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SJ ag advisor Mick Canevari retires June 29

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POSTED June 19, 2009 1:47 a.m.
Mick Canevari’s love of agriculture and commitment to helping others, instilled in childhood on the family farm established 100 years ago by Italian immigrant grandparents, provided the framework for a successful 36-year career with University of California Cooperative Extension. He retires June 29.

Canevari was born and raised on the rural San Joaquin County farm he still works to this day. The family produced a variety of fruit and vegetables that they harvested and trucked in the early morning hours to grocery store buyers. He held a few odd jobs during his formative years, but he said, always had a hand in planting, pruning and harvesting.

“Growing up on the farm was an absolutely perfect environment for me,” Canevari said.

After high school, he attended San Joaquin Delta College and later transferred to California State University, Fresno, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in agronomy and plant protection in June 1971. That same summer he was hired as a field and laboratory technician at UC Cooperative Extension in San Joaquin County.

In 1973, Canevari accepted his first academic appointment with UCCE as a 4-H youth development advisor. In 1979, he was named the county agronomy and weed science farm advisor, and in 2002, Canevari also took on the role of county director.

Canevari worked on a variety of research and extension projects over the years in such crops as small grains, rice, beans, alfalfa and corn. His personal interest in pest management led to extensive research in weed control. His weed management research turned out many of the practices and techniques used by farmers today.

Canevari realized a significant accomplishment when the UC Cooperative Extension staff moved last year from an out-dated facility into a new $25 million agricultural complex near the Stockton Airport. The 45,000-square-foot main building, which also houses the agricultural commissioner’s office, includes meeting rooms, a demonstration kitchen and five model demonstration gardens.
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