In March 2020, many UC Davis operations were suspended in accordance with the state’s shelter-in-place order. 

The Student Farm, which delivers produce to the UC Davis Dining Services, the Associate Students of UC Davis (ASUCD) Pantry, Aggie Compass Basic Needs Center and about 120 Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) subscribers, continued to function with an essential crew of student employees and staff. The farm, serving as a place for students to practice sustainable agriculture, typically enrolls 60 to 90 student interns each quarter but was able to feed local groups during the coronavirus pandemic with a skeleton crew tending to fields, harvesting crops and planting summer vegetables.

While the UC Davis Picnic Day was canceled in response to California’s stay-at-home order, over 6,000 tomato and strawberry plants had already been grown, intended as Picnic Day souvenirs. The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CA&ES) greenhouse staff and students reached out to local food banks, community gardens and students on campus to find homes for the tiny plants. Recipients of the plants were encouraged to post pictures and videos on Instagram under #ucdavisplants.

Every quarter, CA&ES has a budget dedicated to a study break event during finals week, featuring snacks and coffee for students. Since no in-person finals occurred during winter 2020, three CA&ES staff members organized an alternative use for the budget to purchase and deliver nonperishable food items to the Aggie Compass Basic Needs Center.