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Nevada Field Day provides hands-on activities and demonstrations

Posted 8/21/2018

man and baby looking at sheep in a pen

Demonstrations on raising animals are just some of the many activities featured at the University’s Field Day. Photo by Claudene Wharton.

University experts showcase research, engage attendees in activities and programs

At Nevada Field Day on Sept. 8, visitors will be treated to a variety of free activities and giveaways, and even some tasty food samples.

As part of this year’s activities, nationally acclaimed local food advocate Mark Estee will present a cooking demonstration at 10 a.m. Estee has been featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, and in Esquire Magazine.

The University of Nevada, Reno event features hands-on activities and information focusing on the latest advancements in agriculture, horticulture, nutrition, natural resources and the environment. The event will be held 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the University’s Main Station Field Lab, 5895 Clean Water Way in Reno, near the intersection of McCarran Boulevard and Mill Street. It is a collaborative project of the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources; Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station; and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.

“September is great time of year for people to visit the University’s Main Station Field Lab,” said Bill Payne, dean of the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources. “There will be a lot to see and do, and it really helps people understand how we blend the missions of the University in terms of teaching, research and engaging with our communities to serve Nevadans in their everyday lives.”

Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardener volunteers will be on hand to provide information on fall planting and pruning, as well as vegetable gardening and other topics for home gardeners. The Desert Farming Initiative will be holding a Farmers Market, selling local produce. Plants grown in the University’s greenhouses will also be for sale to support future research and graduate student work.

For those interested in growing food and plants, there will be demonstrations and information on:

  • assistive technologies to help with obstacles to gardening and agricultural production,
  • implementing conservation measures in an urban agricultural setting,
  • attracting beneficial pollinator insects and safely managing insect pests, and
  • low-water-use crops and plants.

There will be many hands-on activities for youth, including:

  • a 4-H STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) activity, where youth will repurpose plastic into either mobiles or sculptures in a process known as upcycling;
  • the “Ember House” bean-bag toss, where children learn about embers and the wildfire threat;
  • a Lilliputian Garden Necklace craft using live plants that the kids can take home; and
  • agricultural literacy activities.

Adults can learn more about making healthy life choices and protecting their homes and families from wildfire, and disease-carrying pests, such as mosquitos. They can also learn from faculty and students about the latest research on many other issues, such as managing Nevada’s water resources, wetlands and rangelands.

Others will also be on hand providing information, including University student clubs; the Nevada Department of Agriculture; Urban Roots; I Can Do Anything Charter High School; the Natural Resources Conversation Service; and many others.

For over 60 years, University students and faculty have used the 800-acre ranch at the University’s Main Station Field Lab to provide education and research, not only on raising and processing healthy cattle, but also on a variety of other important issues, including controlling noxious weeds, developing alternative low-water-use crops, and preserving air and water quality.

The Battle Born, All Wrapped Up and Java Ship Coffee food trucks will be open for business at the event. Admission to the event is free and open to the public, thanks to event support from the Nevada Agricultural Foundation and Truckee Meadows Water Authority. For more information, call 775-784-6237. Persons in need of special accommodations or assistance are asked to call at least three days prior to the event.

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