Posts Tagged: Nancy Caywood
Many of the visitors are from other parts of the country and Canada who winter in the Southern California desert to enjoy its sunshine and warm temperatures.
“Hopefully the word gets out and lots of people hear about it,” said Stacey Wills, Farm Smart manager. “What we're hoping to do is not only open it to winter visitors, but open it up locally as well. I don't know if the locals realize how rich our agriculture is here, especially young people. They don't understand the great agricultural opportunities and programs we have.”
Farm Smart, which began 15 years ago, relies on many volunteers to implement the winter visitor program and educational programs for K-12 students in the Imperial Valley. Two of the volunteers, Shriley and Larry Durarns, live on the center in their RV from October to March to help run the program, the article said.
“They basically work from sunrise to sunset,” said Wills. “They help us prep the food, drive the tractors, and ensure everything is being run smoothly. They are the life blood of the program. They make Farm Smart.”
The Imperial Valley Press also ran an article marking the beginning of the 2016 Farm Smart season. Writer William Roller reported that tours at the UC facility show visitors where their food comes from and reminds them they are linked with the environment and must be responsible stewards of the land.
"The great thing about the program is everyone learns about the research being done and gets to pick their own vegetables from our garden," Wills told the Imperial Valley Press.
The article featured a photo of Nancy Caywood Robertson driving the tractor that pulled visitors on a trailer as they toured the center. A former elementary school teacher, Caywood Robertson created Farm Smart in 2001 and managed the program until her retirement in 2014. She's now a volunteer.
Larry Mallory of Burley, Idaho, was named the 100,000th visitor and his wife, Sheryll, the 100,001st. The couple are "snowbirds," spending their winters in the mild California desert while their home is buried in snow. They were surprised with confetti, balloons, a commemorative bag and refund of their admission fee for being the milestone guests of the program.
"Farm Smart" was conceived and has been managed over the years by Nancy Caywood-Robertson, DREC educational outreach coordinator, reported the Imperial Valley Press. The program was initially designed for school children, but it blossomed into a destination for school field trips and winter visitors. More than 8,000 take part in the program every year.
Nancy Caywood-Robertson jumps off a bale of hay at the UC Desert Research and Extension Center 'Farm Smart' celebration.
The Farm City Committee acknowledged Connell's broad range of scientific, practical and professional competence and his fairness. Connell began his UCCE career in 1977 and moved to Butte County in 1980, where he has been responsible for almonds, walnuts, olives, citrus and ornamentals.
Gold Spotted Oak Borer infesting oak trees in So Cal
Angela Meyers, Big Bear News
Although the limited number of oaks in Big Bear mean the Gold Spotted Oak Borer doesn't pose a serious threat in the community, the local newspaper advised its readers that trees in nearby Yucaipa and Live Oak are in danger. The story suggested readers interested in more information visit UC ANR's Gold Spotted Oak Borer website.
Farm Smart starts corny lessons for local students
Elizabeth Varin, Imperial Valley Press
The UC Desert Research and Extension Center is kicking off its new season of Farm Smart, which educates students about natural and renewable resources, including agriculture. The program combines hands-on activities, such as visiting a corn maze and making corn starch plastic, with historical lessons, on such topics as the uses of bandanas and traditions behind hoedowns, said Nancy Caywood Robertson, education outreach coordinator for the Farm Smart program.
“Our No. 1 rule is they have to have fun,” she said. “Are you having fun?” she asked the crowd.
The USDA, in conjunction with scientists at the UC Desert Research and Extension Center in El Centro, are crossbreeding carrots from around the world to blend benefits in a native California variant, according to an article in the Imperial Valley Press.
“Each variety was pretty unique,” Caywood was quoted. “Some were more tubular, others had thick crowns, and still others had long roots.”
USDA researcher Rob Kane told reporter William Roller that yellow carrots from France, red from China and purple from Turkey may have traits that make the vegetable healthier than common orange varieties and may allow farmers to produce a healthy crop with reduced chemical use.
Colorful carrots contain antioxidants, natural plant compounds that can help reduce the risk of certain cancers and heart disease. A Brazilian carrot being studied by USDA researcher Phil Simon may impart natural resistance to nematodes, microscopic, soil-borne pests that can cause stunted growth, forking or swelling of the vegetable.
To control the effects, farmers typically fumigate the soil, Simon said.
“We’re in the process of proving we can farm without nematicides,” Simon was quoted. “The industry will save money not using fumigants and we can benefit the environment.”
Carrots come in various colors and shapes.