Kindergarteners from GVCS visited over two days for a fun-filled science field day. Students were able to hunt for benthic macroinvertebrates, look at decaying salmon carcasses, search for salmon redds (the nests that they build to lay their eggs), and understand the challenging lives that salmon have by acting out the stages of their life cycle. Students loved their field day, saying they "couldn't choose a favorite thing, it was all so fun!" Another student noted that "I am happy to be a human. Being a salmon seems hard."
The opportunity to see these natural wonders first hand can have a lasting impact on student learning. SFREC is dedicated to increasing the number of hands-on science field days it offers to local students. This spring we will be offering field science trips for 4th and 5th graders where they will learn about a variety of science concepts and field science techniques. For more information about these field science days please contact Ali Stefancich at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Look out for the return of FIT+ to SFREC in the upcoming year!
- Author: Megan G Osbourn
The field day kicked off with a keynote address by Congressman, John Garamendi (CA-3), who spoke with students about the roles they will be able to pursue within agriculture and food productution as they chart out their future careers. Garamendi encouraged his audience to think outside of the box when it comes to creating solutions to the many challenges agriculture will face in years to come.
Following this address the students rotated through five hands-on learning demonstrations developed by UC researchers that explored major topics in beef cattle and rangeland management. Dr. Nancy Martin, DVM, discussed health issues in beef cattle with Dr. John Angelos from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine following up by highlighting his research in the development of a vaccine for pink eye in cattle. UCCE Farm Advisor, Jeff Stackhouse discussed the use of technology in managing livestock and wildlife, while Dr. Roberto Sainz of the UC Davis Department of Animal Science explored the ruminant digestive system. Roger Ingram, UCCE Advisor in Placer/Nevada/Yuba & Sutter counties demonstrated principles related to dryland and irrigated pasture management. Students had the opportunity to evaluate soil properties, classify rangeland plants and observe beef cattle grazing behavior.
This event was made possible by the following Sponsors: PG&E, Yuba-Sutter Farm Bureau, California Beef Council and Farm Credit West. We are grateful for this generous support. The time donated by FFA leaders and UC staff was instrumental in making the third year of this annual event a major success and a great opportunity for students to interact with ongoing research led by the University of California.
Presentations focused on a wide variety of agricultural subjects including livestock, bees, bats, irrigation, nutrition, seed saving, wool spinning, cider pressing, soil health and much more. Participating organizations included the local FFA chapters, Nevada Irrigation District, Sierra Foothills Audubon, the 4-H Youth Development Program, UC Cooperative Extension and private agriculturalists.
The Sierra Foothill Research and Extension Center (SFREC) was involved with actively showing students how soil and sand can help filter impurities out of water through an experiment where Kool Aid (representing impure water) is poured through a variety of substrates. SFREC also taught students about watersheds, including how water flows through a watershed, and the areas in which water tends to accumulate.
Farm Day allows students the chance to see and truly connect with multiple aspects of our agricultural systems, an opportunity that many people take for granted. These hands-on activities offer students a path to discovering where their food, drink, and clothing really come from and how it is all connected to the world's ecosystems. Witnessing the interest and curiosity of the students as they traveled through the stations, was a sure sign of the event's success.
SFREC will also present to third grade students at the Yuba-Sutter Farm Day this Friday. Be on the lookout for an update next week!
- Author: Jeremy James
As a way to highlight the value of this partnership and the regional support behind our future producers, the University of California Sierra Foothill Research and Extension Center hosts an annual field day that links high school students across 5 counties with researchers and legislators to explore leading management and policy issues surrounding range and pasture management, as well as beef cattle production. A video highlighting these efforts can be found below. These programs are an exciting opportunity to look towards California's agricultural future. Despite the challenges California faces, the excitement and passion for agriculture that the students have and the solid commitment that educators, researchers and legislators have to supporting their future success provides great optimism that this next generations of producers will have the tools needed to meet the food needs of our growing population.
For more information about the 2016 Beef & Range Field Day, please email Megan Osbourn at email@example.com.
The above video was produced by McKenna Kane, SFREC student intern and student at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.