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August 22, 2012
By Mike Wolterbeek
The University of Nevada, Reno's Valley Road Field Day on Sept. 8 is an opportunity for the public to see the many research and community outreach activities that happen at the 48-acre Agriculture Experiment Station and greenhouse complex just off Interstate 80 near downtown Reno.
The annual field day, hosted by University of Nevada, Reno's Agricultural Experiment Station, College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The free event features tours of the greenhouses, experimental wine vineyard and bio-fuels production facilities, the annual cactus and orchid sale and a variety of activities for children.
Children will enjoy hay rides, souvenir shingle branding and a hands-on solar science area, hosted by Cooperative Extension's 4-H program. The University's award-winning student iGEM (International Genetic Engineering Machine) team will host two kids' events: a "catch the nutrient" demonstration of their current project and an interactive booth where children will enjoy a fun and tasty way to learn about different cells types with pre-made Jell-O "cells."
University of Nevada Cooperative Extension will host "Living with Fire" exhibits and Master Gardener demonstrations. Master Gardeners will also host the first annual zucchini contest, open to all ages. Entry forms can be picked up at the main sign-in table and must be submitted by 11 a.m. to be eligible for the grand prizes.
The High Desert Farming Initiative, a program for applied research and demonstration in hoop-house, greenhouse and organic farming in high desert climates, will have representatives on hand to discuss techniques that extend the growing season in northern Nevada.
This year's plant sale will include a choice-selection of intriguing cactus and orchids from the global collection to provide rare and uncommon varieties. Proceeds go to the plant sciences and horticulture program at the University.
The 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act, which created America's land-grant universities, will also be celebrated at the event. Public land-grant institutions were charged with providing education in the arts, mechanical sciences and agriculture and promoting "without excluding other scientific and classical studies...the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in the several pursuits and professions in life." The University of Nevada, Reno was established as Nevada's public, land-grant Institution in 1874.
Lunch will be available for purchase from Wolf Pack Meats. This year's menu includes a tri-tip plate with all the trimmings. All proceeds will go to support agriculture-related student organizations within the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources.
The Valley Road Agricultural Experiment Station is located at 1000 Valley Road just north of Ninth Street.
View a schedule of activities, a map to the event and register. For additional information, contact Kim Higgins at (775) 784-1660 or firstname.lastname@example.org.