June 2, 2020
Edition Topics

  1. Message from Dr. Silvertooth
  2. Congratulations Rick Gibson
  3. Live Q&A Webinar with Dr. Silvertooth
  4. Associate Director ANR Interview Zoom Presentation
  5. Pima Smartscape- Going with the Flow
  6. AZ 4-H Presents & Arizona 4-H Clover Ball with Dr. Temple Grandin
  7. WRRC June Conference offers Cooperative Extension Complimentary Registration
  8. COVID 19 effects on farming activities in Arizona and how farmers are adjusting
  9. Educational Communication - Cooperative Extension YouTube Channel

Message from the Associate Dean and Extension Director

In the Arizona Cooperative Extension System (CES), $14.2M, or 88% of the core allocated budget, is derived from a separate line in the Arizona State Budget.  This CES funding is subject to review and allocation each year by the Arizona Legislature.  This allocation is specifically directed to the Arizona CES and we are held accountable each year.

In mid-March, the legislature passed a “skinny budget,” meant to serve as a placeholder keeping Government functions running.  Then both legislative houses recessed indefinitely in mid-March due to the COVID-19 conditions, with plans to reconvene a few weeks later to complete the legislative session. 

However, it was nearly two months before the Senate and the House convened again where they focused on immediate needs in the state to protect business and economic security due to COVID-19 impacts.  The Arizona House of Representatives ended their session over one week ago.  Now, the regular session of the 54th Arizona Legislature has ended rather abruptly on Tuesday morning, 26 May 2020, when the Arizona Senate adjourned sine die (with no set date of reconvening). 

Presently, the Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) allocation to the CES is intact and consistent with FY20.  However, it is expected that Governor Ducey will call the legislature back into special session, perhaps several times, to deal with COVID-19 issues.  We also recognize that the State of Arizona is experiencing a loss in revenue due to the COVID-19 impacts.

We are alert to the actions of the Arizona Legislature in relation to our CES funding.  We will keep you posted on any possible changes or developments.

In the meantime, please keep up the good work and continue to pursue our basic mission of taking the university to the people and bringing science to bear on practical problems.


COVID-19: Employee Resources 
FAQ - Follow the questions we are getting at Knowledgebase  
Please enter any questions, comments, concerns, or additions you'd like to see on this space in the comments section on the FAQ page!

Rick Gibson,  Congratulations on your Retirement

As most of you know, our colleague, Rick Gibson, has retired from the University of Arizona and Arizona Cooperative Extension on June 1, 2020. He has shared the following comments:

“On April 27, 1981, I walked into the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension office in Casa Grande to begin my career as a county Extension agent. I was ushered into an office and given a pencil and a pad of paper. Believe it or not, there was no computer or cellphone waiting for me on the desk. Desktop computers would not become available to Extension for several years and cellphones had not yet been invented.  

“On that day, I took my first gardening call and just a few weeks later I taught my first gardening class. Both for me were monumental because it was the first for both, but I was trained in the science and I took to the work like a new seedling reaching for the sun. I had found my niche.

“Looking back, it has been quite a career. It has been my privilege to know and work with Theo Watson and Leon Moore, the two entomologists who had the courage to introduce into a commercial setting for the first time ever the principles of Integrated Pest Management. I have known and admired KC Hamilton, the agronomist who put weed science on the map in Arizona, Merritt Nelson, a respected Arizona plant pathologist, and Ian Pepper, an excellent soil scientist. There were many, many others. I learned so much from them all.

“I am grateful to the many stakeholders who have helped me along the way. Nick Kondora, a manager of a large table grape vineyard in Pinal County comes first to mind. He once told me that he could smell powdery mildew in the vineyard before he could see it. I regret that I never learned that skill. Other stakeholders included Barry Armstrong, a manager that I believe could coax pecan nuts out of a dead tree; Howard Wuertz who allowed Norm Oebker and I to do field work on his drip irrigated farm as he investigated various cucurbit crops; and Layne Brandt who put up with many different field plots proposed and implemented by Mike Kilby and I as he tried to make a profit in the field. In addition to these and other stakeholders, there have been literally hundreds of Master Gardener volunteers through the years. They are all friends.

“I am grateful to you, my many Extension colleagues, past and present, for your friendship and collegiality through the years. Agents, specialists, administrators, and staff, we have all worked together side by side to deliver research-based, local information to those in need. The stories that we could tell! As Sam Stedman, my first county Extension director, liked to say, “These are good jobs!” He was right, and I have enjoyed my career greatly. As I slip away and begin working for myself, I do sense that Extension education will continue to fare extremely well in your hands. I wish you all the best.”

Associate Director ANR Interview Zoom Presentation

Presentation Title: How will your leadership, management, and professional skills allow you to address and meet the needs for ANR in Arizona?

“Please address what you see as two important issues ANR will face in the next five years, one involving your area of expertise in ANR and one  in an area within ANR with which you are less familiar and not directly involved.”

Thursday, June 11th                                           
9:00  to 10 AM
Dawn Gouge

Join Zoom Meeting

Monday, June 15th                                           
2:00 to 3 PM 
Russ Tronstad

"Pima Smartscape- Going with the Flow"

Throughout these past three months the Pima Smartscape team has been a model of adaptability, positivity, teamwork and resilience. This week we celebrate the conclusion of our first-ever training program delivered entirely online by Zoom. It happed to be one of our 8-class series in Spanish designed to teach landscape professionals a variety of concepts and best practices in urban landscape management for the Sonoran Desert. It was a new learning experience and our entire team did a phenomenal job of supporting one another through cross-training and fearlessly leaning into teaching via a new, virtual platform. I'd like to personally thank our team and instructors for their continued dedication to the program's mission- and to congratulate all our students graduating this Thursday. Felicitaciones a todos! (Congratulations everyone!)

Thank you Val, Jack, Jose, David, Debbie, and Karen for your continued teamwork and support.

-Parker Filer, Assistant Agent in Horticulture, Pima County Cooperative Extension. 


AZ 4-H Presents & Arizona 4-H Clover Ball with Dr. Temple Grandin

Arizona 4-H invites the University of Arizona community to two great events:

Arizona 4-H Presents

Arizona 4-H Presents, June 2, 6:30-8:00pm (Arizona time) is a celebration of the youth, volunteers, alumni, staff, and families from across Arizona who have received or contributed impact to the Arizona 4-H Program. Awardees will be recognized from every county and 5 tribal communities with 4-H programs.

Arizona 4-H Clover Ball, June 3, 7:00-8:00pm (Arizona time) is a chance for the University of Arizona community to hear from Dr. Temple Grandin, a 4-H alumni and former Arizona 4-H volunteer who is a world-renowned animal behaviorist.

To participate in either event please register at the links (above) and you will receive access to the event.

WRRC June Conference offers Cooperative Extension Complimentary Registrations 

This year’s WRRC annual conference, Water at the Crossroads: The Next 40 Years, is going virtual on June 18 and 19, 2020. The exciting agenda includes more than 30 speakers and panelists and includes a keynote address by former Arizona Governor and U.S. Secretary of the Bruce Babbitt. Throughout each of the half-day programs, experts will share thoughts on topics such as climate, indigenous perspectives, natural systems, and water for agriculture, water in rural communities, and more. The first day, will close with a set of concurrent virtual happy hours, hosted by our sponsors. Combined with audience polling and on-line Q&A, the conference will spark ideas and also give you a voice!

We are offering complimentary registrations for Cooperative Extension agents, personnel, and faculty. If you would like to attend, please contact Michael Seronde at seronde@arizona.edu to get your ticket.  Visit our website to learn more about the conference and to see the conference agenda. If you register before May 28, we will send you a conference packet in the mail, complete with this year’s water ruler and other giveaways. We hope to “see” you at the conference and thank you to Cooperative Extension for once again joining us as a generous conference sponsor. 

COVID 19 effects on farming activities in Arizona and how farmers are adjusting

Please share this survey with farmers across the state!

The unprecedented outbreak of the novel COVID-19 virus has impacted most activities in the world with far-reaching and devastating effects.  Most of the world's economies have stalled, including the United States (US), which now leads, with the largest number of cases.  The economic effects on the US economy could disproportionately impact hardworking farmers and workers who ensure the nation is supplied with food, fiber, and shelter, especially in states dominated by agriculture activities. This survey is to help understand the effect of COVID-19 on Arizona's agricultural operations, adjustments made and/or required. Your responses will help influence policy and possible ways to minimize negative impacts going forward.

Please, read the consent form and complete the survey. No physical signature is required if you volunteer to take the survey. The survey is only for farmers in Arizona who are 18 years and above.

Follow the link below to complete the 10 minute survey.


Contact Isaac Mpanga for any questions (mpangai@arizona.edu)

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.

TMN Submittal Process

Please submit your news by 4:00pm Monday to TMN [tmn@cals.arizona.edu].

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