For most of us, our work, social, and academic lives look much different this month in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Desert Research and Extension Center – DREC is committed to continuing to work and available to assist our partners and stakeholders in our desert region. Critical research projects are being maintained and program delivery is taking place online. Farm Smart is dedicated to teaching learners of all ages about where their food comes from, including the nutrition we get from that food. Since 2001, we have offered this outreach through community events and K-12 field trips. To continue our outreach to the community during this time of ‘social distancing' and ‘shelter at home', DREC and Farm Smart will be active on Facebook and Twitter and available by phone or email to answer any of your questions. While all face-to-face events/meetings are cancelled, we are still available to help! Please follow us on facebook and twitter for ideas on activities and lessons plans for your “home-schooling” and adventures with your children as well as wellness tips for those self-quarantining.
Take a moment to fill out this survey so we may hear about your concerns, resources, and needs you have during these unprecedented times: https://ucanr.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8uLur6jQjVRnvOl
UCANR DREC on Twitter: https://twitter.com/UCANRDREC
Farm Smart on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UCfarmsmart
Farm Smart on Twitter: https://twitter.com/UCFarmSmart
DREC contact: Jairo Diaz (760)791-0521 or email@example.com
Farm Smart Contact: Stacey Amparano (769)356-3067 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Our inaugural IV Ag Tours for Teachers was a wonderful success. We can't say thank you enough to the Imperial Valley Community Foundation for the major support of this event and our wonderful ag community for opening their doors to the teachers- donations from Vessey & Company, Inc., Imperial Valley Water - IVH2O, Imperial California Olive Mill, One World Meat Company and guest speakers donating their time from Vessey and Company, Inc, Imperial Irrigation District, El Toro Land & Cattle Co., El Toro Export, University of California Cooperative Extension - Imperial County, and Vegcool
We, of course, cannot forget to mention our continued support for the Farm Smart program through the years from IID, Farm Credit West, Imperial County Farm Bureau, Keithly-Williams Seeds, Golden Valley Seed, and the Imperial Valley Vegetable Growers. Their donations help us continue teaching kids(and adults) across the valley the importance of agriculture and where our food comes from.
- Author: Mariana Gonzalez Castro
On April 1st, I started my internship with the University of California Desert Research and Extension Center (UC DREC) and the Farm Smart program. When I began this internship, my only experience was working with high school and college students. I wanted to gain experience working with elementary students and creating lesson plans for K-12 schools. When I was notified that the 4-H program's annual Sustainable You summer camp wanted to collaborate with Farm Smart, I immediately offered to help and work with the 4-H program and its youth. I worked closely with faculty from the 4-H program, UC Cooperative Extension Office, and high school students in preparing for the camp's events. My role in this camp was to guide high school students in becoming camp counselors, preparing their lessons, and providing any supplies that they might need for the event.
The camp was divided into five topics, one topic per day. The topics were water, food, land, energy, and air. Each day highlighted the basic concept as well as major environmental issues, shown through group activities
2018 California AG in the Classroom Conference
September 28-29 Palm Springs, CA
Have you been interested in finding new and exciting ways to bring food, fiber, flowers, and fuel into your learning environment? JOIN US for the 2018 California AG in the Classroom Conference. Through the generous donations of the Imperial County Farm Bureau, Imperial County Vegetable Growers Association, and Farm Credit Services Southwest there are a limited number of scholarships available to Imperial County Educators!
APPLICATIONS DUE: August 30, 2018 by 5:00PM
Conference scholarship is open to Pre-K -12th grade educators in Imperial County who want to find new and exciting ways to bring food, fiber, flowers, and fuel into the classroom.
SCHOLARSHIP WILL INCLUDE:
- The cost of registration for Sept 28-29, which includes meals, tours, and all presentations ($265).
- 1 night at the Renaissance Hotel– Marriot in Palm Springs, CA ($139 plus taxes and fees)
*Attendees are responsible for their own transportation*
Send all applications to email@example.com
- Pre-K -12th grade teachers; all subject areas
- Currently teaching in an Imperial County School in the 2018-19 school year
- Interest in increasing comfort level when teaching about agriculture
- Submit an application of interest by August 30th at 5PM
- Commitment to identifying resources to integrate agriculture into core content and instruction
- Willing to present to fellow educators and sponsoring organization on how you will integrate agriculture into your classroom
The University of California Desert Research and Extension Center (UC DREC) Farm Smart program recently hosted the 2nd annual USDA Food & AgScience Summer Program in June 2018. In collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 4 high school students were selected to participate in the 40-hour, 2-week experiential learning program. This program was designed to help students explore careers in food, agriculture, and sustainability. The selected students had the opportunity to expand their knowledge of agriculture through hands-on activities with local industry partners. While this was the 4th year that Farm Smart program has hosted high school students to explore careers in agriculture, this is the 2nd year that USDA has provided support for supplies and stipends for the participants.
Students began the program with an introduction to research conducted at UC DREC and a tour of the university feedlot with UC Cooperative Extension Livestock Advisor, Brooke Latack.
Over the next 2 weeks, the participants visited local agriculture industry businesses and partners to explore Imperial Valley agriculture. Visits were made to LIDCO, Inc, Farm Credit Services Southwest, SWIIM Systems, El Toro Export, El Toro Land & Cattle, and Spreckels Sugar. The students also visited the USDA Service Center: Farm Service Agency and Rural Development, the Agricultural Commissioner office in Imperial County, and the University of Arizona campus and research field station in Yuma, AZ.
The students surveyed field for subsurface tile line drainage systems with LIDCO, explored loan opportunities with USDA and Farm Credit Services Southwest, discussed tariff regulations with El Toro Export, and worked in the field and lab to test water and soil salinity with DREC Director, Dr. Jairo Diaz.
After the 2 weeks of site visits, the students began preparing a 3-5 minute video reflection of their experiences. The program concluded with a luncheon where the videos were showcased to their parents, ag teachers, and agriculture industry partners.
We would like to give a special thank you to USDA Office of Advocacy and Outreach Hispanic-Serving Institutions National Program Region Director for Southern California and AZ Roberto Gonzalez for funding the program!
Applications for the 2019 Food & AgScience Summer Program will be available in May 2019. If you, or someone you know, is interested in participating in future summer programs, please contact Stacey Amparano at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.