Got Caviar? UC Davis MBA Food & Ag Industry Immersion Visit to Sustainable Sturgeon Farm

MBA alumnus Ali Bolourchi leads exclusive tour

As one of several site visits for the Food & Ag Industry Immersion experience, UC Davis MBA students learned first-hand about the process of making sustainable, high-quality caviar. MBA alumnus Ali Bolourchi, president of the Tsar Nicoulai Caviar sturgeon farm, led the exclusive tour of the eco-certified farm.

The UC Davis Graduate School of Management's Industry Immersion program gives MBA students access to a powerful, collaborative network tied to UC Davis' globally ranked programs across a multitude of disciplines.

Through the Industry Immersion program, students have the unique opportunity to explore business activity, visit leading companies, and access graduate-level courses in biotechnology, food and agriculture, sustainable energy and technology finance. They engage with and learn from top executives in these industries and be part of an interdisciplinary team working on real-world challenges occurring in these fields that are critical to the well-being of society.

Alumnus Ali Bolourchi

Hi there, I'm Ali Bolourchi. I am the president of Tsar Nicoulai Caviar.  

Today, we're here at our farm in sunny Wilton, California, where we grow award-winning white sturgeon caviar and make a myriad of sturgeon products—smoked sturgeon, patés, and everything from nose to tail.  

So today, we hosted the Graduate School of Management (GSM) program and we gave them a tour from A to Z in the art and science of raising sturgeon sustainably, and producing ultra-premium caviar. It's the nation's only certified sustainable farm.

We are one of the oldest sturgeon farms in the world. Our brand was established in 1984.  

MBA Student Temidire Dada

Right from Nigeria, I’ve always seen several fish farms, but I've never seen a fish farm that is as large as this. It's huge!

The benefit of visiting each of these companies and farms is that we get to see real-life situations and problems and learn how to solve them. I took this as an opportunity to meet industry leaders in the food industry. This has been a great impact on me.  

Alumnus Ali Bolourchi

I am a UC Davis undergrad and grad student. I think it was a very impactful step for me. The GSM program helped me get better in many ways. You can't do everything yourself. The GSM taught me team value. It changed my dynamic of leadership. Being surrounded by brilliant minds can bring out the best in people, and that's what GSM really impacted me with.  

If there's one message I hope the students got, it’s to work together, stay together, and take advantage of your curriculum. You go to an amazing school and visit as many farms as you can. There's a ton of opportunities in Northern California. Our story here is a microcosm of the efforts going on at UC Davis. Being sustainable isn't just about today, it’s about solving problems 10 years from now.

MBA Student Temidire Dada

This opportunity will afford me the benefit of knowing first hand the operations of how these farms and companies work and what I'm going to take on my career path.