What was to become the seventh UC Campus opened its doors to 40 degree students (all male) from UC Berkeley in January 1909 as the University Farm
farm began accepting non-degree farmers' short courses in October of 1908; there were initially around 115 such attendees.) The
establishment of the Farm was largely the result of the vision and perseverance of Peter J. Shields, secretary of the State Agricultural Society, and the eponym of UC Davis' Peter J. Shields
Library. He began to champion the cause of a University Farm to teach agriculture in a more applied fashion after hearing
about Californian students who chose to go to out-of-state universities due to the lack of such a program in the University of California at that time. He later stated:After two failed bills, a law authorizing the creation of a University Farm was passed in 1905, and Yolo County, home to some of California's prime farmland,
was chosen as the site. The Farm accepted its first female students in 1914 from Berkeley.
Renamed in 1922 the Northern Branch of the College of Agriculture
, it continued growing at a breakneck pace: in 1916 the
Farm's 314 students occupied the original 778 acre (3 km²) campus, but by 1951 it had
already expanded to a size of 3,000 acres (12 km²). In 1959, the campus was declared by the Regents of the University of
California as the seventh general campus in the University of California system. It has since grown into a vibrant and politically active campus,
with noted protests during the Vietnam War years.