UC Davis Exploration: What’s the next step for our FARMS students?

FARMS Leadership | Sacramento Valley & San Joaquin | February  22, 2022

Location of Field Day: UC Davis – Davis, CA

Field Day Host and Mentors:
Aggie Ambassadors – Co Hawes, Student Leadership Program Coordinator, with Student Leads
UCD Goat Facility – Benjamin Rupchis, Goat Facility Manager
UCD Student Eco Farm – Student Leads

Theme: Sustainable Ag & Environmental Sciences College Pathways

Sac Valley and San Joaquin FARMS students teamed up on a sunny February day to explore the sustainable ag and environmental science world that UC Davis has to offer. After a breakfast of muffins, blood oranges, and kiwis and a lively introductory game of Dance Your Name Out, we dove into a leadership workshop. Co Hawes, the Student Leadership Program Coordinator for Aggie Ambassadors, and Aggie Ambassador students Sara and Somora led us through the Pipeline activity. Two groups of students practiced teamwork, problem-solving and communication skills to transport a marble across the room without actually touching it. After plenty of strategizing, dropped marbles and re-strategizing, students emerged victorious.

Next, FARMS students had some time to connect directly with Aggie Ambassadors, asking them any and all questions they had about college life. Aggie Ambassadors shared their experiences as women in STEM, with balancing school responsibilities, personal lives and mental health, with the many helpful resources UC Davis has to offer, and the joys and challenges of campus life.

We then ventured to the Goat Facility where Benjamin Rupchis toured us around, introducing us to many goat friends along the way. Benjamin shared that the facility is mainly run by students and houses three separate goat herds: a dairy herd, a meat herd and a transgenic research herd, with around 150 goats total. We also learned how the Goat Facility works with the school’s Brewery Certificate Program and Student Farm to make the best possible use of leftover brewery grains and farm produce to feed the goats!

After loving on some goats, we rolled over to the student-run Eco Farm. Student leads Thea and Jon introduced us to the farm’s gorgeous chickens, showed us the inner workings of the farm’s aerobic and anaerobic compost systems, toured us around the produce gardens, and taught us how to harvest from the farm’s U-Pick flower garden.

After a peaceful lunch in the sunshine amongst the farm’s bees, butterflies, and thriving greenery, we strolled across the street to the Student Market. FARMS students were eager to purchase locally student grown produce and marveled over the colorful turnips, radishes, greens, rutabagas and daikons across the market table.

During our closing circle, students shouted out their highlights: loving on goats (of course), the lively pipeline activity, meeting students from another school, and learning about the sustainable efforts of the Eco Farm. Thanks UC Davis partners for a great day!

5 Departments, 1 Hour

FARMS Leadership | San Joaquin x Sacramento Valley | Friday, February 12th, 2021

Location(s) of Field Day:
U.C. Davis Department of Animal Sciences — Davis, CA

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors:
Aaron Prinz – Animal Facilities Manager, Interim Swine Facilities Manager
Kelli Davis – Horse Barn Manager
Benjamin A. Rupchis – Goat Teaching and Research Facility Manager
Kristy Portillo – Avian Facility Manager
Caleb Sehnert – Meat Laboratory Manager

Theme:
Post-Secondary Education in Agriculture and Careers in Animal Learning

Summary of the Day:
This non-recorded, virtual field day with the Sacramento Valley and San Joaquin FARMS Leadership classes feature several Animal Facilities within U.C. Davis’ Animal Sciences Department. Animal Facilities Manager and head of the 11 Animal Facilities Departments, Aaron Prinz, hosted our FARMS Leadership students for a 1-hour Zoom tour of five of the 11 Departments. Following introductions and a review of the Animal Facilities Manager’s background and career history, FARMS students enjoyed a private screening of video presentations of each of the featured Manager’s Facilities. The digital format of this field day, presented the opportunity to visit and learn about over twice as many U.C. Davis Animal Facilities; as compared with previous field days, due to time and logistical constraints. Hands-on Learning Kits for this field day included some official U.C. Davis-branded swag and Pepperoni Snack Sticks, complements of U.C. Davis’ Meat Laboratory.   

For more information about the U.C. Davis Animal Sciences Department, ‘click’ the link below:

UC Davis Department of Animal Science

Wildlife, livestock and nature—just a day in the life of college student!

FARMS Leadership| San Joaquin| February 6, 2020

Location of Field Day:
UC Davis, including California Raptor Center, Goat Barn, Dairy Goat Parlor & Creamery, Dining Commons, and Arboretum

Field Day Hosts:
CA Raptor Center and UC Davis
UC Davis Animal Science Department
UC Davis Arboretum & Public Garden

Theme of the Day:
Exploring unique classrooms at UC Davis while learning about animal science.

Summary:
We started our day at the CA Raptor Center at UC Davis. Here, students learned some cool facts about raptors and about the connections between raptors and agriculture. They got to tour the center and meet the resident birds. Next we walked next door to the Goat Barn and the new Dairy Goat Parlor and Creamery. Here, students got to meet dairy and meat goats, and got to tour the brand new milking parlor and creamery. Our Animal Science student and staff hosts helped everyone understand how the milking process works, how goat cheese is made, and highlighted opportunities for internships and coursework in Animal Sciences at UC Davis.

Our next stop was lunch. When on a college campus, we like to take students to eat at the dining commons so they can experience this important aspect of student life and envision themselves as a college student. We ate at Tercero Dining Commons, where students and teachers alike enjoyed the many choices, including UC Davis Student Farm grown veggies!

Our final stop of the day was a visit to the UC Davis Arboretum. Here, we enjoyed some more of the beautiful scenery that UC Davis offers, learned that ducks should NOT eat bread, and learned about the many opportunities for UCD students to participate in internships with the Arboretum and Public Gardens. These internships exist in many topics that intersect with campus life and the outdoors, including health science, landscape design, habitat restoration, food access and wildlife conservation.

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