growing in the crooks and on the branches of trees in its native rainforest range. It would be quite unhappy in our desert soils, but does great in a pot with well-drained, organic potting mix. In fact it even likes being a bit root bound and only needs to be “potted up” once every 2-3 years. It can be fairly long-lived too with reports ranging from 40-100 years. Their longevity can make them a great botanical heirloom too, gifted from one generation to another. To ensure that your Christmas cactus is in full bloom during the holiday season, you should take care to provide the appropriate temperature and the light conditions, and get started about 6-8 weeks before the holiday. The Christmas cactus prefers cooler temps (60-65 degrees) and requires short days (longer periods of darkness; about 12 hours) to initiate blooming. If you have a cooler darker part of the house, you make move it there over night and then move it to a place of prominence for display during the day. Be sure to avoid drafty or ambient light (even your neighbor’s Christmas lights entering through a nearby window may be disruptive. Do not saturate the soil, or allow it to dry out between waterings and watch for wrinkling puckering along the flattened stems- which could indicate under or over watering (or an abrupt change in temperatures do to a cold/hot air coming from windows, fireplaces or radiators. With some appreciation of this unique cactus’ origins and ecology your holidays will be colorful, floral and enjoyable for this season and many more!

Parker Filer
Assistant Agent, Horticulture
University of Arizona
Pima County Cooperative Extension

University of Minnesota- Cooperative Extension

Michigan State University- Cooperative Extension

Penn State Cooperative Extension. Christmas Cactus Diseases.


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