Tours and Activities

Saturday TOUR - March 23, 2013

8:30 a.m. Guests meet at UC Davis Conference Center to board bus – coffee and light refreshments

9:00 a.m. Bus departs; travel to West Village, passing the Student Farm and Green Houses

The UC Davis Student Farm grew out of the dreams of a group of students who wanted a place to explore the diverse aspects of sustainable agriculture, be involved in hands–on experiential learning and where their ideas played a large role in shaping what happened. With support from then-College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Dean Charles Hess, they began operating the 20 acre farm in 1977.

9:15 a.m. Tour West Village

UC Davis West Village is the largest planned zero net energy community in the United States.  It is on track to meet its goal of producing as much energy as it consumes.   The project was made possible by an innovative public-private partnership; it was supported with federal and state grants to study zero net energy systems.  It is founded on three core principles:

Housing Availability. New housing options will enable faculty and staff to purchase new homes locally, at below market prices, and will expand the choices for students to   live near campus.

Environmental Responsiveness. Sustainable design of the site and the buildings will reduce reliance on cars, limit energy consumption, enable energy production, and contribute to a healthy environment.

Quality of Place. A network of open spaces, parks, gardens, pathways and courtyards will provide the attributes and character of traditional Davis neighborhoods.

The university’s first “uHub,” or innovation center, is taking shape at UC Davis West Village. Several of the university’s energy research centers began relocating here in December 2012. They include the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies, which includes the Plug-In Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Research Center, China Center for Energy and Transportation, Sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways (STEPs) and Urban Land Use and Transportation Center. Also newly relocated are the Center for Water-Energy Efficiency, the Energy Efficiency Center, the Policy Institute for Energy, Environment and the Economy and the Western Cooling Efficiency Center.

10:00 a.m. Depart West Village for Button & Turkovich Farm via Russell Ranch and Livestock Air Quality

UC Davis Russell Ranch – Located in one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world, Russell Ranch focuses on big questions: Can we increase sustainability as we increase food production? Additionally, the ranch serves as a research site for scientists focused on sustainable agriculture. It's also a teaching site for farmers and others focused on implementing sustainable farming practices.

10:30 a.m. Tour Button & Turkovich Ranch

Tony Turkovich is a partner in Button & Turkovich Ranch, a diversified farm that produces  tomatoes, alfalfa, safflower, wheat, beans, various seed crops, organic alfalfa, organic rice, wine grapes, prunes, walnuts and oranges on about 5,000 acres near Winters, CA.  Since the mid-1980’s, the ranch has been a pioneer in the development of minimum tillage production systems for each of these crops and today has as much  experience as any Sacramento Valley farm in these conservation tillage approaches.  The innovative systems that the ranch has developed and refined save diesel fuel, time and labor and have served as very early prototypes for the various reduced till alternatives that are now gaining considerable attention in all of California’s agricultural valleys.  Long before the various economic and environmental pressures that are encouraging shifts toward minimum tillage practices today became critical, Button & Turkovich anticipated the need for these systems and began developing conservation tillage options for each of the crops in their rotation.  

During the course of  developing these innovative production systems, Button & Turkovich has worked with numerous UC Davis researchers and UC Cooperative Extension Specialists and Advisors on very wide-ranging research and extension education programs.

11:30 a.m. Depart Button & Turkovich Farm; travel to Dixon Ridge Farm

11:45 a.m. Tour Dixon Ridge Farms

Dixon Ridge Farms is a leader in the organic walnut industry, the preferred choice of growers throughout California and buyers worldwide, and it is the largest and most established handler of organic walnuts. Dixon Ridge is a vertically integrated farming operation and raises, hulls, dries, shells, sorts, stores, packages and sells organic walnuts.  Their award winning sustainability practices include energy efficiency, renewable energy, pesticides, water conservation, soil fertility, waste management, packaging, community, research and education.

Russ Lester is co-owner of Dixon Ridge Farms and a fourth generation California farmer.  Russ began farming organically in 1989 and has helped shape many organic farming concepts and practices for orchards.  An advocate for farmland protection, Russ serves on the Board of Directors for Solano Land Trust and the Solano County Agricultural Advisory Board. He is a graduate of the UC Davis and the California Agricultural Leadership Program.

12:45 a.m. Depart Dixon Ridge Farm; Boxed lunches on bus for guests

1:30 a.m. Arrive UC Davis Conference Center; Tour concludes

Photo credit: Debbie Aldridge/UC Davis

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis

March 19, 2013 – 8:00 p.m. Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts

Special 10% discount on tickets for conference attendees using promo code CLIMATE if purchased online at,14,15,16

Hailed as “the greatest large jazz ensemble working today” by the Chicago Tribune, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra is composed of 15 leading jazz soloists under the leadership of musical director Wynton Marsalis. Over his many appearances at the Mondavi Center (as well as those of his talented brothers Delfeayo, Branford and Jason), Marsalis has compelled and charmed audiences while presenting the full vigor and vision of America’s classical music, as interpreted by some of the finest musicians working today.

Suggested Day Trips from Davis

Napa Valley and Wine Country
50 minutes from Davis

San Francisco
1 Hour 15 minutes from Davis

Lake Tahoe
2 hours from Davis

Vacaville Premium Outlets
20 minutes from Davis