UC Rangelands Blog – Tina Saitone

Saitone_thumbThis week’s blog post features Dr. Tina Saitone, new UC Cooperative Extension Specialist in Livestock and Rangeland Economics.

My name is Tina Saitone, and on June 1 of this year I began an appointment as a Cooperative Extension Specialist focusing on livestock and rangeland economics. While my “home” is in the Agricultural and Resource Economics Department at UC Davis, I am proud to be an affiliated faculty member working with the UC Rangelands team. I grew up in Sonoma County riding horses (hunters and jumpers) and was an active member of the Petaluma FFA. After attending Sonoma State University and completing my undergraduate degree in economics, I came to UC Davis to complete both my Masters and Ph.D. in agricultural and resource economics. After finishing my graduate studies, I worked in the field of litigation consulting for several years before returning to UC Davis.

To give you an idea of my research interests, I would like to briefly describe a couple of my current projects. The first project (with Larry Forero and Josh Davy) is geared toward providing cattle ranchers in California with information on auction prices and market trends in the State and nationally. I will be approaching local auctions throughout California and asking them to share their sales data with me so I can provide real time analysis of prices for cattle of different ages, weights, etc. sold in different geographic areas throughout California. In other states, USDA Market News Reporters provide this service—but that has not been done in California. So, I am looking to fill this void and provide California ranchers with the tools and information that are available to ranchers elsewhere. Each month, I will produce a market outlook newsletter that summarizes the sales data from the previous month and provides insights into market trends based on my economic analysis. If you would like to receive this letter or recommend auctions to be included in this project, please contact me (saitone@primal.ucdavis.edu)!

Another immediate focus of my research efforts is on livestock predators, both coyotes and wolves. The coyote project is a joint effort with Kimberly Rodrigues and focuses on the benefits and costs associated with non-lethal depredation efforts undertaken to protect the sheep herd at the Hopland Research and Extension Center. The wolf project, which is a new collaboration with UC Rangelands and several northern UCCE county offices, will focus on the potential production-level impacts (e.g., reduced feed conversion, reduced weaning weights, etc.) associated with predator pressures of expanding wolf populations in California. This is a long-term project that will be based upon surveys of cattle ranchers in areas where wolves are present or anticipated to be present in the future. If you are interested in participating in this new project, please contact Dan Macon at dmacon@ucdavis.edu.