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The California Pistachio Research Board (CPRB) held a meeting at Kearney on January 17, 2013, to allow research programs to present research proposals for 2013 research funding. Twenty-eight research proposals were presented at the meeting, requesting a total of $1,076,000.
Commodity research board funding is an essential part of University of California research programs. Established by a 2007 pistachio producer referendum, the CPRB is a state marketing order that receives mandatory assessments from pistachio producers and awards funds to research on pistachio propagation, production, harvesting, handling and preparation for market. It also provides pistachio growers with educational materials and opportunities. The CRPB compiled and the Administrative Committee for Pistachios provides a searchable database of archived pistachio research reports from 1980 through 2010.
In 2012, the CPRB awarded a total of $564,500 to twenty research projects. This year, the CPRB has $1.6 million available for pistachio research. The award notices will be made in early March.
The Pistachio Research Board will donate $1.5 million to support a UC Cooperative Extension specialist to conduct nut and fruit disease research. This specialist position, which will be based in the Department of Plant Pathology at UC Davis and housed at Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Parlier, will help UC ANR fulfill its mission as well as serve the pistachio industry’s needs.
“On behalf of California’s pistachio growers, the California Pistachio Research Board is pleased to invest in the research and extension activities of the University of California and particularly UC Cooperative Extension,” said Bob Klein, manager of the California Pistachio Research Board.
“California farmers, especially pistachio growers, know that research is needed to maintain and improve food production while using our resources wisely and sustainably,” he said. “This position will help address the ever-changing plant disease spectrum in the state, as well as respond to new regulations on both the state and federal levels.”
“The nut and fruit crop pathology specialist was identified as a priority position for UC ANR in our position planning process, and the Pistachio Research Board’s generous gift and foresight enables us to begin recruiting immediately,” Allen-Diaz said. “The board’s six-year commitment gives the position stability. After six years, UC ANR will assume financial responsibility for the position.”
This is the third UC Cooperative Extension academic position funded through a partnership between the agricultural community and UC ANR. The California Rice Research Board and the California Table Grape Commission were the first to partner with the university in this new public-private funding model to fund UC Cooperative Extension positions.
“Hiring outstanding academics to do research and deliver new knowledge is critical to the sustainability of farmers and to the future of California,” said Allen-Diaz. “This new funding model will enable us to act now to work on needed research and deliver science-based solutions.”
“We value our partnership with the UC and will continue to invest in additional research positions as well as support the ongoing research and extension activities of UC scientists,” Klein said.
To discuss potential partnership opportunities to fund academic positions, contact Cindy Barber at Cynthia.Barber@ucop.edu or (510) 987-9139.