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UW Research Center Field Day Offers Presentations, Research Tours

August 30, 2012
Man gesturing in field
UW Extension Soils Specialist Jay Norton describes research examining profitability and soil development in conventional, no-till and organic production practices integrated with a livestock operation.

The driver pulling the trailer with rows of seating slowed and paused for a group of people crossing the parched yards at the James C. Hageman Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension Center (SAREC) near Lingle. His action was an unspoken invitation for a ride.

Betty Deeney of Hawk Springs waved the driver on.

“They want to see the equipment,” she said to him, pointing to the men she was walking with and then, as a way of explanation, added, “Farmers.”

An estimated 150 attended the revamped SAREC field day Thursday, Aug. 23. The field day, switched to late afternoon, ended with a cream can dinner. The field day offered three-minute research presentations and also trailer tours to research plots, where UW scientists awaited visitors.

“I like this,” says Deeney, who attended with her husband, Lindsey Arnold. “I think you have a chance to go on your own more, and we stayed longer in one place than another. In whatever area of interest you like, you have more time to spend and visit with people.”

Attendees saw Beth Burritt of Utah State University show how cattle can be trained to graze forage they normally wouldn’t. Visitors also saw scientists show their weed research, Roundup-Ready alfalfa studies, shade avoidance in sugar beets and omega-3 supplementation in cattle. Participants also viewed a project that examines organic, conventional and no-till operations, coupled with livestock, forage trials and other projects.

SAREC Operations Director Jim Freeburn says he believes the field day was the best they’ve had.

“It seemed more relaxed and people were more at ease,” he says.

Research posters were attached to a large truck and to sides of buildings, and there were tents under which people could visit and escape from the late afternoon sun.

“People liked the new tour format, the posters and the fastest three-minute presentations,” Freeburn says. “Having the big tent, and the opportunity to mingle and visit with UW faculty members and researchers in a nonstructured way, seemed to be very well-received.”

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