- Author: Emily Baumstinger
On Thursday October 4th, Sierra Foothill REC hosted its 5th Annual Beef & Range Field Day for high school students enrolled in FFA & 4-H. Following an inspirational keynote address discussing possibilities after high school in research and agricultural careers by Maddison Easley of Placer County Resource Conservation District, the 112 students and their 10 FFA teachers enjoyed the remainder of the day participating in four different outdoor learning stations.
Dr. Gaby Maier of UC Davis Veterinary Medicine gave students a closer look inside cattle with her presentation station discussing ruminant digestion and nutrition. Students were able to look at gut flora and different types of feed.
Dr. Sam Sandoval & Dr. Romina Diaz Gomez of the UC Davis Department of Land, Air & Water Resources brought watershed sciences to life with an interactive plexiglass model that demonstrates the movement and flow of groundwater.
SFREC's Director, Jeremy James gave the students an eye-opening tour of SFREC's CIMIS weather station equipment and how changes in climate patterns over time effect California's natural oak woodlands, grasslands and agricultural industries.
A special thank you to this year's event sponsors Farm Credit West, Nevada County Resource Conservation District & Yuba-Sutter Farm Bureau. Additional thanks to Nevada County Resource Conservation District for sending out two volunteers to help facilitate this year's event.
- Author: Alexandra Stefancich
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.
- Author: Alexandra Stefancich
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!
- Contributor: Megan G Osbourn
- Author: Jeremy James
Assembly member James Gallagher, who has strong ties to local agriculture in the Sacramento Valley, kicked off the day with a forward looking key-note address that highlighted the important role the current generation of students will play in addressing California's agricultural and natural resource needs over the coming decades.
Sponsors including Robinson Ranch, Farm Credit West and Yuba-Sutter Farm Bureau and the time donated by FFA leaders and UC staff were instrumental in making the second year of this annual event a major success and a great opportunity for students to interact with ongoing research led by UC.