AIC Director Dan Sumner addresses Woodland symposium “Tariffs, Tactics & Trade: How to Plan for Export Success”

AIC Director Dan Sumner provided the opening presentation at the Tariffs, Tactics & Trade: How to Plan for Export Success Symposium in Woodland, CA on Tuesday, May 21st.  The symposium was co-sponsored by the City of Woodland, The World Trade Center of Northern California and Banner Bank.  Sumner’s presentation provides context relative to the current international trade environment and the export of California agricultural commodities.

AIC Director Sumner Presented “Contributions of the Dairy Industry to the California Economy ” to the California Milk Advisory Board

Highlights:  AIC Director Daniel Sumner summarized analysis done by himself and William A Matthews on the economic contributions of the California dairy industry to the California state economy and the San Joaquin Valley regional economy.  The facts presented are part of an extensive research project funded by the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB).  Sumner’s presentation to the CMAB was the first release of research findings and allowed for quality feedback from dairy industry stakeholders.  A final report, which will be posted on the AIC website, is forthcoming.

Seminar “Challenges in Sustainable Aquaculture: The Case of the Chilean Salmon Industry” organized by the AIC and Catholic University of Chile

Highlights: AIC postdoctoral scholar Pablo Valdes-Donoso organized the seminar Challenges in Sustainable Aquaculture: The Case of the Chilean Salmon Industry. The seminar accounted with speakers from the Chilean salmon industry, Academia, and NGOs. Dr. Paulina Artacho, R & D from Intesal-Salmon Chile Association, delivered a comprehensive overview of the salmon industry. Dr. Fernando Mardones, assistant professor of the Catholic University Chile (PUC), spoke about Challenges in Sustainable Aquaculture. Tyler Isaac, an aquaculture scientist of the Monterey Bay Aquarium (MBA), talked about the Seafood Watch Program that rates aquaculture products based on their sustainable attributes.

Click here for the presentation slides.

Yes We Can: Eating Healthy on a Limited Budget

AIC Research Economics Karen Jetter published a new article, “Yes We Can: Eating Healthy on a Limited Budget” in the March 2019 Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

Journal Article
Karen M. Jetter, Jennymae Adkins, Susie Cortez, Gesford Kane Hopper Jr, Vicki Shively, and Dennis M. Styne. 2019. Yes We Can: Eating Healthy on a Limited Budget. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 51 (3): 268-276

Objective: This study determined how people who live in low-income households can consume an affordable, nutritious diet.
Design: A community-based participatory research (CBPR) project was completed that developed and priced 2 weeks of healthy menus that met US Department of Agriculture Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Prices were collected from a market basket survey of 13 stores in the city of Chico during October, 2010. Initial menu development began in 2011−2012. Menus were reviewed in 2017 and reflect current guidelines.
Setting: Chico, CA.
Main Outcome Measures: Macro dietary objectives including the caloric content and servings of fat, sugar, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables. The cost of purchasing the market basket of goods for a family of 4 that achieved those objectives was determined.
Results: The 2 weeks of menus all met dietary objectives on average. The daily cost varied from $19 to $31 when food was purchased from a bulk supermarket, with an average daily cost of $25. Average monthly cost was $756 in 2010 dollars, or $838 in 2015 dollars.
Conclusions and Implications: People living in low-income households can afford to eat healthily. Using CBPR principles, daily targets, and technical support, public health partners can partner with community members for member-defined solutions that are affordable and meet dietary guidelines. Access to stores that sell low-price bulk items is important to being able to afford a healthy diet.

Dr. Karen Klonsky: Distinguished Professional and Warm and Caring Friend

Dr. Karen Klonsky, Emeritus University of California Cooperative Extension Specialist in Agricultural and Resource Economics, UC Davis died on September 26, 2018, at age 66 after an extended illness.

Karen Klonsky was an internationally respected and influential agricultural economist who contributed important publications and research in her fields of study. She conducted a lauded extension program, was known for evaluating and stimulating environmentally sound farm practices and operated a widely recognized program on measuring farm costs and returns. This part of Karen Klonsky was public.

At the same time, Karen was a dear friend to many across her profession, her community and throughout the University of California and California agriculture. Karen Klonsky, the consummate professional, was also a warm, generous and caring person who created a large network of friends. Of course, her family and close personal friends feel her loss most deeply. She is also intensely missed in her community of Winters, California, where her service ranged from being a local 4-H volunteer to a soccer referee. Here we focus on the professional Karen Klonsky, but it is not possible to separate the person from the professional.

Over her 35-year distinguished career at UC Davis, Karen Klonsky became known for stellar service that engaged a multitude of stakeholders in California and globally. She attained a reputation as a national and international leader in the economics of integrated, sustainable practices in agriculture, including organic agriculture. She contributed economic analysis to many groundbreaking studies, more than 350 published items, including alternatives to pre-plant soil fumigation in multiple cropping systems, conservation tillage, and integrated pest management. Her work in the economics of environmentally sound farm practices includes evaluation of the economic feasibility of specific production systems, assessment of marketing options for organic growers, and determinants of growers’ decisions to enter and exit organic production.

Karen contributed broadly to the agricultural economics profession and California agriculture. Locally, she was Associate Director of the Agricultural Issues Center at UC Davis, and a member of the executive committee of the UC Giannini Foundation. She held many prestigious positions within the broader agricultural economics community, including as an Associate Editor for California Agriculture, an Editor for the Journal of the American Association of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers, the President of the Agricultural and the Applied Economics Association (AAEA) Extension Section (2005-2006), the Vice President of the Western Agricultural Economics Association, and the Western Region Director for the AAEA Extension section. In recognition of her substantive research record and extensive experience working with industry, she was named to the Advisory Committee on Agricultural Statistics for the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the USDA. She served as a technical representative to the California Organic Foods Advisory Board to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, as well as the LLC Board of the California Certified Organic Farmers. She also played an important role in helping to develop the national organic standards through her advice and counsel to officials in Washington DC.

Karen made substantial contributions to understanding the economic performance of many California commodities and production systems. The cost and return study series was an important and highly visible part of Karen’s research and outreach program. Each study in the series characterizes the costs of production for a specific crop in a specific region of California. She was instrumental in hundreds of cost studies over the course of her career. Karen’s collaborations, especially on the UC Cost and Return Studies, resulted in relevant, applied economic analyses for all of California agriculture and, indeed, the world. Her publications were valued by bankers, investors, governments, farmers, non-farm business, researchers, and students as the “go to” publications. As one UCCE farm advisor noted: “Rarely a day goes by without my referencing something from one of the cost and return studies; my work has benefitted profoundly from these analyses.”

During her long and distinguished career, Karen often partnered with and led broad cross-sections of UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) colleagues on statewide research and education projects of consequence. Many attribute their own successful career achievements to Karen having provided opportunities to partner on innovative projects and emerging issues for California agriculture.

Karen’s academic productivity and contributions to California agriculture are well-documented. One sign of her influence was the dozens and dozens of competitive grants and collaborative, interdisciplinary projects that she was responsible for.

Karen’s willingness to work collaboratively with colleagues with the full range of perspectives and experience contributed mightily to discussion or dialog. She was willing to tackle thorny issues and difficult topics, while working with collaborators and agricultural industry clientele many of whom had strongly held views that may have differed from her own.

She was always available to help with hard questions and lend advice on issues. She would drive long distances, literally ‘go the extra mile’ to deliver information to diverse audiences attracted to her presentations. On campus at Davis, she mentored generations of students and new academics, who themselves have gone on to make notable contributions. As one reflected, “Karen, quite simply, changed my life.”  Karen also inspired young economists to pursue careers in Cooperative Extension where they contribute to the food and agriculture industry across the country.

Karen was preceded in death by her father and her brother. She is deeply missed by her husband, Yves Boisrame, daughters Gabrielle and Lilian Boisrame, and her mother, Ruth Klonsky. Karen’s capacity to establish new relationships and sustain long-term relationships with diverse individuals and groups created a remarkable legacy. She is deeply missed by all who knew her and even by many who only knew her indirectly through her influential legacy.

AIC postdoc Pablo Valdes-Donoso presented about “Regional Strategies to Control Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) in the US” in Baveno, Italy

Highlights: AIC postdoc Pablo Valdes-Donoso delivered a comprehensive talk about Regional Strategies to Control Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) in the US in the MSD Animal Health High-Quality Pork EU Conference in Baveno, Italy this October 9th and 10th. Pablo received the MSD Animal Health 2018 High-quality Pork Runner-up award for his MS and Ph.D. research.

Dr. Kjersti Nes becomes a Post-doctoral fellow at AIC

Kjersti recently obtained her Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California, Davis. Prior to attending the doctoral program at UC Davis, she obtained a master’s degree in Agricultural and Resource Economics and a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Mathematics from Truman State University in Missouri. Her research focuses on food safety and agricultural trade, and her dissertation examined the effect of EU food laws on agricultural trade. In addition to her dissertation, she has several ongoing projects relating to the empirical analysis of policy issues within agricultural economics. Currently, she is examining the use of public standards as a tool for retaliation in the global supply chain and the trade effects of the EU horsemeat scandal (see nearby announcement of her new publication) on this issue.

Dr. Nes worked with Dr. Karen Jetter as a Graduate Student Researcher at the Agricultural Issues Center during the completion of her Ph.D. program, At AIC Kjersti works on projects pertaining to cost-and-benefit analysis of invasive species management. These projects include economic modeling that simulates the costs and benefits of managing water hyacinth in the San Joaquin Delta and economic modeling of the cost-effectiveness of various treatments of HLB disease in urban areas in California.

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