February 12, 2017
In this Issue
  • An Interview with Ashley Olvera-Cortez
  • A Plant Health Networking Dinner
  • Mark's Fireside Recap
  • Free Helmets and Recyclemania! 
  • Federal Organic Information Program Seeking Commentary
  • Upcoming Events & Sustainable Challenge of the Week
  • Dates & Deadlines
An Interview with Ashley Olvera-Cortez

Ashley Olvera-Cortez
Track I
5th year
Allie and Shea: Do you have any plans after you graduate?
Ashley: Yeah. What I really want to go into is in the San Joaquin Valley area, because that’s a place where I’ve learned needs a lot of resources and help. I come from a background where my family originated in Salinas and the rural part of Texas, so it just kind of reminds me a little bit with their background, not directly helping my family, but helping families that were like mine.  I got super into water, water rights and water politics. I’m just trying to learn as much as I can about water-related things and focus my restricted electives on that. So I’m just trying to figure out how I can get a job/career within water, but that also relates to ag. So yeah, I’m super excited, but also scared, and nervous! In one of the seminars, PLS 190, one of the speakers talked about the San Joaquin Valley area, and just learned a lot of stuff that I had no idea, and I was mind blown, so I’ve been feeding off that since then.
A&S: How did you come to SA&FS?
Ashley: It’s funny, because I started out animal science freshman year and that was only because my mom was like “oh didn’t you like animals?” I was set on going to culinary school in Wales, because I had a scholarship there. But in high school I took all these requirements for four year colleges and stuff. But I feel like it helped, coming in with animal science and learning the big topics: livestock production, and seeing how that all works in an agricultural system. And then I got as close to the nutrition of ruminant animals, which had a great professor. So then I took an internship with the dairy management, and I was like, I really like this! I wasn’t so much a huge fan of milking, but managing the sick cows, or if the cow was ready to breed, that was really interesting to me, seeing calves birth, that was pretty cool. So from there, I talked with the animal science advisor, and the major advisor was really helpful and she showed me to the website. So then I came to SA&FS and I got super interested in Ryan Galt’s Food Systems class, which was really like a whole ‘nother world compared to animal science. Everyone just seemed, felt more like a community and like I could talk to people. I’m an introvert, and it was easier in SA&FS to have a conversation when it came to the class, or anyone in the major. I definitely started though, every single part of SA&FS, like each of the tracks, like uhhh, where do you start? How do you even pick? Because they’re all really good and practical. That’s the other thing, SA&FS is practical. So I don’t regret changing, going from Animal Science, to Animal Science Management in Dairy Cattle, to SA&FS. I learned a lot in my five years.
A&S: Do you see yourself having your own farm? Would you also have a restaurant?
Ashley: Yeah, yeah. When I was in high school, I definitely wanted a farm, with three types of animals, basically to sustainably live on my own and away from everyone. I feel like that’s still my end goal. Even right now, we have a lot of plants at my apartment. That actually, that’s always been in the back of my mind, because I still really love cooking, I really love baking, I love foods. At a time, too, I was vegan, I was vegetarian, so I know a lot of different recipes and ways to adapt to certain dietary needs while also tasting really good. [having a restaurant that can also adhere to dietary restrictions]  doesn’t sound so farfetched any more, it sounds doable, a lot of people have done that already, so there’s already a good amount of resources for that. I just love to cook in general, so whenever there’s a time for me to make foods for a bunch of people, that’s what helps me get through. In the stressful times, it’s making food that is my go-to.
A&S: Well so much community happens around food.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah and I think that’s why. Any kind of gathering with most of my family is around food. And especially if anyone’s made anything homemade, that’s when everyone’s like, oo, where and when. It’s not so much, oh I’ll come around, if it’s pizza, but if it’s my grandma made pozole, then everyone’s there, within two minutes.
A&S: Is there a piece of the SA&FS community you would like to see change?
Ashley: That’s kind of hard, because I feel there’s a lot of support from SA&FS and the major. Yeah…I think, I don’t know. I like how there’s peer advisors,a lot, and that you actually know, when I don’t get what people want me to do. It’s really nice. I guess that was a big component for helping me figure out where I’m supposed to go, but also what my interests are, and that’s really important to me. Having you there to tell me what classes are harder, or difficult. Also, being able to actually meet with someone that could help me with what to do, rather than getting an email, okay do all this, I thought that experienced peer advisors was more helpful. I’ll look through emails, and I’ll star everything, but then it’s really nice to meet with someone. The peer advising position in general is pretty important, last year, when I was working more at the student farm, one of those people was in capstone, and he was like hey, you should check out the final presentations, and I was like okay cool. And going into that, I was like, oh this is how it’s supposed to be! I didn’t know what to expect, but seeing that really helped, and I feel like that should be encouraged more. So Sunday, March 19th, everyone come out!
A&S:  So we always end with a fun fact. You’ve read them, and that’s the question we always keep. Anything people wouldn’t know about you, or you want SA&FS to know about you?
Ashley: I really love music. Like, ahh, it’s hard to express how much I like it. it’s as much as I like to make food, basically. It’s varied, and it starts in the 1920s, which might actually going further back with my boyfriend influence who likes the 1800s, but I love Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald, Dukes Ellington. And then I also really like, basically everything. I really don’t have a huge appreciation for Top 40, but I do appreciate that there’s a time for that. I guess my huge thing is when music is recycled. Like I just learned, Killing Me Softly by The Fugees, was actually Frank Sinatra, and I was like, what!?
Mark's Final Fireside: Thanks for Joining!
Well, it's fair to say that Mark's Fireside was a hit! Last Wednesday, many Veggies gathered at Delta of Venus as Student Farm Director and plant sciences lecturer Mark Van Horn shared his parting wisdom along with some laughter and good vibes. Thank you to those who gathered in the SA&FS community spirit, and a big thank you to Mark for taking time to invest in students and our community! 

Missed Mark's Fireside Chat? We missed you too. But stay tuned! There are more coming your way. Keep reading the Bi-Weekly Beet to find out about upcoming Firesides and more exciting SA&FS community events! 
Free Helmet with Every Student Pledge!
It's getting slippery out there. Don't let the rain make your bikeride to class more dangerous than it has to be! The Student Health and Counseling Center is providing free helmets to students who pledge to wear them while riding. 

In all seriousness, there is no safe time to ride your bike unprotected. Please pledge to make your commute safe by wearing a helmet today! It's as easy as riding a bike! 
RecycleMania: Help UCD Win! 
From Feb 5th-21st, UC Davis is competing against other campus across the United States and Canada to see who has the best recycling rates. Students, Staff & Faculty are encouraged to reduce and divert waste from going to the landfill. Help UC Davis be #1! 

Click here to learn more about how you can participate in Recycle Mania!
Get Involved in New Organic Regulation: A Proposed Rule By the Agricultural Marketing Service
The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service  proposed the Organic Research, Promotion, and Information Order to the public for commentary up to March 20, 2017.

"This rulemaking proposes the establishment of an industry-funded promotion, research, and information program for certified organic products. The purpose of the program would be to strengthen the position of certified organic products in the marketplace, support research to benefit the organic industry, and improve access to information and data across the organic sector. "

Click here for more information. 
Upcoming Events
Climate-Smart Webinar: "Soil Management" 
Tuesday, February 14th
9-11am Online (Free)
Click for Registration
"As part of an ongoing Netherlands-California collaboration, this online-only webinar will focus on the challenges and opportunities for soil management to mitigate and adapt to changing climates."
Find and Apply for State Jobs
Weednesday, February 15th
5-7pm @ 114 South Hall

"California has nearly 4,000 vacant jobs, right now! But applying for a state job can be daunting. Take heart, the Internship and Career Center can help you. Attend this workshop with State Recruiters who will take you through:
  • Exams & Eligibility Lists & Vacancy Lists
  • Searching for the right position for students & grads
  • Applying online"
"Whose Farm? Which Fork?" and "Of Land and Legacies"
Thursday, February 16th
4-56m @ Student Community Center
Meeting Room D 

The UCD Campus Community Book Project and Cross Cultural Center Black Family Weeks invites you to attend this paired talk to discuss two books and their concepts. 
Yoga for Students
Wednesday, February 22nd 
4-5pm @ 5 Lower Freeborn Hall

De-stress from midterm season with some yoga! "Whether the intention of your yoga practice is to improve muscle strength, increase flexibility, or gain energy and vitality-- the benefits we gain extend beyond our mats and our bodies to our daily lives. Bring your own yoga mat as a limited number are provided on a first come, first served basis." 
Sustainable Challenge
of the Week

Sustainable Challenge of the Week:Research the virtual water it takes to bring your favorite food to your plate! 

Virtual water  (according to is defined as: the water used to create the goods and services that we use. For example, the amount of water it takes to create the pasta product for about one bowl of pasta may hypothetically be 200 liters of  virtual water, while it may only take two liters of water to boil at home.

Your challenge this week is to research one of your favorite foods and find out how much virtual water it takes to reach your plate. You may compare it to the amount of virtual water that is needed for a comparable food product that you enjoy. We hope that this research will help create more student awareness about the many factors that go into food production. 

Share your findings with housemates or friends!

Have a suggestion for an upcoming SCW? Send it in an email to Allie ( or Shea (, we would love to include it in our next Beet! 

Dates & Deadlines
General Deadlines
  • Last day to opt for P/NP or S/U grading: Feb 13
  • Last day to drop courses with a PTD, add courses with a PTA, & submit a Cancellation/Withdrawal form: Mar 17
SA&FS Internship Deadlines
  • submit approval form to receive units for an internship you are completing in Winter: PAST DUE (Dec 2)
  • turn in final reflection and internship paper for Winter credit: March 17
  • submit approval form to receive units for an internship you are completing in Spring: March 17
  • turn in final reflection and internship paper for Spring credit: June 8
Next Beet: February 26th
SA&FS Facebook Group
SA&FS Website

Peer Advising Office Hours
Shea Robinson:
Wednesdays 9pm - 12pm, 1pm-4pm

Allie Fafard:
Mondays 1am - 4pm
Thursdays 1am - 4pm

SA&FS Peer Advising Office
1303 Hart Hall 
UC Davis

Call to Make an Appointment
(530) 752 - 1805
or schedule at

Peer Internship Coordinator (PIC)
Office Hours

Vanessa Lovel:
Tuesdays 1pm-2:30pm
Thursdays 1pm-2:30

PIC Advising Office:
2326 Hart Hall 
UC Davis


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