UACES Facebook 10th annual tour guides high school students through environmental, ag sustainability at Division of Ag research station
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10th annual tour guides high school students through environmental, ag sustainability at Division of Ag research station

Aug. 28, 2018

10th annual tour guides high school students through environmental, ag sustainability at Division of Ag research station

By Mary Hightower
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Fast facts:

  • Tour includes high school juniors, seniors
  • Students will see water resources lab, preview ag careers, drone usage
  • Tour is Sept. 25, 8:50-noon
  • Event is filling, teachers should email to get a spot for students

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Hundreds of northwest Arkansas high school students are expected for the 10th annual Environmental and Agricultural Sustainability Field Trip on Sept. 25.

The tour is being held at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Station in Fayetteville. It’s hosted by the Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences Department of the Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences. The rain date is Oct. 2. 

LEARNING TOUR -- Nilda Burgos takes students on a tour of the weed nursery to illustrate the characteristics of several native and invasive plants. (U of A System Division of Agriclture photo by Dave Edmark.)

“Over the last decade, we’ve introduced thousands of high school students to the impact of environmental and agricultural practices on one another. In CSES, we are educating student to understand these issues and equipping them to solve problems that may arise in the future,” said Holly Yeatman, student recruiter for the department. “It’s always gratifying when a new freshman in the Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences Department tells me they became interested in our program because of what they learned on this field trip.”

Natalie Olivieri, Rogers High School AP Environmental Science teacher, told Yeatman that the field trip “fills a critical need to show students the effects of agriculture on the environment, the science behind feeding our large population, and the responsibility we have to find sustainable agricultural practices. In two-and-a-half hours, students get field exposure to concepts taught in the classroom the entire year. There is no way to replicate the wealth of knowledge they gain in this short amount of time from leaders in these fields.”

There will be two tours – one west of Garland Avenue and one east of Garland.

Tour A will include:

  • Arkansas Water Resources Center Water Quality Lab - Brina Smith, lab program technician.
  • Controlling erosion - Trent Roberts, research assistant professor of soil fertility/soil testing
  • Crops and their weedy relatives – biology and natural selection - TBD
  • Wheat breeding and seed processing - Esten Mason, assistant professor-wheat breeding and genetics
  • Examining soil profiles - Alden Smartt, CSES program associate
  • Water quantity/quality monitoring/riparian zones - Matthew Rich, environmental specialist, Beaver Water District

Tour B will include:

  • Examining soil profiles - Larry West, CSES adjunct faculty
  • Careers in Agriculture with Walter Mayhew, a University of Arkansas alumnus who is now corn germplasm and deployment lead for Bayer

Earth’s freshwater:  A life-giving and limiting resource - Dot Neely, education coordinator, Beaver Water District

  • Soybean research on breeding GMO and conventional beans, as well as industrial and food uses- Daniel Rogers, program technician
  • Rice drought screen demonstration - Andy Pereira, professor, plant molecular genetics.
  • Remote sensing for drought stress and nitrogen deficiency from a drone - Larry Purcell professor and Altheimer chair for soybean research.

Students are welcome to bring their lunch and eat in the pavilion at Agri Park after the tour. 

For more information about the tour, contact Holly Yeatman, or 479-575-5726.

About the Division of Agriculture

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.  

The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.   

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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 Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2126