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Vet Med Extension Useful to Everyday Californians

Chris Brunner, October 23, 2017

Girl holding orange slices in front of her eyes

Inside every fresh egg, every glass of milk, and every head of lettuce is a network of research, ideas, and hard work.  Veterinary Medicine Extension at UC Davis is part of that network, linking basic and applied scientific research with people and communities in California. They are supported by the University of California’s Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UCANR), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).  Together they work hard to keep the environment of California clean, its food and food animal’s safe, and families healthy.

The team of CE specialists, AES faculty, county advisors, and researchers at UC Davis Veterinary Medicine Extension are on the forefront of research and outreach related to food safety, disease prevention, animal health and well-being, production management, public health, biotechnology, and more.  Working directly with producers, industry groups, local officials, 4-H and the public, they find solutions for animal and human health.

Dr. Rob Atwill, Director of Veterinary Medicine Extension, and the Western Institute of Food Safety and Security (WIFSS), emphasizes the positive impact of veterinary extension on California’s agriculture as he explains, “It just makes sense to insure that our farmers have the best available information, best technology, and best adult educational opportunities to keep California livestock agriculture at the top of its game. That’s what we do here.”

 The design team at WIFSS, working under the direction of Veterinary Medicine Extension, has developed a video which highlights the role of cooperative extension in the health of California’s people, animals, and the environment.

Veterinary Medicine Extension relies on laboratories at UC Davis, where researchers use the latest technology to unearth and solve the problems facing California farmers and communities. Cooperative Extension Specialists harvest new innovations from the labs and apply them to the specific problems facing farmers and food processors in the field. The work of UC Davis researchers focuses on critical areas of agriculture, like animal health and welfare, food safety, agricultural waste management, and youth agricultural science programs.

Beyond the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine campus laboratories specialized faculty do research through Agricultural Experiment Stations across the state. They design experiments to find solutions for California’s farmers and ranchers.

By continuing to build teams of motivated farmers, dedicated scientists, and supportive government agencies, and staying focused on agricultural innovation and sustainable production, Veterinary Medicine Extension will be positioned to further strengthen California agriculture and improve consumer’s access to some of the best and freshest food anywhere in the United States.

Dr. Maurice Pitesky, Assistant Director of Veterinary Medicine Extension and an assistant CE specialist with a research focus on poultry health and food safety epidemiology believes that what makes veterinary extension so useful to everyday Californians is that its network is not just University based. They are on farms and in classrooms as well as in labs doing research.

“We are literally extending information from our labs to everyday farmers, 4-H participants and the public at large,” says Pitesky.

UC Davis Veterinary Medicine Extension helps bring science to the people of California.