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Dining Services sources produce, animal products, and flowers right from campus: our very own Student Farm, Meat Lab, Russell Ranch, and the Olive Center. We are proud that we can directly support the UC Davis community as well as give to programs which support student learning. Education is a major part of this program so that while we feed students with campus grown, we can start conversations about what it means to be buying hyper-local and supporting sustainable agriculture.

We are proud to feature campus grown products, including:

How do I know if something I am eating on campus is locally or campus grown? Look for the grower profiles displayed next to the food items!


We started buying produce from the Student Farm in 2011 that went to UC Davis Catering on the back of a bike cart. We now order produce that goes to Segundo DC, Tercero DC, Cuarto DC, Gunrock Pub, and Catering which is delivered in our large van on Mondays and Thursdays. The program was started by students and still continues to be student-led today.

Check out the UC Davis Student Farm Chef Produce Guide for a complete list of what we buy from the farm, championed by Aggie Grown coordinator Stacy Nuryadi.

Along with produce, we also order flowers from the Ecological Garden, the horticultural half of the Student Farm. The program championed by Aggie Grown coordinator Laura Ongaro was started fall 2015 for Catering, and has since spread to Catering, Gunrock Pub, and all three dining commons. The program has generated revenue for the garden which has allowed them to hire a student employee to manage the program.

We are proud of our amazing and long-standing relationship with the farm. We make an effort to connect chefs with farmers. Each quarter we invite student farmers to eat in the dining commons and enjoy special creations made with farm produce. Our chefs and staff visit the farm on occasion, which allows us to learn about the farm and sparks ideas for new way to collaborate.

Two examples of programs that came from direct collaboration: specialty produce program and the bulk order program. For the specialty produce program, the farm grows unique specially items such as the edible flowers, French breakfast radish, and baby squash. The bulk ordering program allows Dining to  buy large quantities of crops from the Student Farm by planning in advance and requesting that the farm plant specific crops. In Spring 2016, the farm sold us 970 pounds of cabbage, 407 pounds of beets, and 270 pounds of potatoes.


Edible flowers from the farm
Lookin' lively at the Student Farm packing shed
Stacy with the Student Farm delivery
Quarterly Luncheon with Student Farmers
Student Farmers picking flowers



We have been partners with Russell Ranch for a few years. Russell Ranch Sustainable Agriculture Facility is a unique 300-acre facility near the UC Davis campus dedicated to investigating irrigated and dry-land agriculture in a Mediterranean climate.We have purchased their hard white wheat and organic Roma tomatoes

Roma tomatoes are used for dried tomatoes or our house-made tomato sauce. To make the sauce, we roast 10,000 pounds of tomatoes and combine it with local Copper Hill olive oil, Student Farm basil,  and local white wine. The sauce is used year-round for pizza and pasta dishes; the dried tomatoes can be found on the salad bar and in select entrees.

We have used the wheat for use in our house-made pizza doughs, whole wheat pancakes, and seitan. In the two years that we have purchased it, it has been processed locally by a Dixon seed cleaner and Woodland-based miller.  The program was initiated by a student’s feasibility report that she completed for a class.



Russell Ranch organic roma tomatoes




UC Davis Olive Oil
UC Davis Meat Lab


Dining Services was the first official purchaser of UC Davis olive oil back when they started producing it.  The  UC Davis Olive Center is world renowned as a leader of research in the olive industry, but it has a unique founding story. The olive oil was a result of Grounds trying to find a solution to the liability posed by the olive fruit littering the bike paths from all of the olive tree landscaping. Out of the need to prevent a hazard for cyclists came the olive oil and a great campus partnership.


We purchase meat from the on-campus Animal Science Department’s Meat for both Catering and Aggie Stadium games. All hotlinks at the Aggie Stadium are made from pork from the Meat Lab. We are proud to support the Lab which is primarily a teaching facility, and gives students valuable opportunities for experiential learning in the animal and meat industry.



In 2015 we won the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference Food Service Award  for our Aggie Grown program’s commitment to being student driven. It highlighted our purchase of 10,000 lbs of Russell Ranch wheat and our bulk ordering program from the Student Farm.


Along with providing delicious campus produced foods, our team leads peer-to-peer education on topics like sustainable agriculture, eating seasonally and locally, and opportunities to farm and garden on campus. Find us tabling in the DCs or come to one of our workshops which will be posted on our Dining Commons facebook page.



CHESC Award for Sustainable Food Service
Educational Sampling for Local Food


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