January 29, 2017
In this Issue
  • An Interview with Geoffrey Koch
  • A Final Fireside Chat with Mark Van Horn
  • UC Davis First Annual Food Systems Internship Fair!
  • What Does Our Community Look Like? 
  • Volunteer at this Year's Picnic Day!
  • 120,000 Grant Opportunity
  • Upcoming Events & Sustainable Challenge of the Week
  • Dates & Deadlines
An Interview with Geoffrey Koch
Geoffrey “Geoff” Michael Koch

Track I

30 years old, 4th year transfer

"I transferred from Miracosta College down in San Diego, Oceanside, actually.  So new area for me too, now. It’s been about a year now, so settling in."
Allie & Shea: Did you make the right choice choosing SA&FS as your major?
Geoff: Yeah I think I totally did. That there’s not a lot of focus in one area, but that’s the very reason why I took it! I think college is a rite of passage and so having a lot of focus in one area isn’t needed. You learn what works, and you learn what is relevant, but you don’t hold onto the stuff that doesn’t matter. Do what’s interesting to you. I do really like the major, though. I’ve talked to a lot of people who have switched into the major, which is cool. I’m glad that I am older. Being young and being in community college the first time, it was awful. I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life. Being older has helped me calm down and focus.
A&S: We know you’re a part of AGR. Tell us more about that.
G: Well it’s an agricultural based fraternity. I moved to Davis and I didn’t know anyone and I knew it would be an opportunity to make friends and build a social circle. And, it was a challenge. Well, I’m gay. Joining AGR was a challenge, plain and simple. For me and for them. But it’s turned out really well. You know, things change. I definitely encourage people to be open minded about what things may or may not be. It’s human nature to judge and make judgements to understand reality, but you should always question your own motives and judgements, because they are often incorrect. Being a little bit older, that’s one of the things that’s the most valuable in life is being constantly evolving and changing, not getting stuck in some frame of mind that may or may not be serving you. And you find that in SA&FS classes too. Don’t hate that class, don’t hate the people. I might have some really strong feelings about alternative agriculture and its implementation more broadly and I may think that that’s a really good idea, but if we really want to make inroads into expanding that, then you have to make friends, you have to foster those relationships carefully. And if you start making judgements about people or about who they are based on what kind of work they do, you can destroy those relationships very quickly and you won’t necessarily get a chance to get them back. Being disrespectful is not a way to do a career, I’ll tell you what. That’s a fast way to make no progress. If you are the one that is constantly vilifying people or making enemies, no one will hire you, or if you get hired, you will not progress. That’s not the way the world works. You have to be open to other perspectives. It’s not easy to accept different opinions. Sometimes we feel that our opinions are more ethical or more valid because they’re a certain way, but that doesn’t matter to the people who have the opposite opinions. Self-criticism is really important. That’s what will carry you. In SA&FS, you can see both! And you don’t get to see both in other majors. There have been a lot of things that have been wonderful and amazingly helpful for agriculture from the green revolution, but at the same time, have we applied them all the right way? Could we do better? Have we lost some things as a result? Absolutely. We can still make progress. But I don’t think people in conventional agriculture disagree with that. They don’t disagree. There’s a lot of misconception on both sides, and that’s where the problem arises. So the bridge builders, the social capital bridge builders, are what’s needed in agriculture right now, especially with all the change that’s happening. And that’s the kind of stuff I’m really interested in doing. Bridging the gap between people who don’t always understand each other. There are a lot of people in conventional agriculture that have a lot of the same ideas that people in sustainable agriculture do.  
A&S: Is there anything you wish you had known before you came to Davis or SA&FS?
G: No. Not really. I’m kind of a no regrets type of person, so that’s part of it. I wish I had known…something I’m glad that I did, that maybe other people could do is get the hardest stuff out of the way as soon as possible. I’m a reentry student. Kicking the can down the road is not something I would recommend.
A&S: General advice for other people going into the major?
G: Time management going into university is one of the biggest things you will learn or you will not succeed. Figuring out your learning style and how you need to study. And how much you need to study. Self-checking your knowledge. If you feel confident about a subject, then you don’t need to study anymore. But you should study until you are. And it took me a long time and I was really stubborn about that. But once I figured it out, I now have a pretty good sense of when I’ve learned something or not. That self-assessment is an important skill.
The second big thing is don’t put yourself in a silo. Make friends outside of your comfort zone. Make friends where you’re uncomfortable. That’s what college is for. Join a club, go to an event, that challenges your ideas. Stay busy too. If you’re going to UC Davis, there is never, ever an excuse for you to be bored at home. Ever. Like literally, it doesn’t matter what the weather is like, it doesn’t matter what day of the year, it doesn’t matter if it’s summer, there’s always something to do or somewhere to go. Go take a walk in Putah Creek, or go the Arboretum, or go to the delta, there’s so much stuff to do here. It’s like a spring that is forever plentiful. And I know people aren’t as outgoing as I am, but I think challenging yourself to socially and emotionally grow is one of the most valuable things you learn in college, aside from the academics. Like I said, joining a fraternity. Joining a fraternity for me, I would not have thought of myself as someone who would have joined a fraternity. But it’s been super valuable. Don’t do what you did in high school. Do something else. So yeah, one of those is academic and the other one is social.
A&S: Fun fact?
G: Uh, I don’t know! I never know what kind of facts people would find as fun facts. I’m into social theories, period. Theories of how ideas are spread interest me. Like Malcolm Gladwell’s ”Tipping Point,” and like how different ideas are carried by different people and spread by action. Kind of understanding the way things change in society, politically or otherwise. I also really like to cook. I do steak and grilling. The most recent thing I cooked was tri-tip using meat from the meat lab on campus. If you want to be good at grilling, two suggestions. One, buy an instant read thermometer. That’s essential. And two, get the Cooks Illustrated Cookbook and it’s like a reference guide. You can learn certain things about the science behind how it works. Cooking is a skill. It’s not some art form. It’s a skill you can learn to cook things to your liking. I’ve been doing it since I’ve been tall enough to see over the counter, so that’s why I’m good at it. It’s like the whole Malcolm Gladwell 10,000 hours thing. You spend 10,000 hours doing something, you’ll be good at it. Period. End of sentence.
Approaching Mark Van Horn's "Graduation": Some Things Learned and Some Things to be Learned Still
Mark's Final Fireside Chat
Join Student Farm director and plant sciences lecturer Mark Van Horn and other students on February 8th, 5:30pm at Delta of Venus for a fireside chat. As he spends his final quarter at UC Davis, Mark will be sharing some parting wisdom over drinks and food. Bring a friend! 

What: Mark Van Horn's final fireside chat
When: Wednesday Feb 8th @ 5:30pm
Where: Delta of Venus
Why: To appreciate, connect with, and learn from an amazing resource while engaging with the SA&FS community! 
UC Davis' First Annual
Food Systems Internship Fair This Wednesday!
What does your future look like? The UC Davis' First Annual Food Internship Fair is here to help you find out! This is an opportunity for you to be able to start experiencing different areas of the food system prior to finishing your degree so that you may have a better understanding of not only what you may want to do in the future, but also what that future might look like. 

What? Food Systems Internship Fair hosted by RE:SSA! 
Where? Plant and Environmental Sciences Rm. 3001
When? THIS WEDNESDAY, February 1st from 4-6pm
Why? The Food Systems Internship Fair is a student-driven initiative to offer students the chance to experience the food system job market before they graduate. RE: SSA is putting on this Internship Fair with the hope to support students in supplementing their education with real-world experience.
How should I prepare? Just as you would for any career fair! Check out tips from the ICC here!

Organizations in attendance are farms, restaurants, activist agencies, sustainable businesses, and non-profits, such as: Poultry Pasture Farms, Pacific Star Gardens, Yisrael Family Urban Farm, Root of Happiness, Savory Café, Davis Community Meals, Yolo Food Bank, American Farm Land Trust, Soil Born, UC Davis Dining Services, Food Literacy Center and more!
Student Input: What Does Our Community Look Like?
SA&FS is a wonderfully unique major! As your advising team, we are always searching for new ways to better serve you. 

But how can one serve a community without knowing all of its amazing parts? Please answer this brief five question survey so that we can know you more and make your experience in the major the best it can be! 
Volunteer at This Year's Picnic Day! 
Earth Day fanatic? Us too. Celebrate Earth on Picnic Day at the Children's Discovery Fair! 
"This is a volunteer position with transcript notation available! This year Picnic Day will fall on Earth Day, and so the theme for this year's Children's Discovery Fair  is "Nurture Nature." The Fair will have crafts that feature recyclable materials so as to teach children the wonders of sustainability. The Fair catered to over 1,000 kids last year! Assistants would help planning and executing of the Fair."
Learn more and apply here!
$120,000 in Grant Funds Available!
Interested in addressing poverty issues in domestic and developing countries? The Blum Center for Developing Economies wants to help you make a difference.

Apply for grants up to $120,000 through BCDE's poverty alleviation travel grants programs! These grants are open to both graduate and undergraduate students. Application here! 

Possible project topics include social innovation/ entrepreneurship, food security, environmental issues, poverty alleviation, renewable energy, community improvement, global inequality, human and animal health, international development, or other pressing matters of a developing country

Application deadline for undergraduate grants: February 28, 2017

For more information about the UC Davis Blum Center for Developing Economies, visit their website or email 

Upcoming Events
Cycles: How Natural Resource Management and Food Justice Need Eachother
Tuesday, January 31st
12-1pm @ Memorial Union Garrison Room
(second floor)

"The 2016-2017 Campus Community Book Project, featuring Raj Patel's Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System, invites you to this lecture by Nikki Silvestri, founder and principal, Silvestri Strategies."

Assessment of Biofuels Co Products on GHGs, Energy, Water, and Land Impacts
Wednesday, February 1st
12-1pm @ Ghausi Hall
"Yizhen Zhang, Ph.D. candidate at the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies, studies life-cycle assessment of biofuel pathways, recycling and reuse of waste resources, and allocation strategies for co-products."
Health Care and Coverage for California Farmworkers: What are the Policy Opportunities? 
Monday, February 6th
4-5pm @ Center for Health and Environment
(upstairs conference room)

"Joel Diringer, attorney and farmworker health policy advocate, will address the opportunities and challenges of federal, state and local health coverage efforts as they relate to the needs of farmworkers for continuous, affordable and culturally competent care." 
The Health of Immigrant Farmworkers
Thursday, February 9th 
12-1pm @ Memorial Union DeCarli Room
(second floor)

"The 2016-2017 Campus Community Book Project, featuring Raj Patel's Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System, invites you to a lecture by Marc Schenker, distinguished professor of public health sciences, UC Davis, entitled "The Health of Immigrant Farmworkers." Schenker is the founding director of the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, Migration and Health Research Center, Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety, and the Department of Public Health Sciences.
Sustainable Challenge
of the Week

Sustainable Challenge of the Week:
Compost all of your (compostable) food and paper waste!

In our busy student lives, it can even seem burdensome to take the time to sort our trash. But what would your waste look like if you separated your compostable items every day for a week? This week, we are challenging ourselves to prioritize responsible food waste! 

Here is a list of compostable items students may frequently encounter: fruit and vegetable scraps, paper with minimal ink, egg shells, leaves, paper bags, tea bags, flowers, coffee grounds, vegan leftovers

Non-compostables*: meat, bones, breads, cheese and other dairy products, plastics (recycle!), oils, tissues, paper towels, cardboard

Don't have a green waste/compost bin? No biggie. Take your compostable items (in a compostable paper bag) to the following campus locations with compost bins! 
The Memorial  Union
Coffee House
Gunrock Pub
Aggie Stadium
Human Resources Building
John Muir Institute of the Environment
Mrak Hall 3rd Floor
Tercero Dining Commons
Segundo Dining Commons
Cuarto Dining Commons

Interested in learning more about composting? Check out UCD's Project Compost and what they offer!

*The city of Davis may compost these items. 

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 drop 20-day drop courses & to file for the course materials waiver: Feb 6
  • 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 12th
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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