Oli Bachie is the UC Cooperative Extension San Diego and Imperial County Director. He conducts research at Desert REC.
What led you to become an agronomy advisor?
It is my educational background that led me to accept an agronomy advisor position. Starting from my early schooling, my BSC was in crop production and crop protection, and my MS degree was in Agronomy, with an emphasis in Weed Science. As a terminal degree, I studied plant biology with the department of botany and plant sciences at UCR. Accordingly, I believe that I was well set to become an agronomy advisor.
What brought your work to Desert REC?
It was where the job was that has made the desert my home. UC has given me an opportunity for scholarship that I enjoyed as a student. When taking a UC job, I was not discriminating where I would be working. Besides, the intensive commercial farm (large agronomic crops) in the low desert has made me think that this is the place I can make a career.
What do you hope to learn from your research at Desert REC?
I have already learned a lot from my own research. For most, looking at new and alternative crops is good discovery research. I worked with many new crop species, and some have proved to be adopted for commercial endeavors already. For example, a Rhodes grass I researched for the first time in CA is now grown for commercial forage production, not only in the desert but also in central CA and Arizona.
What is your favorite part about conducting your research at Desert REC?
Research that resolves growers' needs is what most pleases me. As farm advisors, we conduct growers' need assessments and utilize that information on how and what research we should conduct to satisfy such growers' needs.
What is your favorite crop and why?
Just because I introduced the research, here at the low desert, I like the Rhodes grass most. That does not mean I do not like to work with others. I love researching wheat, corn, alfalfa, Sudan grass, Bermuda, and many other agronomic crops.