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UNR’s Field Day and Ag Expo returns after four-year hiatus

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Friday marked the first Annual Nevada Field Day and Ag Expo in four years drawing families and other members of the community to the Experiment Station of University of Nevada, Reno to partake in a variety of activities. 

The event in recent years was sidelined by COVID-19 restrictions and, in the case of last year, smoke hazards which made it impossible to host the outdoor event. 

More than 40 booths were set up to teach attendees about all kinds of topics ranging from honey production to how to deal with wildfire embers. 

The Living With Fire exhibit at UNR's Annual Nevada Field Day and Ag Expo at the university Experiment Station on Valley Road, in Reno, Nev. June 2, 2023. Image: Mark Hernandez / This Is Reno
The Living With Fire exhibit at UNR’s Annual Nevada Field Day and Ag Expo at the university Experiment Station on Valley Road, in Reno, Nev. June 2, 2023. Image: Mark Hernandez / This Is Reno

“The idea is to highlight the work that we do so that people can learn about agriculture, natural resources, and biotechnology,” said Bill Payne, dean of UNR’s College of Agriculture. “The idea is to educate the public, engage with them, and have them learn about what we do and how we think it’s so important.”

The event was held at a different location and a different time of year to make sure that fire season wouldn’t affect this Field Day. In years past, Payne said between 500 and 600 people would visit the event and he was expecting at least the same amount this year.  

The event is hosted by the UNR’s College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources and lasts about four hours to be able to show the public recent advances in the fields. The Experiment Station hosts different ongoing research projects including field crop research of different plants such as sorghum, hemp, cactus and other native plants. 

“We’re such a diverse college and we do so much from youth development with 4-H to cutting edge research in molecular biology, and each of those we have partners in the community,” said Payne. “We think we’re the classic example of how you can combine research, outreach, and teaching to be transformational in society. That can be anything from having more sustainable agriculture to a replenishable food supply to curing diseases, training the next generation of veterinarians – the list goes on.”

A demonstration on honey production at UNR's Annual Nevada Field Day and Ag Expo at the university Experiment Station on Valley Road, in Reno, Nev. June 2, 2023. Image: Mark Hernandez / This Is Reno
Demonstrations on honey production at UNR’s Annual Nevada Field Day and Ag Expo at the university Experiment Station on Valley Road, in Reno, Nev. June 2, 2023. Image: Mark Hernandez / This Is Reno

There were also booths at the event with local products for sale like locally grown produce and meat which is produced at the University’s Main Station Field Lab in southeast Reno. There was also a new line of wool products which are sourced from Merino sheep that are raised in Eureka at the Great Basin Research & Extension Center. 

For those legally allowed to partake in alcoholic beverages, there was a wine tasting using locally grown grapes to show the different wines that are able to be produced in Nevada. 

This Nevada Field Day goes back decades and has been used to share information learned by the college and also interest future generations to work in the agricultural sector.

Mark Hernandez
Mark Hernandez
Mark was born in Mexico, grew up in Carson City, and has recently returned to Reno to continue to explore and get to know the city again. He got his journalism degree in 2018 and wants to continue learning photography for both business and pleasure. Languages and history are topics he likes to discuss as well as deplete any coffee reservoirs in close proximity.

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