University of California President Janet Napolitano announced today (March 11) that the division of Agriculture and Natural Resources will return to reporting directly to the UC President. She issued the following statement:

"The division of Agriculture and Natural Resources will report directly to the UC President, effective today. By taking this action, I want to underscore both the important role agriculture plays in California's economy and culture and the value the University places on its service to this industry.

"Since UC's earliest days as a land-grant university, ANR has delivered outstanding service and research innovations to California growers, ranchers, gardeners and youth. I am committed to enhancing those long-standing partnerships."

Historically, the ANR vice president reported to the UC president, just as the campus chancellors do. Six years ago, as part of a broader reorganization, the division was put under the umbrella of the UC Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.

"I'm pleased that the president recognizes the importance of ANR to the University and the state of California," said ANR Vice President Barbara Allen-Diaz. "We all look forward to continued service to the people of California and to strengthening our relationships with the agricultural community under President Napolitano's leadership."

ANR includes more than 700 academic researchers and 300 UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) advisors and specialists, based on campuses and in county offices throughout California. This year the United States celebrates the 100th anniversary of the founding of Cooperative Extension. UCCE is one of the oldest in the nation, opening the first office in Humboldt County in 1913.

ANR operates nine research and extension centers that contribute to breakthroughs in food production and processing that have increased yields, reduced irrigation and fertilizing costs, and eradicated invasive pests and diseases.

In addition, ANR manages the statewide 4-H Youth Development program, serving more than 150,000 young people. It also manages California's Master Gardener program and community-based nutrition programs that reach 222,000 adults and children annually.