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:
FARMS Leadership | Sacramento Valley | January 23, 2020
Location(s) of the Field Day:
UC Davis Animal Science Horse Barn 448 La Rue Road, Davis CA 95616
Tercero Dining Commons
237 Tercero Hall Circle, Davis CA 95616
Bowley Plant Science Teaching Facility
1200 Ext Center Drive, Davis CA 95616
UC Davis Student Farm
1050 Ext Center Drive, Davis CA 95616
UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden Headquarters 448 La Rue Road, Davis CA 95616
The Sacramento Valley field day at U.C. Davis began in the Cole Facility, a four-building compound dedicated to metabolism and physiology research. Our class was welcomed and given an overview of the facilities by Ben Rupchis (Goat Facility Manager) and Caleb Sehnert (Meat Lab Manager). Once we reviewed our itinerary, we conducted a warm-up activity that divided our class into small groups. Once in small groups, our class was led through separate, short tours to provide our collective a more especial and personalized look at the compound’s numerous operations and facilities, including: the horse barn, a literal barn where horses give birth as well as the stables and bullpens.
Following our tour of the Cole Facility, students, teachers, and FARMS staff walked the U.C. campus to convene at the the Tercero Dining Commons, a sprawling 30,000 square-foot, multi-level food court that features a plethora of domestic and international cuisines ranging from black-bean veggie burgers and pizza by the slice to made-to-order Mongolian-style bbq, schwarma, and various seafood dishes.
After our 1-hour lunch break, our collective trekked back to the Cole Facility to caravan across campus and reconvene at U.C. Davis’ organic garden.
Once regrouped, our class was dispersed into pairs. The single requirement for these student partnerships was that students must not be from the same school. Following introductions and the forming of new allegiances, pairs were tasked with an intra-garden scavenger hunt!
Students (and accompanying teachers too!) were provided checklists to aid in the hunt for various fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices. Most notable were the spicy mustard leaves that taste like wasabi and Meyers lemons, a cross between lemon and a mandarin orange, that can be eaten like an orange because of its higher sugar content.
After completing the organic garden scavenger hunt, we toured the Bowley Plant Science Teaching Facility, a wing of classrooms and labs that serve as instruction and research space for the Plant Sciences and Plant Biology Departments.
Following the Bowley Plant Science Teaching Facility tour, we headed outside to survey and explore the U.C. Davis Student Farm and Nursery. This 23-acre space is the foundation for U.C. Davis’ Agricultural Sustainability Institute; The land is maintained and operated exclusively by students, as has been tradition since its original founding in 1977. Today, it continues to serve as the Research and Development grounds for creating sustainable food systems and hosts many agriculture-based programs, studies, and ventures.
The final leg of this marathon field day ended near the Cole Facility, the start-line for this journey. The U.C. Davis Arboretum and Public Garden Headquarters is a gorgeous, verdant, and seemingly infinite outdoor space that hugs 100-acres of the 85-mile-long Putah Creek, within the 640-acre U.C. Davis Putah Creek Riparian Reserve. Once we became completely surrounded by trees, bushes, and flowers, we were met by Waterway Steward-extraordinaire and CLBL Alum Nina Suzuki. Suzuki, guided us through the history and purposes of the arboretum and riparian reserve and her work in ecological preservation and advocacy. We concluded this field day with a “debriefing circle”, reflecting on all we had learned.