- Author: Julie Sievert
In December the Farming, Agriculture, and Resource Management for Sustainability (FARMS) program brought about 60 high school students from valley schools to enjoy a day of workshops and ag-related learning at UC Kearney. Part of the Center for Land Based Learning, the FARMS Leadership program students participated in team building activities with their peers, and three workshops provided by Kearney: the science behind fruit ripeness/quality, building healthy soils for healthy crops, and sorghum and whole grains.
In what might be the sixth or seventh year in a row, Jeff Mitchell, Cooperative Extension systems specialist at Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center,UC Davis Plant Science department, and Conservation Agricultural Systems Innovation program participated in the annual AgVentures! educational event for several Tulare County public schools fourth-grader classes on May 11, 2018 at the International Ag Center. This is an annual event that is put on by the Tulare County School District in conjunction with the Tulare County Cooperative Extension and the International Ag Center and it typically involves several hundred students from the local schools. It turns out to be the classic ‘field trip' for kids and seems to be something that brings excitement and hopefully good learning to large numbers of students. A short video of some of the action can be seen at the You Tube site https://youtu.be/R4LDy4Ru9ws.
KARE outreach and education leader, Laura Van Der Staay, along with UCD Cooperative Extension Cropping Systems Specialist, Jeff Mitchell, had their hands full with over 300 enthusiastic Tulare County 4th graders as part of the 2017 half-day AgVentures extravaganza that was held at the International Ag Center on May 12. This is the third time the two of them have taken part in this activity that is always a big hit with the kids, teachers and parents. Students learned about soil science and research that is underway at the KARE Center related to soil function and management and also had a chance to see up close and personal how soils can change if they are managed using conservation agriculture practices. While the day is always grueling, both Van Der Staay and Mitchell departed after a hearty hamburger lunch that was provided by the event organizers with the satisfaction of having hopefully expanded horizons and inspired a new generation of science-loving students.
- Author: Laura J. Van der Staay
UC ANR Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center is providing fun learning opportunities to Fresno Unified School District 4th grade students and W.E.B. DuBois & Carter G. Woodson Public Charter Schools' students.
The teachers get lesson plans on experimental design and integrated pest management strategies prior to the students coming for their field trip. Each field trip has a tour where students learn about different crops, issues, and experimental designs. After the field trip, the students learn about how UC helps people and the environment. They are also exposed to “the more you learn, the more you earn” concept and given examples of great local STEM related career opportunities.
Elementary students finish their visit with role playing scenarios that demonstrate the importance of integrated pest management strategies, as well as why pesticide runoff should be prevented.
High school students finish their visit with more advanced experimental activities including a tour of the post-harvest lab and hands-on study of fruit samples using refractometer, penetrometer, and sensory evaluation techniques.
- Author: Laura J. Van der Staay
Roberta Barton has joined the University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources as a community educator. Barton will develop and lead unique outreach and educational programs that highlight key agricultural topics and research projects underway at the Kearney Agricultural, Lindcove and West Side Research and Extension Centers in Fresno and Tulare counties. The UC REC system enables the delivery of the highest quality science to promote healthy citizens and thriving communities. Barton holds a degree in Journalism from California State University, Fresno and has decades of community relations experience in the non-profit and public sectors, including previous positions with the Fresno County Public Library, Westlands Water District and Valley PBS.