Colin Dixon
Colin Dixon

Student Farm at UC Davis Welcomes Colin Dixon as New Director

The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at UC Davis is pleased to welcome Colin Dixon, who has more than 20 years of education and sustainable agriculture experience, as the the new director of the Student Farm.

Dixon, whose first job in Davis was at the Student Farm, worked as the co-design lead at Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS) Science Learning in Oakland where his efforts focused on making science education more equitable.

“I’m very excited to have Colin Dixon starting as the new Student Farm director,” Agricultural Sustainability Institute Director Ryan Galt said. “Colin stood out in the hiring process due to his deep focus on experiential learning and his student-centered vision and practice. I’m confident he will continue and expand the excellent learning opportunities that exist at the Student Farm.”

Dixon co-owns Flatlands Oil & Mill in Winters where he organically farms and mills olives. He has deep ties to agriculture and has directed projects engaged with food, environment and community from Northern California to Chicago to Uzbekistan.

He earned a Ph.D. in education from UC Davis in 2018, researching experiential learning that helps young people see their own power and make change in their lives and communities.

“We are thrilled Colin is returning to UC Davis and the Student Farm,” College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Dean Helene Dillard said. “His wide range of experience and dedication to inclusive, hands-on learning will be of great benefit to the Student Farm, its employees and interns.”

Dixon is excited to rejoin a community engaging society’s greatest challenges. “I don’t think there is any job more important than this one,” he said. “The UC Davis Student Farm is doing two things absolutely critical to our future: preparing people to participate in food systems that will sustain a changing world; and creating community.”

Dixon replaces Katharina Ullmann, who served as the farm’s director for five years.

“I am extremely grateful for Katharina’s leadership over the last five years,” Galt said. “Among many other successes, she has worked hard to make the Student Farm a more welcoming place for students and people from a variety of backgrounds.”

The Student Farm, a 23-acre educational farm and garden, hosts 25 student employees and over 200 interns each year. Thousands of students and public visitors also tour and learn at the farm. Programs include a 9-acre certified organic mixed vegetable farm, 2-acre sustainable grown cut flower operation, a food access program that donates 10,000 pounds of produce each year to students in need, a student led breeding program, an ecological garden and K-5 field trip program for schools in the region.

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