Nevada Field Day offers hands-on training and demonstrations

At Nevada Field Day on September 17, a variety of hands-on activities, wine tastings, demonstrations, and raffles await visitors, including a farm-to-fork cooking demonstration and samples at noon on the main stage at the University of Nevada. , Reno’s own Elizabeth Watkins. Watkins is known to many as a Linden farm chef, Food Network Chopped Junior winner, and TEDx host. She received her bachelor’s degree and is working on her degree at the University College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources, where the event is held, with its experimental station and supporting units. The event takes place from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, at the university’s main station field laboratory, 5895 Clean Water Way in Reno, near the intersection of McCarran Boulevard and Mill Street.

Watkins says she gained her culinary skills through Extension 4-H’s youth development programs, and she will use products and meat from the Desert Agriculture Initiative Experiment Station and wolf pack meat. The initiative, which will also sell its organic produce at the event, operates a commercial farm including orchards, open fields, poultry houses and a greenhouse and aims to promote climate-smart agriculture and food sovereignty through demonstration, education, research and outreach. Wolf Pack Meats, which will offer tours at 10:30 am and 12:30 pm, provides USDA-verified harvesting and processing services to local farmers, trains students in the latest meat production techniques, and maintains their own herd to learn ways to produce meat in more quantity with higher quality.

Other demonstrations on the main stage of Nevada Field Day will include protecting your home from wildfires, container gardening, and growing local food and medicinal plants. In addition, Nevada Loggers College’s award-winning student logging and sports club will host logging sports events, including felling, bucking, and chainsaw demonstrations. Excursions to sheep farms (10:45 and 12:45) and livestock farms (11:00 and 13:00) will also be organized.

The event will be filled with activities at over 40 booths highlighting the latest advances in agriculture, horticulture, nutrition, natural resources and the environment. Rafter 7 Merino, a new line of clothing made from college sheep wool, will be on display and on sale. Sheep are known throughout the world for their fine and soft wool.

At the wine tasting table, a partnership formed last fall between the college, its experimental station, and Nevada winegrowers and vintners will distribute samples to those 21 and older. The partnership aims to support events and events such as classes, wine evaluations, vineyard tours, roundtables, professional speakers and more to promote viticulture and winemaking in Nevada.

The tasting table will feature Riesling university wines and blended red wine. Riesling grapes are grown in the Lenox Vineyards in Silver Springs. The award-winning Nevada Sunset Winery harvested the grapes and managed the wine production. The red blend is made from four varieties from the Nevada Sunset Winery, and the exact blend is the result of a college-sponsored wine blending competition in February.

There will also be activities and information for children. The 4-H Youth Development Program will invite youth to participate in paper making as an example of how 4-H projects engage youth in science, health, citizenship and more. The Rethink Your Drink Nevada program will include healthy drink recipes for kids and information on how to reduce your kids’ sugary drinks.

Other stands will feature activities and information for both adults and youth. Some will make tortillas from different varieties of corn to teach plant breeding, sample products and ask tasters to give feedback on sweetness for a research project, distribute fall seedlings and seed bags, give gardening advice, sell plants resulting from plant research, and providing information on the various research projects that the College conducts, such as research on:

  • weather and climate (learn how you can help scientists learn more about Nevada).
  • plant breeding and genetics
  • Low Water Consumption Alternative Crops for Nevada
  • using precise irrigation management methods and equipment to improve water conservation
  • characteristics of plants for adaptation to drought, salinity and heat
  • increasing plant resistance to harsh environmental conditions and increasing biomass productivity
  • strategies to improve water use efficiency by plants
  • production and use of cactus pear
  • cannabis cultivation in Nevada
  • animal reproduction, genetics, dietetics and meat science (children, come and assemble the cow puzzle).
  • use of modern equipment for feed evaluation
  • conservation and restoration of the Great Basin pastures and improvement of sustainable agricultural practices
  • use of virtual fences and collars, as well as GPS-tracked ear tags for grazing management
  • methods for solving the problems of forest fire management in the Great Basin
  • relationship between diet and chronic kidney disease
  • how bacteria and other microbes in the digestive tract affect the health of Nevada residents (Get information about participating in the study.)
  • better understand insect hormones and the sense of smell to discover new, safer insecticides and management methods. (See live displays of insects.)
  • mosquitoes and ticks and how to reduce their exposure as carriers of diseases such as Lyme disease (see How to Remove a Tick).
  • economic factors across the state, including the economic value of hunting and the Nevada state park system.

Field Day in Nevada has been a college tradition for decades, and for over 65 years, faculty have used the Main Station’s 800-acre field lab to provide students with hands-on learning experiences and research. It has been home to hundreds of programs such as those aimed at raising healthy livestock, controlling noxious weeds, growing crops with low water consumption, and maintaining air and water quality.

“September is a great time of year to visit the university’s field lab at the main station,” said Bill Payne, dean of the college. “There will be plenty to see and do, and it really helps people understand how we combine the missions of the University in terms of teaching, research, and engaging with our communities to serve the people of Nevada in their daily lives.”

Faculty and staff will also be available to provide information about the College’s undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as programs offered through extended education – non-credit professional development programs and industry-specific training programs.

Other organizations with which the College frequently collaborates will also provide information, including Nevada’s Western Regional Agricultural Stress Relief Program; Great Basin Grassland Research Division, USDA – Agricultural Research Service; Nevada Section Society for Pasture Management; and Bees4Vets, a non-profit organization that supports veterans and first responders with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) by teaching beekeeping. The program uses space in the field laboratory of the university’s main station to conduct programs.

Finally, a Codfather Burgers & Hamburgers food truck is on hand. Entry is free thanks to the support of the Truckee Meadows Water Authority and Western Nevada Supply. For more information, call 775-784-6237. Individuals requiring reasonable accommodations should contact Paul Lessick, Civil Rights and Compliance Coordinator, at least five days prior to the event.

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