At Nevada Field Day on Sept. 24, 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, local Restaurateur/Chef Mark Estee will be demonstrating how to cook at home with healthy, local food.
The University of Nevada, Reno event features demonstrations and hands-on activities focusing on the latest advancements in agriculture, horticulture, nutrition, natural resources and the environment. It is a collaborative project of the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources; Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station; and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, and is sponsored in part by the Nevada Agricultural Foundation and the Truckee Meadows Water Authority.
This year's event will be held 9 a.m. to 2 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. The University is celebrating its 60th year of students and faculty using this 800-acre ranch 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.
"September is great time of year for people to pay the University's Main Station Field Lab a visit," said Bill Payne, dean of the University's College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources. "The Main Station is the site of many new research, teaching and outreach activities related to agriculture. There will be a lot more to do and see for children, students and adults interested in food production, animal care, preserving natural resources, biotechnology, children's nutrition, and much more."
Cooperative Extension's Master Gardener volunteers will be on hand to provide information on fall planting and pruning, as well vegetable gardening and other topics for home gardeners. The Desert Farming Initiation will be holding a Farmers Market, selling local produce. And, plants grown in the University's greenhouses will be for sale to support future research and graduate student work.
For those interested in growing food and plants, there will be demonstrations and/or information on:
- constructing simple hydroponic systems for growing fruits and vegetables at home,
- constructing hoop houses,
- growing grapes and making wine,
- developing local food businesses in Nevada,
- attracting beneficial pollinator insects, and safely managing insect pests,
- salt-tolerant crops and plants, and
- ongoing research on low-water-use crops.
There will be many hands-on activities for youth, including:
- a 4-H science activity where youth will make their own mini lava lamp to take home,
- other 4-H clubs providing information and demonstrations on raising animals, such as goats and horses,
- the "Ember House" ping-pong toss, where children learn about embers and the wildfire threat,
- painting toy ducks and other activities by the University's student chapter of the Wildlife Society, and
- activities about and examples of Nevada's plants and animals from the Museum of Natural History
Adults can learn more about protecting their homes and families from wildfire, floods 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, Western Nevada College; Nevada Grown; the Nevada Department of Agriculture; the Academy of Arts, Careers & Technology; the Natural Resources Conversation Service; and many others.
"I really encourage people to be a part of the University's Field Day," said Mark Walker, dean and director of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. "It's a lot of fun, and it provides good information that Nevadans can use in their everyday lives. That's a big part of what the University does: We conduct research and educate students and communities to improve the lives of Nevadans and others."
Battle Born and All Wrapped Up food trucks will be open for business at the event, selling lunches. Admission to the event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 775-784-1660. Persons in need of special accommodations or assistance are asked to call at least three days prior to the event.