- Author: Susana C. Bruzzone-Miller, RDN
Dr. Rose Hayden-Smith, UC Observer, creator and chief contributor, kicks off the March speaker series at Foothill Technology High School in Ventura.
Kurt Miller, health, geography and world history teacher at Foothill also oversees the freshman grade level project-Ventura Eats. Over the spring semester, students will explore an aspect of our local food system that inspires them and create a documentary. Students are encouraged to interview professionals in the agricultural community. "Not all students have access to transportation and can get out there" stated Miller. To support his efforts and those of the students, the HAREC education team coordinated a speakers series that meets at the high school on Fridays in the months of March and April. Speakers provide a 20 minute presentation and entertain questions from the students. University of California Cooperative Extension-Ventura County researchers in agriculture and natural resources have graciously volunteered their time to this effort. These professionals live and work in the area they serve and can provide science based agricultural information and resources to the students. The topics will range from bees in agriculture to water and drought to chemicals in agriculture and much more.
Over 150 ninth graders crowded in to hear Hayden-Smith's dynamic presentation last Friday. Her intent was to give students a starting point by presenting an overview of the local food system, answer question, provide resources, and inspire them to launch their own research.
Today, Hannah Hassein and Francesca Cerri, Ventura County 4-H All-Stars, were invited by Supervisor Kathy Long, District 3, to provide the opening Moment of Inspiration, at the Ventura County Board of Supervisors Meeting. The meeting was held at the County Government Center Hall of Administration. With proud family watching, each All-Star gave an impressive account of her personal journey in 4-H and the life skills learned along the way. Both have been actively involved in their clubs and the community. Hannah participated in canned food drives, beach clean-up, thank you cards for our troops and homemade blankets for Child Protective Services. Francesca developed an educational video that details the history and purpose of shearing sheep and includes a step-by-step process. She then sold the videos and returned the profits to her club. Both young women led a Sustainable You! Summer Camp for 4-H members at HAREC that was highly successful. Hannah has a goal of becoming a 4-H State Ambassador in her senior year. Francesca, a will attend Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo in the fall as a Dairy Science major. Both aspire to become veterinarians. These All-Stars embody the 4-H motto “To make the best better”.
Over 220 youth and families attended the 4-H Super Field Day on April 25. The annual event is an opportunity for community club members to learn, practice skills, and compete to win medals. The event was held at HAREC for the first time and was full of 4-H and club spirit.
4-H volunteers transformed the Center barns and open spaces with a wide variety of activity venues that included showmanship, Swine knowledge bowl, rabbit hopping course, cupcake wars, Iron Chef, posters contests, silent auction and much, much more. Members from Ventura, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties participated.
UCCE/HAREC Director Christopher Smith and HAREC Education Outreach Coordinator, Susana Bruzzone-Miller participated in the 2nd Annual Agriculture Career Fair hosted by the Ventura County Agriculture Museum in Santa Paula. Over 80 Ventura County high school juniors and seniors attended. Youth had the opportunity to meet and mingle with community members, business people and others involved in Ventura County agriculture. Many were interested to see how STEM related college majors translated into highly skilled professions.
The UCCE/HAREC generated interest in science and research and the opportunity to speak directly with “a real live scientist” as one student remarked. Exposure to these real world people and experiences is valuable to students plotting out their course. Additionally, students had the opportunity to participate in mini-workshops on resume writing, public speaking, and interviewing skills.
For more information and quotes from participants visit the Ventura County Star article.
Water is one of the most important natural resources our planet provides. If Earth is about 71% water....then why are we caught short? So much to ponder on Day 3-Water!
- Where on Earth is the water?
- How do plants use water?
- Efficient water transport-is it necessary?
- What is a water treatment system?
- How can we conserve water?