- Author: Maddison Easley
Thursday, September 24th, 2015, marked the first annual county-wide Farm Day held at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in conjunction with the start of the esteemed Draft Horse Classic.
This keystone event was a significant feat not simply because more than 700 young students from all parts of Nevada County participated, but also due to the impressive teamwork that brought together over 25 different groups, agencies, farms, ranches, professionals and non-profit organizations. Children ranging from kindergarten to third grade, accompanied by teachers and chaperons, feasted on the plethora of activities, sites, sounds, and information focused on a wide array of agricultural and natural resource related topics.
Groups involved included the following: Sierra Foothill Audubon Society, Nevada County UCCE, 4-H Youth Development, Nevada Irrigation District (NID), Placer-Nevada Cattlewomen, Future Farmers of America (FFA), Sierra Harvest, California Native Plant Society, UC Master Gardeners, Bear Yuba Land Trust, Nevada County Fiber Guild, Nevada County Farm Bureau, NRCS, Nevada County Resource Conservation District (RCD) and of course the UC Sierra Foothill Research and Extension Center (SFREC), along with numerous other local farmers, ranchers and professionals.
The focus of Farm Day was primarily to expose children to the realities of agricultural enterprises and natural resource management, a significant objective which was achieved with outstanding success. Through the planning and implementation of the event, an additional valuable outcome was the unification of a wide array of entities and individuals to work toward a meaningful and powerful goal – hands-on learning.
The interactions made with the hundreds of youth (as well as adults) through the first annual Farm Day opened the door for additional conversations, pursuits and possibly even career ideas. While these students may have over a decade before entering the professional world, the fires lit and rekindled in their excited minds will certainly simmer for years to come.
UC SFREC will also be participating in the Yuba-Sutter Farm Day at the Yuba-Sutter Fairgrounds on Friday, October 2nd, 2015. Be on the lookout for a follow-up post in the near future.