lettuce harvest


Here at the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences, we take our mandate as a land grant institution – to provide quality higher education and address the needs of society - very seriously. The problems and solutions evolve over time, but our commitment stays the same: We address those things that matter most to California in order to transform the world.

Outreach is central to that mission. We partner with growers, ranchers, residents, consumers, communities and others to better understand the needs – both regional and global – and to provide research-based solutions to those problems.

Historical examples abound. In 1934, the Agronomy Division at Davis organized the California Approved Seed Plant to ensure a steady supply of pure seed of standard and improved field crops. In the 1940s, vegetable crop researcher Jack Hanna started breeding new tomato varieties which ripened uniformly and could withstand mechanical harvesting - a move that helped rescue the California tomato industry. In the late 1940s, Cooperative Extension researchers released weed-eating beetles which – to this day - help ranchers and others control the aggressive Klamath weed from overtaking their land.

The list goes on and on, but here is what matters most: the work continues.