The former Hog Barn was built in 1913 as part of the University Farm and served in that function until 2004 while the central campus grew around it. This resulted in the interesting juxtaposition of the Crocker Nuclear Lab and the swine husbandry building with its characteristic arôme indélicate. It has been moved, remodeled, and it now houses a staff training facility.


The University of California at Davis had its beginnings as the University Farm, a vocational teaching facility for the College of Agriculture at U. C. Berkeley. It was brought into being when Peter J. Shields created a bill that was passed by the state legislature in 1905. The original 778 acres of first-class land, once part of the farm of Jerome C. Davis in Yolo County, was purchased in 1906 for $104,250. Construction began in 1907 and the school opened for teaching in 1908. The campus, known as the University Farm until 1921 when it became the Northern Branch of the College of Agriculture, continued to grow and by the 1960s it consisted of 3700 acres. Four-year degree curricula began in 1922 and the two-year non-degree curriculum continued into 1960. In 1959, Davis became a general campus of the University of California. The School of Veterinary Medicine was opened in 1949 and a Graduate Division and several professional schools, including Law and Medicine, were opened in the 1960s. In 1967 the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences was formed adding expanded scope in agricultural teaching and research. Growth has continued, where by 2012, enrollment was over 33,000 and the campus covered over 5,000 acres. Now, in 2013, The University is recognized as one of the finest agricultural research and teaching institutions in the world. And along with the research there are cows being milked, pigs being fed, horses being ridden, chickens laying, sheep being shorn, grapevines being pruned, alfalfa being mown, and fields being tilled. The University can still be a farm.


"Davis was an all-around joy. It had its own special place in the university as the primary center for agricultural research---at which it was one of the best in the nation and even in the world---as I discovered as I traveled abroad.
... [and] agriculture provided a special intellectual atmosphere. there was no conflict of theory versus practice in agriculture; theory aided practice and practice energized theory." --Clark Kerr




© Donald Martinich