At Nevada Field Day on Oct. 19, visitors will be treated to a variety of free activities and giveaways, and even some tasty food samples, courtesy of the University of Nevada, Reno and its College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources.
As part of this year’s activities, acclaimed local food advocate and Chef Clint Jolly will be performing a cooking demonstration at 11 a.m. with produce from the University’s Desert Farming Initiative and meat from the University’s Wolf Pack Meats. Jolly is a former winner of Food Network’s Chopped: Impossible Restaurant Challenge, and is currently a meat and seafood specialist with Sysco Foodservice.
Nevada Field Day features hands-on activities and information focusing on the latest advancements in agriculture, horticulture, nutrition, natural resources and the environment. It 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 & Natural Resources; and its research and outreach units, the Experiment Station and University of Nevada, Reno Extension.
“People are not always aware of all the research we are conducting at our Experiment Stations, nor are they aware of all the outreach and programs that Extension is doing throughout the State,” said Chris Pritsos, director of the College’s Experiment Station. “The activities at this event, besides being a lot of fun, really help people understand how we serve Nevadans by blending the teaching, research and outreach missions of the University.”
For over 60 years, University students and faculty have used the 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.
This year’s Field Day will feature over 45 booths and activities, with education and fun for people of all ages, including:
Plants, pumpkins and produce
- Extension’s Master Gardener volunteers will provide free, research-based horticulture information and publications, and will answer gardening questions.
- The Desert Farming Initiative will be selling jack-o-lantern pumpkins, as well as its local produce, and will also be giving out some free samples.
- Indoor and outdoor climate-resilient plants grown by the College’s labs will be for sale.
- Indoor-grown tomato plants will be given out, along with information on growing tomatoes indoors.
- Wolf Pack Meats will conduct a tasting of a prepared meat and provide information.
- There will be displays and information on the College’s agriculture production and crops research, including teff, prickly pear, chickpeas, forage soybeans, pearl millet, dry beans and winter camelina.
- Projects on irrigation efficiency, using treated wastewater for sustainable agriculture, hydroponics, urban agriculture and winemaking will be featured.
- The College’s Plant Genomics Lab will be demonstrating genomics technology and an outreach program for kids.
Wildlife, animals and insects
- The Nevada Department of Wildlife will be displaying skulls and hides of various wildlife, as well as its fishing backyard bass casting station.
- Wolf Pack Meats will conduct a tasting of a prepared meat and provide information, and there will be tours offered of Wolf Pack Meats, the sheep facility and the cattle facility.
- There will be live insect displays, highlighting research the College is doing to discover new, safer pest management practices.
- The Bees4Vets Program, which teaches beekeeping to veterans and first responders with PTSD, will be there.
- There will be information on planting native flowers to attract insects that help control pests, and to attract pollinators, such as bees and butterflies.
Health and nutrition
- There will be information on healthy drink choices, food choices for a healthy heart, nutrition careers, and testing your home for radon (a gas that can cause lung cancer).
- Some booths will feature hands-on fitness and nutrition label-reading activities, and demonstrations featuring foods prepared with Seniors Eating Well recipes.
- There will be a booth with drones, showing how one of the College’s labs is using drone videography to map invasive plant species.
- The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service is bringing a 10-foot soil tunnel for attendees to journey through to learn about healthy soil.
- There will be information on using tree rings to evaluate variations in water resources and climate.
- Wondering what kind of winter we will have? The State Climate Office will be on hand.
- The Great Basin Fire Science Exchange will be providing information, and Extension’s Living With Fire Program will bring the Ember House bean-bag-toss activity, which highlights how flying embers can set a home on fire.
More for youth
- The 4-H Youth Development Program will have hands-on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) activities for youth ages 5 – 12, as well as information on the many 4-H programs available to youth.
- One of the College’s labs that investigates photosynthesis will have a hands-on activity where attendees can make necklaces using encapsulated algae, which provide a visual readout of photosynthesis.
- There will be information on other College programs for youth, including Little Books & Little Cooks, which is a bilingual program for families of young children that promotes family literacy and healthy eating by having parents read and prepare recipes together.
All Wrapped Up and Kenji’s food trucks will also be open for business at Field Day, from approximately 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. All Wrapped Up serves gourmet wraps and salads, and Kenji’s serves a fusion of Hawaiian, Asian and Latin foods.
Admission to Nevada Field Day is free and open to the public, thanks to event support from the Nevada Agricultural Foundation and Truckee Meadows Water Authority. For more information, contact Lindsey Barnes, 775-336-0250 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Persons in need of special accommodations or assistance are asked to call at least three days prior to the event.