A conference call was held with the UC Davis Ag Dean last week who assembled her communications team and several of the researchers that participated in writing the controversial report. (Notably, the lead author did not show) Participating with CCM were colleagues from Western Plant Health, California Cotton Growers, and Western Agricultural Processors Association. “Our message was simply stated in that researchers do not have the skill set to communicate and often are unaware of the received message and fallout. We are left with defending today’s farming practices because a flawed report is issued.” The conversation was bifurcated into two areas, content and communicating the content.
The AG team noted several discrepancies in the UC Davis report when compared with the Air Resources Board (ARB) evaluations and that published by CDFA and others. It was noted that they used old data and old cropping assumptions for the lower San Joaquin Valley. When the research team was asked why old data was used, only silence was heard as their answer. The Dean agreed that standing down on communications about the report would be appropriate at this time.
Nevertheless, we expect some fall out to occur. CCM is laying a foundation of information in appropriate offices. Other team members have triggered comments from agencies regarding their studies and reports that provide a contrast to what the UC Davis report stated. Still, others have initiated calls from members who have donated to UC Davis.