It's time for the biennial showcase in Princeton of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture's latest research and Extension work — work that is not only conducted on its western Kentucky research station, but throughout the entire college.
This year's event is 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. CDT Thursday, July 23 at the UK Research and Education Center in Princeton, Ky.
Tours and exhibits will highlight research in ornamental and vegetable crops, beef, forage, equine matters, grain crops, tobacco, orchards, vineyards and small fruits. The event isn't just about livestock and crops, however. The whole family is invited, and event organizers promise there will be much to interest all age groups.
Organizers expect approximately 2,000 people to attend. After a brief welcome ceremony at 8 a.m., guests may participate in tours and demonstrations and view exhibits.
"To me personally, it's an opportunity for us and this sector to have people from Lexington and other states and surrounds all in one place, share all the many things that are being done and to hopefully make certain that people are aware the College of Agriculture is about more than traditional agriculture," said Winston Dunwell, UK Extension horticulture specialist and field day chairman. "It's about animal science. It's about viticulture and energy from biomass. It's about family and consumers. It's about the fight against obesity. There's an exhibit on ovarian cancer, so it's a very broad sector that should have something for every single person in every single household in Kentucky. They should be able to garner a lot from this and learn something new that's important to their lives."
This year's field day will feature 11 production-related tours focusing on beef cattle, tobacco, forages, weed management in grain crops, fertility management in grain crops, vegetable crops, ornamental crops, grain crops management, and an orchard, vineyard and small fruits tour. This year, for the first time, there will also be an equine tour.
An overview tour will give participants insight into the research extension programs at the Research and Education Center. All tours last approximately one hour and 15 minutes and run continuously throughout the day.
More than 60 exhibitors from the UK College of Agriculture, agricultural associations and organizations will be on hand.
With youth and family and consumer sciences activities also at the field day, the program has something for everyone.
Four family and consumer sciences events will take place throughout the day: Fruits and Vegetable Taste Testing, Coupons 101; Power Bars — Is It a Snack or a Meal; and Greening Your Environment with Vinegar and Other Natural Products.
"What I like about the family and consumer sciences part of Field Day is that it really is family appropriate and focuses on great information from some of Extension's statewide programs," said Melanie Bealmear, Union County Extension agent for family and consumer sciences and field day committee member. "We've got an exhibit for Second Sunday, which is an annual statewide event that encourages people to get out and enjoy physical activity. We've got something on the ovarian cancer screenings. We've got canning and preserving food, which is something that people are getting back into, with the economy the way it is. It's a good sampling of the breadth of the work family and consumer sciences agents are doing around the state."
There will be plenty of things for young people of all ages to do, as well. 4-H youth development agents and leaders will conduct hands-on activities, demonstrations and information displays, including sessions on GPS; horticulture identification; "Oooie Things;" Raptors, conducted by Raptor Rescue; herding dog demonstrations; identifying reptiles; horse lab kits; Clowning Around and physical fitness. Youth are also welcome to join the adults on the farm tours.
"This is a big year for Kentucky 4-H, as it's our centennial," said Wade Raymer, Webster County Extension 4-H youth development agent and youth activities coordinator. "This will be a great way for people to become familiar with and celebrate the history of 4-H in the state."
Participants may earn certified crop adviser continuing education credits. Lunches will be available for purchase from Kentucky agriculture commodity associations.
The UK Research and Education Center is on Kentucky 91 South, 1.5 miles southeast of the Caldwell County Courthouse in Princeton. For more information, contact a county office of the UK Cooperative Extension Service or visit the UKREC Web site, http://ces.ca.uky.edu/wkrec/ .