Oli Bachie Bids Farewell to UCCE San Diego
Written By: Oli Bachie
Edited By: Rob Padilla and Saoi Sope
After two and a half years with UC Cooperative Extension San Diego, I decided to step down from my role as County Director. During my tenure, I focused on addressing crucial matters and achieving significant milestones that have contributed to the growth of our community.
One of the notable accomplishments was the resolution of issues related to our northern office space in Escondido. Recognizing the inefficiencies of leasing additional space, I terminated the lease resulting in a substantial $40,000 savings annually.
Another important initiative was the establishment of the Agricultural Technology hub in collaboration with the City of Escondido, particularly with Jennifer Schoeneck, Deputy Director of Economic Development. I played a significant role in bringing this innovative project to fruition and involving UC ANR leadership in its implementation. Although a work in progress, I am confident in its potential impact.
By partnering with local advisors and statewide programs, I successfully secured four new academic positions for San Diego. These positions, focused on IPM, 4-H, urban agriculture, environmental issues, and Indigenous farms, will contribute significantly to the advancement of our county's agricultural landscape.
Furthermore, I facilitated important conversations that led to the ratified Memorandum of Understanding with the Center for Applied Horticultural Research, which allowed us to conduct research, extension programs, and industry outreach effectively.
I take pride in initiating the first-of-its-kind CE newsletter, the Extension Connection, which has been recognized by the National Association County Agricultural Agents for its excellence. It has been a platform to showcase the achievements and progress of our community.
During my time as the County Director, I worked closely with the County of San Diego and County DCAO to maintain strong relationships and provide regular updates on our accomplishments. Additionally, I reorganized our monthly meetings to foster more effective communication and collaboration among advisors and program supervisors.
As I transition back into my current role as the County Director for Imperial County and a cross-county Agronomy and Weed Management advisor for Imperial, San Diego, and Riverside Counties, I remain committed to advancing agricultural practices and community well-being.
I would also like to extend a warm welcome to the new Interim County Directors, Chris McDonald and Ramiro Lobo. Their leadership and expertise will undoubtedly lead UCCE San Diego County to even greater heights. Thank you to all our stakeholders for your support and collaboration, which have been instrumental in making my time at UCCE truly productive and meaningful.