July 20, 2021
Edition Topics

  1. Message from the Interim Director of Extension
  2. Jeff Schalau announces retirement; Dr. Patty Merk named Yavapai County Interim Director
  3. Jeff Schalau's Retirement Party
  4. Yuma/La Paz FCHS Agent says good-bye to Arizona Extension
  5. Yavapai County 4-H Interview Recording
  6. Pinal County Horticulture Assistant/Associate Agent Candidate Seminars
  7. National Association of County Agricultural Agents
  8. Health Opportunity Wellness Landscape (HOWL) - Community needs and assets survey
  9. Project Harvest: Summary and Major Findings Concerning Harvested Rainwater Quality Webinar
  10. New Publication
  11. Remote Produce Safety Alliance Produce Safety Rule Grower Training Course 

Message from the Interim Director of Extension

The success and development of our faculty and staff is a priority for Extension.  Not only do we want our colleagues to develop successful programs, but also develop professionally.  Each of us in Extension has a responsibility and duty to serve as mentors. In the past, we have tried several different approaches to mentoring.  These ranged from mentoring committees to formal and non-formal mentoring assignments.  All too often, these approaches did not provide the level of success expected.  This year, we will continue to work towards developing a successful mentoring program.  I will work directly with our Operations Office to establish a formal reporting procedure to oversee mentoring activities.  In addition to training our mentors, we hold bi-annual workshops that new employees will be required to attend to improve our onboarding.  Soon, requests will go out requesting mentors for new employees.  I hope all of us will take advantage of this opportunity to assist our colleagues and share our expertise.

Jeff Schalau announces retirement; Dr. Patty Merk named Yavapai County Interim Director  

We would like to take a moment to congratulate two long-time Extension personnel.  Jeff Schalau, Extension Director of Yavapai County, will be retiring at the end of July.  For over two decades, Jeff has been an integral part of Arizona Cooperative Extension - not just in Yavapai, but throughout the entire state and region.

Jeff spent most of his career designing and delivering education outreach programs in home and commercial horticulture, forestry, range, beginning farmers, and small acreage education.  In addition, he's spent even more time in developing younger faculty and staff and is often sought as a critical resource and mentor.  

Jeff will continue to be engaged with Extension work, even in retirement.  For many years, he's written a weekly column for The Daily Courier.  His Backyard Gardener column has been a fan favorite in Yavapai and surrounding counties and will be archived so that the much-loved content can continue to be accessed.

And with one seasoned Extension Agent moving on, another is moving in.

Patty Merk, Ph.D., area agent in Maricopa County, has been tapped to lead Yavapai County as Jeff Schalau's interim replacement. 

For nearly 30 years, Dr. Merk has cultivated strong programs under the Family, Consumer, and Health Sciences (FCHS) portfolio, mostly in Maricopa County.  From hearing screenings to developing leadership in communities, she has been very active in providing needed services and offerings within Maricopa while partnering with other counties and agencies across the state.

"I am truly happy for Jeff Schalau as he gets ready to embark on his next chapter in life," said Dr. Edward C. Martin.  "We have been great friends over the years and he's made a tremendous impact for Extension.  And I'm equally happy that Patty will be stepping up to help us fill Jeff's shoes.  With her leadership and administrative experience leading large programs, she will add immediate value."

Jeff's last day with Extension will be July 31 and Dr. Merk will begin her interim role on August 1.

Jeff Schalau's Retirement Party

You are cordially invited to Jeff Schalau’s Retirement Party!

Friday, July 30, 2021
2:00pm – 4:00pm

Makin Bldg., Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo Grounds
840 Rodeo Drive, Bldg. D
Prescott, AZ 86305

Light refreshments will be served.

Please RSVP to Pam Denney pdenney@arizona.edu by July 22, 2021. We look forward to seeing you there, or if you’d like to email a brief “congratulations Jeff statement” to Pam that would be appreciated.

Yuma/La Paz FCHS Agent says good-bye to Arizona Extension

It is with mixed emotions that I am leaving AZ Cooperative Extension, but I have accepted an exciting opportunity to complete my dietetic internship to get my registered dietitian credential at Montana State University. I am grateful and thankful for my time here in Yuma and La Paz Counties, and to my colleagues around the state. I miss it and you already. My final day is July 31, 2021. 
                                                                                                                                      -- Melissa Wyatt

Yavapai County 4-H Interview Recording

The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Yavapai County is conducting a search for an Assistant/Associate 4-H Youth Development Agent. On July 19, 2021 the Search Committee hosted candidate Claire Oberst for a seminar and interview. Due to space and time constraints, we were not able to host a live seminar. The recorded seminar can be viewed here
The candidate’s CV is also available by request to jschalau@ag.arizona.edu. The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension community is invited to provide feedback. The feedback form is available here: https://uarizona.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6D3iGPDjBh6LRMa.  The Search Committee would like to have your feedback by 5 pm on July 28, 2021.


Pinal County Horticulture Assistant/Associate Agent Candidate Seminars

The Search and Screen Committee for the Pinal County Horticulture Assistant/Associate Agent position invites you to candidate seminars. The purpose of the continuing-eligible Horticulture Extension Assistant/Associate Agent position is to develop and deliver educational information, structured programs, and technical support to the consumer and commercial horticulture sectors, as well as urban agriculture and food systems in Pinal County, Arizona.

All Cooperative Extension faculty and staff are invited to participate, especially anyone that may potentially collaborate with this new faculty member. 

Candidate Seminars are:

Dr. Jay Subramani, Wednesday, July 28th, 2021 at 12:30 pm https://arizona.zoom.us/j/82074074024

Dr. Ehren Moler, Friday, July 30, 2021 at 12:30 pm https://arizona.zoom.us/j/81772773714

Seating will be available in the Pinal County Cooperative Extension Conference Room for individuals wishing to attend the seminars in-person. Please RSVP in-person attendance to Lisa Elliott (melliott@email.arizona.edu).

There will be an additional opportunity to visit with the candidate from 3:30-4:30pm. Please contact Lisa Elliott to be included in the meeting.

Evaluation forms for candidates can be found at:  https://uarizona.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_efUIvhsgkfXqhEi

Evaluations will be due by COB Monday, August 2, 2021.

National Association of County Agricultural Agents

The National Association of County Agricultural Agents held its 2021 Annual Meeting/Professional Improvement Conference July 6 -9 in a virtual format.  During the meeting, several members of Arizona Cooperative Extension were recognized for their outstanding work and dedication to the profession.  Those recognized include:

Edward C. Martin – Hall of Fame Award, recognizing NACAA individuals for demonstrated commitment, dedication, and effective leadership in job performance as an outstanding educator, consideration for association involvement at both the state and national level, and outstanding humanitarian service.

Duarte Diaz – Achievement Award, recognizing outstanding achievement in the field of professional Extension for members with less than ten years of service.

Communications Awards:
Ashley Wright – Personal Column, National Winner: Reaching Arizona Cattle Producers Through a Monthly Educational Column in The Arizona Cattlelog; Fact Sheet, Regional Winner: Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus Poses a Threat to Rabbit Producers And 4-H Youth Projects In Arizona

Betsy Greene and Ashley Wright – Publication, Regional Winner: Blister Beetle Toxicity in Horses: Educating the Consumer and The Producer

Andrew Brischke, Kim McReynolds, and Ashley Hall – Video, Regional Winner: Arizona Cooperative Extension Rangeland Monitoring Program

Search for Excellence Awards:
Andrew Brischke, Ashley Hall, and Kim McReynolds – Search for Excellence in Environmental Quality, Forestry and Natural Resources, National Winner: Arizona Cooperative Extension Rangeland Monitoring Program

Juan Arias, Betsy Greene, Ashley Wright, and Nate Brawley – Search for Excellence in Livestock Production, National Finalist: San Carlos Apache Rancher Program

Betsy Greene and Ashley Wright – Search for Excellence in 4-H Programming, State Winner: AZ 4-H Ag at Home

Poster Awards:
Ashley Hall, Andrew Brischke, Kim McReynolds – Extension Education Poster Session, 3rd Place: Monitoring Arizona Rangelands: An Evaluation of Cooperative Monitoring Programs

Oral Presentations (*Presenter):
*Betsy Greene, Julie Smith, Kris Hiney, Joanna Cummings, Susan Kerr – 4-H and Youth: Youth Biosecurity Education Community Conversations

*Juan Arias, Betsy Greene, Ashley Wright – Animal Science: Reaching Tribal Ranchers in San Carlos Apache Tribe

Congratulations to them all.  Year after year, Arizona Cooperative Extension continues to shine at the national level thanks to the hard work and dedication of all our staff and faculty.

Health Opportunity Wellness Landscape - Community needs and assets survey

In face of environmental challenges due to natural and human-made causes, the University of Arizona NIEHS Superfund Research Program- Research Translation Core, is building an online environmental health mapping tool by the name of Health Opportunity Wellness Landscape (HOWL).  This tool will be available to community members, policymakers, and researchers to visualize environmental health resiliencies and vulnerabilities in rural and urban Arizona communities.

Please take a moment to participate and distribute the “Community Needs and Assets Survey” as a first step in identifying what factors contribute to your community’s resiliency or vulnerability.  As local experts, you are the best source of knowledge, and it is important everyone’s voice is heard!

You can learn more about HOWL here

The survey can be accessed here:  https://redcap.uahs.arizona.edu/surveys/?s=CFXCJACCJ3ATR3K4

 And is also available in Spanish:  https://redcap.uahs.arizona.edu/surveys/?s=WYWMRRAJMYFPMNWX

We anticipate this survey to take approximately 25 minutes and would like to gather all responses by August 2nd, 2021. 

A $10 Target gift card is available to all who complete the survey.

Please contact Principal Investigator Dr. Monica Ramirez-Andreotta with any questions at 

We appreciate your continued partnership in helping bring the University of Arizona’s science and research to the community.

Project Harvest: Summary and Major Findings Concerning Harvested Rainwater Quality Webinar

Event Date: July 29, 2021 11:00am to 12:00pm, AZ (PT) 

A Co-created Citizen Science Program, 2017-2020 

Featured Speakers: Mónica Ramírez-Andreotta and Miriam Jones. Mónica Ramírez-Andreotta is a community-engaged environmental health scientist and assistant professor of Environmental Science at the University of Arizona. Ramírez-Andreotta’s laboratory uses an environmental justice framework to investigate the fate and transport of pollutants in environmental systems, exposure pathways, cultural models of communication, and methods to improve environmental health literacy. As such, she is often found listening to and training communities and hosting community gatherings and data sharing events. Miriam Jones is a community health worker and is trained as an English-Spanish interpreter. She engaged with organizations, families, and individuals interested in becoming Citizen Scientists through the Project Harvest in the Globe-Miami area.

Webinar Overview: By incorporating a co-created citizen science model, Dr Ramirez-Andreotta and her team of researchers and promotoras (community health workers) conducted a three-year research project to learn about and practice rainwater harvesting to irrigate home and community gardens in Arizona, called Project Harvest. While the benefits of harvesting rainwater are recognized, there is a lack of information regarding the quality of harvested water and there are no monitoring programs. Citizen scientists collected environmental samples from residential, school, and/or community gardens irrigated by harvested rainwater to monitor the quality of harvested rainwater, soil, and plants between 2017-2020. Together, Dr Ramirez, the promotoras and citizen scientists co-generated a dataset to inform guidelines and recommendations for safe, harvested rainwater use on gardens and support communities to safely and sustainably produce their own foods using harvested rainwater. Come learn about the summary and major findings of this important research project!

Zoom Link: https://arizona.zoom.us/j/83638944428 Please log in up to 10 minutes prior to the webinar.

Cost: Free 
Registration: Not required

New Publication

Isaac K. Mpanga, Ursula K. Schuch, and Jeff Schalau

The demand for agricultural lands for other uses because of population growth and extreme climate in Arizona led to 57% decrease in average farm size and 127% increase in farm numbers from 1997 to 2017, which threaten sustainable local food production. Small-scale family farms of less than 10 acres make up 50% of the farmer population in the state and have a vital role in resilient and sustainable practices that maximize land use with less negative impact on the environment. This study investigated land use and farm practices among small-scale growers in north-central Arizona in their resilience in sustainable food production.

Remote Produce Safety Alliance Produce Safety Rule Grower Training Course 

Due to the current Coronavirus Outbreak, Produce Safety Alliance is allowing for Remote Grower Trainings while we are practicing social distancing. This course will be offered remotely, online via Zoom, during this time to accommodate and once the public health concern is lifted, in-person classroom courses will resume. 

Who Should Attend: 

Produce Farms including growers, harvesters, packers, coolers, and those interested in learning about the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule (PSR), Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), Co-management of natural resources and Food Safety. Academic’s and students wanting to learn more about food safety and the Produce Safety Rule would benefit from this course as well as government officials working in food safety. 

Course Dates and Times: 
August 3-4, 2021 
7:45 AM - 1:00 PM 

Sign up HERE  
Password: AUG3&4 

The Produce Safety Rule Grower Training Course will take place over 2 Days from 7:45 AM- 1 PM, hosted online via Zoom. You must be present for each session on both days to receive your Certificate of Course Completion from AFDO. The Produce Safety Rule Grower Training Course does not offer CEU credit.  

You will need access to a computer with reliable internet access, a webcam, microphone, and speaker OR mobile device (eg. cell phone, for use of the audio portion only, you will still need a computer with internet and webcam abilities). You must be visible to presenters through video and be able to engage in discussion online during the course. 

Course Registration Fee: 

Benefits of Attending: 
Individuals who participate in the course are expected to gain a basic understanding of: 

     Microorganisms relevant to produce safety and where they may be found on the farm.  
     How to identify microbial risks, practices that reduce risks, and how to begin implementing
       produce safety practices on the farm. 
     Parts of a farm food safety plan and how to begin writing one. 
     Requirements in the FSMA Produce Safety Rule and how to meet them. 

*In order to receive full credit and certificate for the course, registrants must be present for all training modules. 

For more information & additional course dates please visit the Arizona Department of Agriculture Plants and Produce FSMA Website: 

For additional information please contact Natalie Brassill, nbrassill1@email.arizona.edu or Dr. Channah Rock, channah@cals.arizona.edu.  

TMN Submittal Process

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

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