Colin Dixon

Student Farm is excited to welcome Colin Dixon as the new Student Farm Director!

Colin Dixon brings with him over twenty years of community-based education and sustainable agriculture and will provide excellent leadership for the Student Farm.

The Student Farm’s mission is to hold a space where students can learn, practice, and model an ecologically, socially, and economically sustainable agriculture and food system. The Student Farm welcomes all students to build this more equitable and just farm and food system by cultivating student initiatives, leadership, experiential learning, and inclusive communities. It offers rich learning opportunities in organic agriculture, ecological horticulture, food security, floriculture, and breeding for organic systems. The Student Farm falls under the Agricultural Sustainability Institute at UC Davis (ASI) and part of the Sustainable Living and Learning Communities.

Dixon earned his Ph.D. in Education here at UC Davis in 2018. Most recently, he worked as a Research Scientist and educator for BSCS Science Learning and Co-Owner of Flatlands Oil and Mill. At BSCS, Dixon led participatory design with youth and educators, and collaborated with multidisciplinary teams to inspire conversations about science, society and the future in an effort to build more equitable science curricula. 

For the last eight years he has organically farmed and milled olives near Winters, California. Working alongside mentors, as well as owls, mantises, and hares, farming continues to teach him about the beauty, hard work, and risk of producing food, as well as the adaptations that climate change is demanding. Agriculture has always been a part of Colin’s life, from raising goats in Washington State as a child, to teaching on an urban farm in Washington, DC. 

Colin’s first job in Davis was at the Student Farm and he is thrilled to rejoin a community engaging society’s greatest challenges. On returning to the Student Farm as Director, Dixon says, “I don’t think there is any job more important than this one. The UC Davis Student Farm is doing two things absolutely critical to our future: 1) preparing people to participate in food systems that will sustain a changing world; and 2) creating community.” 

The Student Farm, a 23 acre educational farm and garden, hosts 25 student employees and over 200 interns each year. In addition, thousands of students, as well as K-12 students and public visitors, tour and learn from the farm each year. The Student Farm’s program include a 9-acre certified organic mixed vegetable farm, 2-acre sustainably-grown cut flower operation, a food access program donating 10,000 pounds of produce each year to students in need, a student-led breeding program for organic systems (SCOPE), an ecological garden, and K-5 field trip program for schools in the region.  

Students at the Student Farm do more than learn farming and gardening; they lead research initiatives, teach workshops in agricultural practices to their peers, and build leadership skills that are transferable far beyond their Student Farm experience.  Now in its 45th year, with continued support from the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the farm has grown into one of the country’s strongest college farms.

“I’m very excited to have Colin Dixon starting as the new Student Farm Director. 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,” says ASI’s Director Ryan Galt.

Dixon replaces Katharina Ullmann, who served as the Student Farm’s Director for 5 years. “I am extremely grateful for Katharina’s leadership over the last 5 years. 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,” says Galt.

Dixon begins his role as Student Farm Director on December 1, 2022 following a national search. Galt notes, “We had a great group of candidates and students, staff, and faculty were able to provide feedback during the process. We are excited for the knowledge and experiences Colin brings with him and welcome him in taking on this important role.”

Secondary Categories

Student Farm