A Message From Dean Dillard: January 2020

A goat at the UC Davis Goat Barn.
New dairy goat creamery to be dedicated this Saturday.

Power of partnerships on display as we greet a new year

One of the things I enjoy about the start of a new year is the sense of renewal and regeneration that surrounds us here at UC Davis. This year, that includes a new campus-wide marketing and rebranding effort to bring greater public attention to our accomplishments and to our vision for the future. I encourage CA&ES staff and faculty to attend the 2020 kickoff celebration on Monday, January 27. Chancellor May will share a glimpse of the future of UC Davis and the plan for how the university will continue to grow and evolve. The event is free, but registration is required

In the meantime, I’d like to share a few examples of new efforts in our college and on campus that speak to our ability to advance the public good through productive partnerships.

Dairy goat creamery to be dedicated

Goats have been part of UC Davis teaching, research and outreach for more than 100 years. With an event this coming Saturday, January 25, we significantly strengthen our capacities in this area as we officially dedicate the new Noel-Nordfelt Animal Science Goat Dairy and Creamery just south of campus. 

The new facility is located near the existing Dairy Goat Teaching and Research Facility off Old Davis Road. It will provide a place for students, staff, faculty and industry stakeholders to process fluid milk and make cheese with state-of-the-art equipment. The new building includes a milking parlor, milk room, clean room, aged cheese room and packing room. Now we’ll be able to produce, market and sell Grade A goat cheese while providing hands-on learning for animal science, food science and animal science and management majors. 

About 100 students a year currently take experiential learning courses at the Dairy Goat Teaching and Research Facility, and over the course of the year approximately 1,000 students study goats in their courses. All goats are housed in dry lot style pens surrounding the main barn. Combined dairy herd size varies with current research needs and fluctuates between 65 and 125 animals. The dairy herd consists of Alpines, Saanens, LaManchas, and Recorded Grades, and all of them are registered through the American Dairy Goat Association.

We celebrate this milestone for our campus with great anticipation. The new creamery will enrich the student experience, expand research potential and enhance our connections with practitioners in the dairy goat industry.

World Food Prize Laureate to speak on campus

UC Davis is launching a new distinguished speaker series in research and innovation. The inaugural event will be held January 29 at the UC Davis Conference Center with British economist and food policy researcher Lawrence Haddad discussing how we can move toward a healthier food system. 

In 2018, Haddad was awarded the World Food Prize for his leadership and advocacy in mobilizing political will to make nutrition the focal point of development strategies. He is executive director for the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, a Swiss-based foundation launched at the United Nations in 2002 to tackle the human suffering caused by malnutrition.

The speaker series is hosted by the Office of Research in partnership with research units across campus, including the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. The idea is to bring accomplished thought leaders to UC Davis to share their vision for the next generation of research and how that can help transform society. You can learn more and register for Haddad’s address here.

New USDA-ARS bee research facility at Davis

On January 7, officials and stakeholders celebrated opening the newly constructed U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) bee research facility. This facility is the newest of five USDA bee research labs in the United States and the only one in California.

It’s located west of campus, adjacent to the Department of Entomology and Nematology's Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility. The new facility will strengthen the research community’s ability to address the many issues facing the bee industry and to help ensure that California agriculture will have a healthy source of pollinators into the future. 

Associate Dean Anita Oberbauer, who represented the college at the dedication, noted the many individuals focused on apiculture and the proximity of the Laidlaw facility to the USDA facility will create unique opportunities for expanding partnerships, internships and collaborative research for faculty and students. We are, indeed, very fortunate that USDA chose to build the lab at UC Davis. You can read more about the new facility, expanded research capabilities and the dedication ceremony here.

We have much to look forward to in the new year, and we will keep the campus community and the public informed about those developments as the year progresses. I’m continually impressed with the ingenuity of our faculty, the curiosity and drive of our students and the willingness of our partners to step up time and again to collectively meet the challenges of our times in the spirit of optimism that is one of the hallmarks of UC Davis.