Posts Tagged: outreach
UC helps the Fresno Farm and Nutrition Day increase student awareness of healthful food and where it comes from.
More than 1,600 third-graders and 330 teachers and chaperones from 24 Fresno County schools attended Farm and Nutrition Day March 22 at the Big Fresno Fairgrounds. Attendees had the opportunity to tour 50 stations with educational handouts, experiential workshops, presentations and demonstrations. Fresno County Farm Bureau organized the event with the assistance of several presenter groups, sponsors and volunteers, including two UC Agriculture and Natural Resources units.
KARE provided short presentations on what it takes to be a healthy plant and what it takes to be a healthy person, followed immediately by workshops where the students planted leaf lettuce transplants to take home and enjoy. This workshop was made possible with donations and volunteers. Valley Soil & Forest Products donated soil, The Plant People donated pots, and Greenheart Farms donated lettuce transplants. Ten volunteers helped ensure that all of the participants were able to pot up and take home leaf lettuce plants.
Fresno County UC Cooperative Extension provided nutritional presentations and demonstrations. Fresno’s community 4-H clubs brought farm animals to interact with the mostly urban students. Richard Molinar, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Fresno County, small farm program, displayed Southeast Asian vegetables and discussed Southeast Asian culture with the students.
The Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center will staff a booth at a blueberry, blackberry and strawberry tasting 8 a.m. to noon June 23 at the Bravo Lake Botanical Garden, 200 E. Naranjo Blvd. in Woodlake, Calif.
The event is hosted by UC Cooperative Extension in Tulare County, the UC small farm program, Woodlake Pride Inc., the California Blueberry Commission, the US Highbush Blueberry Council and the California Strawberry Commission.
Visitors to the Kearney booth can try blueberries, blackberries, plums, apricots, nectarines and peaches grown at the research facility. In addition, UC citrus from the Lindcove Research and Extension Center and the post harvest research program at Kearney will be offered.
Kearney staff will give participants recipes, healthy plate handouts, and information about how the IR-4 program at Kearney helps ensure that consumers have an abundant supply of eco-friendly, safe and affordable fresh produce, said Laura Van der Staay, Kearney Program and Facility Coordinator. IR-4 is federally funded research program that aims to secure registered uses of reduced-risk crop protection chemicals for specialty crop growers.
Cost of the tasting event is $5 for adults and $2 for children 6 to 10. Children under 5 are free.
Bravo Lake Botanical Garden is the first agricultural botanical garden in California. The facility includes a tropical garden, a citrus orchard, a grape vineyard, peach, plum and nectarine trees and several vegetable gardens. It also features a rose garden.
Nearly 2,000 third-graders visited the Fresno County fairgrounds March 23 to learn about the connection between the food they eat and their home county's No. 1 economic driver, agriculture.
Farm and Nutrition Day is sponsored by the Fresno County Farm Bureau and the Fresno Fair. UC Cooperative Extension in Fresno County has been involved since the event's inception in 2005; this was the first year for the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center to bring an educational booth to the event.
KARE program and facility coordinator Laura Van Der Staay and her assistant Julie Sievert secured donations of lettuce seedlings, potting soil and pots to give to the children who visited the booth. In addition, Van Der Staay and Sievert used a felt board to teach the children about the benefits of eating right and exercise.
The first stop on country music artist Michael Peterson's whirlwind tour of San Joaquin Valley agriculture today was the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, where he enjoyed fresh fruit produced by local farmers and was introduced to the science behind the California agricultural industry's tremendous success.
Peterson was a member of 4-H as a youth in eastern Washington. That early exposure to agriculture, he said, may have planted the seed that developed into his current affinity for the farming industry.
Peterson brings a measure of celebrity to the effort to share the message about California agriculture. His country music debut album in 1997 produced four hit singles, “Drink, Swear, Steal and Lie," "From Here to Eternity," “Too Good To Be True” and “When the Bartender Cries.” He was named Top New Artist of 1997 by Billboard and Radio & Records and honored as Country Weekly's Male Newcomer and Gavin's Artist to Watch in 1998.
More recently, Peterson has been active in youth development and veterans' programs. He presents a school assembly called "Tag, You're It," which blends illusions, humor, interactive multi-media, audience participation and the power of the internet to help improve test scores and boost high school graduation rates. He has also traveled to Iraq several times to perform for the troops and is creating a music project for the Military Child Education Coalition.
Peterson said he was impressed by his visit to the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center.
"I never thought about the science part, on this level, being so important in agriculture," he said. "Thank goodness y'all are here."
In the video above, Michael Peterson expresses esteem for California agricultural science. For a transcript of the video, please email email@example.com.
A group of eighth-graders from Riverview Elementary School in Reedley toured the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center today for an introduction to agricultural science.
In Kearney's greenhouse facility, UC staff showed the students some of the pests farmers must manage - including leaf footed bug, navel orange worm and olive fruit fly - and explained research underway to help farmers control pests in ways that are effective and environmentally sound.