CABNR, UNCE host successful annual Valley Road Field Day event

children learn about different cell types with pre-made Jell-O “cells.”Scores of people turned out on a beautiful late-summer day to enjoy the many booths and activities available during the Valley Road Field Day event Sept. 8.

College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources Interim Dean Ron Pardini said the event was a "complete success." More than 500 people turned out for the event this year, Pardini said.

"Our primary goal was to increase the public's understanding of what is happening within CABNR as well as the Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station," he said. "We were able to reach a lot of people."

CABNR partnered with University of Nevada Cooperative Extension to put on the Field Day at the 48-acre Agriculture Experiment Station and greenhouse complex. The event gave the public an opportunity to tour the UNR Greenhouse Complex, experimental wine vineyard and bio-fuels production facilities. In addition to tours, students and faculty presented their research and answered questions. Cooperative Extension hosted Master Gardener demonstrations and "Living with Fire" exhibits. The High Desert Farming Initiative had representatives present to discuss techniques that extend the growing season in Northern Nevada.

This year's plant sale, always a key attraction at the Field Day, included a selection of cactus and orchids. CABNR's Dr. John Cushman propagated plants from CABNR's global collection to provide rare and uncommon varieties. Cushman's team also conducted workshops on how to transplant plants to ensure a thriving specimen. Proceeds from those sales went to the plant sciences and horticulture program at the University.

Children at the Valley Road Field Day enjoyed a hands-on science area, hay rides and souvenir shingle branding. The University's award-winning student iGEM (International Genetic Engineering Machine) hosted two kids' events: a "catch the nutrient" demonstration of their current project and an interactive booth where children enjoyed a fun and tasty way to learn about different cell types with pre-made Jell-O "cells."

Poster contestA zucchini contest, open to all ages, was hosted by UNCE Master Gardeners.

Lunch was available from Wolf Pack Meats. The menu this year included a tri-tip plate with all the trimmings. Proceeds went to CABNR's agriculture-related student organizations.

The 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act, which created America's land-grant universities, was also 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.