The Ralph E. Myers Fund, administered by UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) was established in 1952 to support research in agriculture. Income from the endowment currently is used for outreach and extension activities by the Research and Information Centers (RICs) hosted by the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis.
The Dept. of Plant Sciences matches or exceeds the Myers funding to support the RICs (average 30 percent each), and the RICs themselves generate part of their expenses (average 40 percent).
RICs are one of the primary conduits for disseminating research and extension knowledge to a broad base of stakeholders, including growers and producers, land managers, ranchers, environmental groups, agencies and associations, decision-makers, alumni, communities, and consumers.
The Research and Information Centers in the Dept. of Plant Sciences represent long-standing collaborations between UC ANR, the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and the Dept. of Plant Sciences. Although housed at the UC Davis campus, many of the RICs are closely engaged with UC research and extension personnel at county Cooperative Extension offices, Research and Extension Centers, and other campuses.
The collaborations among UC advisors, specialists, faculty, graduate students, non-UC researchers, and the allied industries and stakeholder groups fostered by the RICs create opportunities to address the complex challenges related to food production, ecosystem management, and the environment. Several of the RICs have outreach and extension efforts that extend far beyond the borders of California and have worldwide impacts in agricultural food production and natural resource management.
RICs are very active in their outreach and advancing the UC Davis and UC ANR missions. Programs and venues include workshops, short courses, and field days; web-based outreach (more than 1 million page views annually); training videos; continuing education for certification programs; and printed materials.
Funding for these RIC is in partnership with ANR through the Myers Endowment.