Promoting collaboration among Canadian, Mexican, and U.S. agricultural and rural development advisory services
The North American Agricultural Advisory Network (NAAAN) is a network of stakeholders in agricultural advisory services.
NAAAN links agricultural extension communities with one another and with stakeholders within Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. NAAAN connects with counterparts in other countries through its membership in the Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS). GFRAS connects and supports regional agricultural advisory service networks around the world, and serves as a platform for networking, learning, knowledge sharing, and advocacy for agricultural extension programs and service providers.
The NAAAN is a North American platform among advisory services organizations, including government extension services, that promotes and supports innovation, knowledge utilization, and information sharing across rural and urban landscapes in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. NAAAN will share North American best practices and facilitate learning from global best practices.
NAAAN Mapping Study and Report
For the summer of 2021, NAAAN is conducting a survey with over 500 participants to better understand the agricultural advisory/extension landscape within Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Survey results will help the NAAAN to better understand agricultural training, agricultural education, and agricultural advisory/extension services and needs across North America. Information from the survey will inform the future support and focus areas of NAAAN and the work we do collectively across the three countries. A full NAAAN Mapping Study and Report will be released later in the year to support NAAAN next steps.
NAAAN WAS FORMED AS AN AFFILIATE OF GFRAS BASED ON BROAD CONSULTATION WITH:
- Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)
- Mexico’s Secretariat of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER)
- Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU)
- USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA)
- Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) of the U.S. Cooperative Extension System
- U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
- Key agricultural stakeholders in Canada, Mexico, and the U.S.
NAAAN FOCUSES ON INFORMATION SHARING AND WELCOMES ITS PARTNERS TO:
- Build upon existing extension and advisory services to bring best practices into collaboration
- Provide a forum for discussion of agricultural extension
- Build and expand relationships with shared learning and programming
- Expand opportunities for extension practitioners and stakeholders to have more exposure to the richness and diversity of the North American experience
- Accelerate information sharing in a changing environment for food production and food security
CORE FUNCTIONAL AREAS
In accordance with the work of GFRAS and other regional networks, NAAAN will focus on the following core functional areas for its work.
KNOWLEDGE DEVELOPMENT & MANAGEMENT
Support discussions and analysis to strengthen the technical and empirical grounding of agricultural advisory services in conceptual frameworks.
Create expanded contact and closer relationships between NAAAN stakeholders in North America and with counterparts throughout the world.
Develop and utilize lessons from research, analysis, experience, and discussion to create policy briefs related to agricultural extension, which will underpin advocacy with program leaders, policy makers, and other stakeholders.
Governance and programming
A NAAAN Steering Committee representing member countries and institutional stakeholders will provide strategic guidance to the NAAAN Secretariat and programming activities. The committee has nine members: one ex officio, and two committee members from each country.
NAAAN’s Secretariat was established in 2019, and is hosted by the Colorado State University System office.
KEY THEMATIC AREAS
BIODEFENSE & MANAGEMENT OF NATURAL DISASTERS
Diseases, climate change, and natural disasters threaten agricultural systems and economies. Advisory services can coordinate responses and help mitigate risk.
IMPROVING SOIL & WATER MANAGEMENT
Soil and water management are fundamental aspects of productive agricultural activities. They are also critical elements in the mitigation of, and resilience to, climate change.
BUILDING SKILLS & CAREER DEVELOPMENT FOR YOUTH
NAAAN is building on the existing work of groups to prepare the next generation of leaders in global agriculture, including work with Together We Grow and Young Professionals for Agricultural Development.
Deputy Director for the Drainage & Wastewater Line of Business, Seattle Public Utilities
Andrew Lee joined Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) in 2019 and is currently the Deputy Director for the Drainage & Wastewater Line of Business. Andrew, who is a professional engineer (PE) and project management professional (PMP), has spent his entire 20-year career working on water, wastewater, and stormwater issues, with 15 of those years in local government for the cities of Seattle, San Francisco, and Bellevue. Andrew is nationally recognized for his expertise in water/wastewater regulations, smart water technology, and asset management. He is passionate about developing high performance organizations through an emphasis on shared leadership, employee engagement, diversity / equity / inclusion, and partnering with community. Andrew is a member of the Project Management Institute and is involved in the Smart Water Advisory Network (SWAN), U.S. Water Alliance, National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), and Water Agency Leaders Alliance (WALA).
Colorado Attorney General
Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser was sworn in as the State’s 39th Attorney General on January 8, 2019. As the state’s chief legal officer, Attorney General Weiser is committed to protecting the people of Colorado and building an innovative and collaborative organization that will address a range of statewide challenges, from addressing the opioid epidemic to reforming our criminal justice system to protecting our land, air, and water.
Attorney General Weiser has dedicated his life to the law, justice, and public service. Before running for office, Weiser served as the Hatfield Professor of Law and Dean of the University of Colorado Law School, where he founded the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship and co-chaired the Colorado Innovation Council.
Weiser served as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice and as Senior Advisor for Technology and Innovation in the Obama Administration’s National Economic Council. He served on President Obama’s Transition Team, overseeing the Federal Trade Commission and previously served in President Bill Clinton’s Department of Justice as senior counsel to the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division, advising on telecommunications matters.
Before his appointment at the Justice Department, Weiser served as a law clerk to Justices Byron R. White and Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the United States Supreme Court and to Judge David Ebel at the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, Colorado.
The son and grandson of Holocaust survivors, Weiser is deeply committed to the American Dream and ensuring opportunity for all Coloradans. Weiser lives in Denver with his wife, Dr. Heidi Wald, and their two children.
Director, Colorado Water Conservation Board
As Director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board, Becky carries out the policies and directives of the Board relating to the conservation, development and utilization of the state’s water resources, and works closely with the State Engineer, General Assembly, the Executive Director of the Department of Natural Resources, and the Governor on water resource issues for the State of Colorado. The Director acts as the representative for the state on interstate and intrastate water issues, including issues relating to flood control, water conservation and drought planning, water information, river restoration and environmental aspects of water management. As Director, Becky is involved with federal and state legislation pertaining to water resources and represents the State of Colorado on commissions and entities such as the Arkansas River Compact Administration, the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Forum, the Western States Water Council, and the Missouri Basin States Association.
CEO/Manager, Denver Water
Jim Lochhead was appointed Denver Water’s CEO/Manager in 2010. Lochhead leads nearly 1,100 employees at Denver Water overseeing work to provide a reliable water supply to the City of Denver and surrounding suburbs where Denver Water has service contracts. Lochhead also oversees the stewardship of a resilient collection, treatment and distribution system that includes 4,000 square miles of watershed land, 20 reservoirs, four treatment plants and more than 3,000 miles of pipe.
In 2014, Lochhead received the Wayne N. Aspinall “Water Leader of the Year” award from the Colorado Water Congress, presented annually to a Coloradan demonstrating courage, dedication, knowledge and leadership in the development, protection and preservation of Colorado water.
In 2015, Lochhead received the President’s Award from the Colorado Foundation for Water Education, given to a person with a history of doing meaningful work in the field of water.
Prior to Denver Water, Mr. Lochhead was in private law practice, dealing with natural resource issues throughout the United States and internationally. He was also executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. Mr. Lochhead has a bachelor’s degree in environmental biology from the University of Colorado and a law degree from the University of Colorado School of Law.
Consul General for Canada
Sylvain Fabi (BBA, Bishop’s University, 1988) joined the Consulate General of Canada in Denver in October 2020. As Canada’s Consul General in the U.S. Mountain West Region, Mr. Fabi oversees a team of 17 people who work within Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Utah and Wyoming to strengthen trade and economic ties; enhance political, academic and cultural links; and assist Canadians visiting or living in the five-state territory. He is also Canada’s chief negotiator for the modernization of the Columbia River Treaty with the United States.
Mr. Fabi joined the Trade Commissioner Service of External Affairs and International Trade Canada in 1992. He worked in various geographic and trade policy divisions in Ottawa. He was senior departmental adviser to the Minister of International Trade (2009 to 2010), Director for bilateral relations with South America and the Caribbean (2010 to 2013) and Executive Director of the North America Policy and Relations Division (2013 to 2015).
Mr. Fabi’s assignments abroad include trade commissioner at the embassy in Moscow (1995 to 1998), commercial counsellor at the embassy in Havana (2001 to 2005) and commercial counsellor at the embassy in Santiago (2005 to 2009). Mr. Fabi served as High Commissioner for Canada in Jamaica and the Bahamas (2015 to 2017). Before becoming Consul General in Denver, he was Executive Director, U.S. Transboundary Affairs Division (2017 to 2020).
Mr. Fabi is married to Jany Joyal and has two children, Frédéric and Isabelle.
Director of Program Learning and Influence, Water for People
With 20 years experience in non-profit management in international development, microfinance, and global education, Kimberly joined Water For People a dozen years ago to collaborate with teams around the world to end the global water and sanitation crisis. Through her work at Water For People she loves to share with others the impact a system strengthening approach can have in WASH. Everyone Forever is a holistic model to reach sustainable service delivery – not only focused on pipes and pumps and toilets – but all the elements that make that hardware work over time. She has lived and worked in Asia, Africa, and Latin America throughout her career and misses the clear blue water of Southeast Asia the most. While not working, Kimberly loves to spend time unplugged and with her family in the mountains or at the beach.
Colorado River Program Director, National Audubon Society
Jennifer Pitt is the Colorado River Program Director for the National Audubon Society, where she works to protect and restore freshwater ecosystems in the Colorado River Basin. She leads the United States–Mexico collaboration to restore the long-desiccated Colorado River Delta and serves as the U.S. co-chair of the bi-national work group whose partners will, through 2026, implement existing treaty commitments providing environmental flows and habitat creation.
Prior to joining Audubon, Jennifer spent 17 years at the Environmental Defense Fund. With partners, she led the conservation community’s efforts to prioritize and implement restoration of the Colorado River Delta, and she worked with Colorado River stakeholders to develop the unprecedented Colorado River Basin Supply and Demand Study, the first federal assessment of climate change impacts in the basin and the first basin-wide evaluation of the impacts of river system operation on water supply reliability and river health.
General Manager, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
With over 32 years of public service experience in the management of water, environmental and infrastructure programs and initiatives, Adel is an award-winning transformational leader anchored in integration, innovation, and inclusion. Adel is a registered civil engineer with the State of California and a national Board-Certified Environmental Engineer with specialty in water.
Adel was appointed in June 2021 as the General Manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the nation’s largest drinking water provider. Adel is responsible for leading Metropolitan’s daily and long-term operations and future planning, providing safe and reliable water for 19 million people in six Southern California counties spanning over 5,200-square-mile service area with an annual budget of $1.8 billion, 1,700 employees and 30 facilities.
Previously, Adel was appointed in 2018 by LA Mayor Eric Garcetti as the Executive Director and General Manager of the City of Los Angeles’ Bureau of Street Services (StreetsLA). Adel was responsible for managing, maintaining, and upgrading the City’s Street network including streets, sidewalks, trees, and bikeways with focus on safety, mobility, and sustainability.
Prior to that, Adel was the Assistant General Manager for the City’s Bureau of Sanitation for 10 years where he was responsible for the wastewater collection system management, storm water and watershed protection program, and facilities and integrated water planning. Under his direction, the City prepared an award winning 2040 One Water LA Plan “One Water.”
General Manager, Las Vegas Valley Water District and Southern Nevada Water Authority
John Entsminger is the general manager of the Las Vegas Valley Water District, which serves over 410,000 customer accounts, and the Southern Nevada Water Authority, which is responsible for providing water to local agencies that collectively serve 2 million residents and 40 million annual visitors. Prior to taking the helm of these agencies in early 2014, Entsminger was instrumental in the development of several groundbreaking regional and international water agreements. He has been appointed by Governor Sandoval to serve as Nevada’s lead negotiator on Colorado River matters. Active in several national water associations, Entsminger is Vice President of the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies and is a trustee of the Water Research Foundation and the Desert Research Institute Foundation.
Associate Attorney, Navajo Tribal Utility Authority
Ms. Becker has dedicated her career to the Navajo Nation and its natural resources. She is currently serving as an Associate Attorney for the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority. Prior to this position, she had the honor of serving as the Director of the Navajo Nation Division of Natural Resources from May 2013 to January 2019, as an appointee of President Begaye and Vice-President Nez, after serving eleven (11) years as an attorney for the Navajo Nation focusing on water rights and natural resources issues. Continuing her deep interest and passion for water, she serves on the Leadership Team for the Water and Tribes Initiative in the Colorado River Basin, as a Commissioner on the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission, as an appointee of Governor Lujan Grisham, and on the Navajo Nation Water Rights Commission, as an appointee of Speaker Damon. Ms. Becker is equally passionate about supporting artists and serves as a Trustee for the Institute of American Indian Arts and Culture (IAIA), as an appointee of President Obama. Ms. Becker is a member of the Nation and lives on the Navajo Nation in Fort Defiance with her husband and two school age children.